November 25th, 2009
06:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Fueling speculation, Dobbs appears to soften on key issue

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Dobbs latest comments on illegal immigration are raising eyebrows."](CNN) - The same week Lou Dobbs suggested he would consider running for the White House in 2012, the former CNN anchorman appears to be softening his stance on his signature issue of illegal immigration.

In an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo gaining attention Wednesday, Dobbs told interviewer Maria Celeste he is one of the Latino community's "greatest friends" and appeared willing to embrace a form of amnesty he spent years criticizing.

"What isn't working is a penalty to those who are in this country illegally for whom we can both be building a bridge to the future in which there is legalization and at the same time constructing an environment in which everyone is clear and unequivocal about the need for boarder security and a regulated flow of immigration," Dobbs said.

Watch: Dobbs announces resignation from CNN

"I want to engage in a meaningful and constructive dialogue, and work with those who will work toward real solutions," the former CNN anchorman also said, maintaining his position on immigration hasn't changed despite what appears to be a more moderate stance. "I think we need to honestly come together, those who have differing views…and make some real progress toward an understanding a compromise for those who are in this country illegally."

Dobbs also brushed aside suggestions he is the "No. 1 enemy" of the Latino community, saying that image is a result of propaganda "efforts of the far left."

"Whatever you have thought of me in the past," Dobbs said, "I can tell you right now that I am one of your greatest friends and I mean for us to work together. I hope that will begin with Maria and me and Telemundo and other media organizations and others in this national debate that we should turn into a solution rather than a continuing debate and factional contest."

The comments come as Dobbs has fueled speculation the former anchorman may have his eye on politics as a second act, either in 2012 as a presidential candidate or as a challenger to New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, the only Hispanic in the Senate.

In an interview with Washington radio station WTOP Monday Dobbs said a 2012 run is "one of the discussions that we're having," though he did not indicate if he'd run as a Republican or third-party candidate.

Meanwhile, Robert Dilenschneider, a spokesman for Dobbs, told the New York Times Tuesday the former anchorman may take the "intermediary step" of challenging Menendez.

"I think Lou is realistically saying, that's a long way off, but if he did run for office there'd have to be an intermediary step, such as the Menendez seat," he said .

Dobbs amicably parted ways with CNN earlier this month. The former anchor's strong views on illegal immigration have made him a lightning rod for criticism from Hispanic groups, and a popular figure in some conservative quarters.

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soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I'm a voter first and foremost, and speaking as a voter Lou Dobbs is a viable option for the GOP in 2012. I saw him making nice-nice on tv the other nite trying to clean the debris off the bridge with an outreach to Hispanic voters. I hope he doesn't get "black-balled" off of the GOP's list for not adhering to the tenets of their "constitution".

    November 25, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  2. Mike

    A tiger does not change his stripes.

    November 25, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Ken H.

    You CNN idiots are amazing. Dobb's resigned and you still criticize him. None of you CNN Obamanuts ever listened to what Lou was saying. He NEVER said he was against amnesty, only certain forms of it. The liberals want to welcome all illegals and just give them amnesty, whereas Lou wants to give some amnesty based on certain criteria.

    November 25, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  4. David

    How funny Lou Dobbs is not trying to suck up to the Latino community because he is thinking of running for President after years of critisizing illegal immigrants and amnesty. He is becoming the typical politician already. Saying anything to get a vote.

    November 25, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  5. JediMasterMatt - Bethlehem, PA

    plain and simple.....HYPOCRITE, flip-flopper, he'll fit right in with Washington, DC

    November 25, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Okay let me clean that up: he's more viable than Sarah Ka-Ching Quittin Palin.

    November 25, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. James

    Years ago Dobbs was a good and decent man that actually cared about people...he has turned into such a crazy right wing biggot like FOX news and the GOP!

    So glad he gone from CNN!

    November 25, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. Reny

    A perfect politician. Lying to get elected. Once elected he will deport all the hispanics.

    November 25, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Denise

    What a j-e-r-k. Something is definitely up because that is not the tune Mr. Whack-Job Dobbs has been singing for the past two years broadcast after broadcast.

    November 25, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  10. Republicans is smart in the head area

    Lou, you are truly a moron. You stand no chance in being elected to any office. If you did have the remotest chance, it was with the bigoted anti-immigrant crowd and now you blew that. Stick to being a rabid right wing entertainer like Sarah Palin.

    November 25, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  11. Steve

    typical. you can't trust anyone running for president. Anyone will do the same thing. comprimise their morals just to get more votes. Makes me sick.

    November 25, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. ian

    really, Lou, a friend of the latino community..oh come on!! Building bridges b/t illegals in this country..OH COME ON!!!

    November 25, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Brian

    Now that he wants to run for political office, let the double-speak begin. All politicians are guilty of this!!!!! Give me your vote, now what do the PACs want me to do? Our votes mean nothing, just $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

    Does it make sense to any of you, that we elect fewer than 600 people on a national level to make decisions affecting over 300 million????? Think it's easy to get things wrong?

    November 25, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  14. John

    I am not sure the US would or could elect such an obvous egomaniac.

    November 25, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. David

    That's disappointing. The man is selling out and he hasn't even run for elected office yet.

    November 25, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. zago

    What a selfish man. Lou Dobbs sees himself as president. Please Lou runs. Remember to add Palin on your ticket or if you not fortunate enough, please have her put you on her ticket. We would love that M. President Dobbs.

    November 25, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. GK

    A right-wing wolf in disguise. Many of his comments were absolutely false, including the one where he said that LEGAL immigrant workers DO NOT pay taxes. Absolutely Wrong. Legal Immigrant skilled workers not only pay taxes, they also pay Social Security taxes, the benefits of which is available only after many years.

    November 25, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Chris Marino

    Sell-out. Thanks.

    November 25, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  19. MikeL

    I've enjoyed watching Lou, although I've not always agreed with his opinions. I have agreed and admired his stance about illegal immigrants.They're not Undocumented Immigrants, they're ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! The spanish language issue is also another thing I am firm live in America, an engish speaking country, I respect your culture but you've chosen to live in our's. It's not our responsibility to assimilate to your culture, it's your obligation to learn our's. I don't blame them. Our politicians have taken the incentive out of learning and living the American culture. My daughter is 2 and I would like her to learn the language of my ancestors not that of somebody else's. Yet spanish is jammed down our throats at every turn. Shame on Lou for abandoning the American citizens. He'll get no vote from me!

    November 25, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. Barbara

    He speaks with fork tongue. Loser.

    November 25, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. iceman

    The day Lou Dobbs is a great friend to immigrants is the day pigs fly.

    November 25, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. A guy

    Wait a minute, a Republican hypocrite? Say it ain't so! LOL

    November 25, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  23. Al Alvarez

    I suppose all those anti-Mexican comments on CNN over the past two years were forced on him by the extreme left.

    November 25, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. Alice in California

    Unbelievable, after all these years of spewing hate.

    November 25, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. bburgin

    God Is Great, Beer is good, and Lou Dobbs is crazy. Put him with Rush, Beck, O'Riley.

    November 25, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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