June 14th, 2008
11:17 AM ET
15 years ago

Obama courts the Latino vote


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/14/obama.latino.vote/art.obamageneric.gi.jpg caption=" Sen. Barack Obama looks to win over Latino voters before November."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for president, is looking to shore up support - especially from Latinos.

During the primaries on Super Tuesday, he received only 35 percent of Latinos' vote, while former rival Sen. Hilary Clinton's received 63 percent.

"There really wasn't an opportunity for Barack Obama to introduce himself to Latino voters.

"He needs to get out there and do that and he needs to listen to Latino voters and understand what they care about," said Arturo Vargas, of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

WATCH: The debate over immigration

Obama has supported President Bush-backed immigration legislation, which would have increased funding and improved border security technology, improved enforcement of existing laws, and provided a legal path to citizenship for some illegal immigrants.

The Illinois senator also voted to authorize construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexican border.

The Obama campaign said in a statement: "It's not that we will grant citizenship, but we strongly support requiring them to legalize their status and allowing them to earn their right to commit to this country and eventually become citizens."

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Latinos
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. CeciChoMexico@hotmail.com

    Save it Obama...We are a Hispanic-American family out in Los Angeles who voted for Hillary and we will not support you. The way Senator Clinton was mistreated took our breath away, and so we now support McCain – one word: TRUST

    Go McCain!

    June 14, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Sherrie

    This is one Latina who will never vote for Obama. Had he been Hillary's VP and run in 2016, then I would have. You earn your strips before you get my vote.

    June 14, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Jan From Boca Raton, Fla

    Obama can court all Latino's until he is blue in the face.

    Latino's are much smarter than the African Americans that are voting
    for Obama only becaus he is black.

    Latino's vote for who they think can run this country and get us back on track. Obama can make all the "Yes We Can" speeches he wants,
    but he cannot and will not fool the Latino's. We backed Hillary and believed in her and knew she would fight for all the people as she has
    for the many years she has served. If Obama is elected the blacks
    are going to take over this country, collect more welfare, food stamps,
    unemployment and health benefits by sitting on their butts and the
    hard working people foot the bill. Andwhen ever they get treated the same as everyone else and they don't like it, they pull the race card,
    just like Obama does on his campaign.

    OBAMA don't waste your breath on the Latino's.Stay with your own.

    June 14, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. David Goldman for OBAMA



    June 14, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Cecilia Cho

    Save it Obama…We are a Hispanic-American family out in Los Angeles who voted for Hillary and we will not support you. The way Senator Clinton was mistreated took our breath away, and so we now support McCain – one word: TRUST

    Go McCain!

    June 14, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  6. Danny, CA

    Barack, you are a young kid with a big mouth. Do not expect vote from me neither my friends. Do not come to us. You are fired.

    June 14, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Ronald Schwartz

    Obama is so against the U.S> constitution, Esp, the second amendment. I just wouldn't trust him on any issue.

    June 14, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. issues???

    I hope you will talk about the issues, Senator Obama when you go after the Latino vote. You and Senator McCain are bantering back and forth, and issues have been kicked to the curb. This election is a joke! Where is Hillary? She always talked about ISSUES....Where are you planning to take this country?? Please stay focused on the ISSUES!! You are running for PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLEASE STAY FOCUSED.....PLEASE!!

    June 14, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |

    I Think Obama Will Set A Good Immigration Policy. Another Reason He Is Getting My Vote!

    June 14, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. MARK S

    Again, Barack never had a problem with Latino voters during the primary. Hillary had instant recognition and Latinos had her card punched before the primary season began. It was more difficult for Barack to first introduce himself and then try to change their minds in such a short period of time.This was a problem of brand recongnition like a person who asks for a Kleenex regardless of the actual brand they receive. Now Barack has to create his brand in the same way and make hi name stand for Democratic qualities and cultural issues of Latinos.

    June 14, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Tampa Tom

    As a latino, I can tell you that latinos are generally sour on the GOP, but not necessarily on Senator McCain. In addition, latinos are generally more conservative than the general population. Senator Obama would do well to not ignore the latino vote. This is one area where Senator Clinton can really help.

    June 14, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. bk

    Obama will not get the lantino vote.

    June 14, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  13. Patricia

    Last September, Obama was one of a minority of Senate Democrats who couldn't bring themselves to condemn the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – part of the terrorist infrastructure directly involved in killing and maiming American GIs in Iraq. But large chunks of Obama's AIPAC speech last week sounded as if they could have been written by his Republican foe, Sen. John McCain, who addressed the group several days earlier.

    Of course all candidates for office tailor their speeches to the audience, but Obama seems particularly apt at
    being on opposite sides of the same issue.

    Will the real Obama please stand up?

    And here's another question.

    Given that he used the word "salvation" in one of his speeches and urges us to follow him, does Obama put his halo on the night stand when he goes to bed at night?

    June 14, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  14. Jeff

    He can court it all he wants he's still going to lose in November. The guy's a joke and is unqualified.

    June 14, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. Abbey

    I see he wants them to have drivers' licenses which was a real problem in one of the early debates for HRC. I seem to remember she got slammed for supporting the idea in New York. Amazing now that BO thinks it's a great idea. No pandering or hypocrisy here.

    June 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. jack

    In the Hispanic community, "loyality" is a trait that is important to family and friends. That loyality was shown in the nostalgia still held for the last Clinton administration. But that is being replaced with hope. Hope that one day like Obama, the public will embarce an Hispanic canidate for the highest office in the land. This primary has shown us that minorities can break the strangle hold of the "All White, Good'Ole Boys, Club" on the office of the President.

    If Hillary was able to do it for women and Barrack was able to do it for Afro-Americans, why can't someone like Antonio Villaraigosa (LA's hispanic mayor) become the Democratic nominee? Why not a person who is Indian, Asian or some other ethnic idenity one day become the party's nominee?


    This is what founded this country. The "Hope" for a better life and the "Hope" of a better life for their children. The hope to dream of a better future.

    Hope! its still alive and well.

    June 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Marie in California

    He might court it, but I hope he doesn't get it.

    Adios, Obama!

    McCain – 2008

    June 14, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. Mary

    He is out on the campaign trail stating he is opposed to building a fence to keep the illigals out and and our country safer. Far too many of these people are criminals and do not care who they hurt. All are self-centered believing they have a right to break our laws. We should enforce all the laws on the books and send them home.

    June 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. TEXAN

    Senator Obama, you need to come out and let the Latino community really get to know you. Yes, they did support Hillary because she was Bill's wife and they felt comfortable with her. She campaigned hard and heavy in all the "barrios" here in Texas and the Latinos felt she really cared. She's out...your'e in,. So come on out to ALL the Latino "barrios' in the United States and show them that you care and that you understand their struggles. They will see that there is no way in hell that they can even think of supporting McCain. They will warm up and love you just as much as the rest of us !!!!!!!! The Latino vote is yours.....just show them that they are needed and important to you.

    June 14, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  20. Susan

    The Larino vote is important, as is every other vote. They will see the Obama is so close to clintons' ways of thinking, that there is no way they would vote for McBush!

    June 14, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Patrick

    Latinos will not vote for this idiot oBama!! No thank you!!

    June 14, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Gringo

    OBAMA – No tu puede.

    Latinos can distinguish pandering just like everyone else !!

    June 14, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Jen, CA

    Another shotgun wedding, a la the DNC and Obama?

    June 14, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. D-Weezy - OH

    Go Obama, court whomever you need to get the votes you need. The repubs are going after the pissed off Hillary supporters so by all means necessary get yours.

    Republicans...be ready because here we come.

    June 14, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  25. AntiMcCain

    Latinos are not stupid, the choice is clear.......Sí, Se Puede!

    June 14, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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