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.

Filed under: Lou Dobbs • Popular Posts
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Kwaku, Boulder Creek, CA

    What politics can do to people. When it comes to votes there's no limit to political pandering. A tiger can't change its spots – at least not overnight.

    November 25, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Mr. Meteoritical

    How arrogant can Dobbs be? Just because he was on TV, doesn't mean he is qualified for public office. How arrogant could he possibly be? Dobbs is another old, white-haired, suit-wearing, millionaire, white-guy who thinks he knows better than the poor and unwashed masses. (I'm white, so don't say that last comment was racist)

    I'd vote for my bulldog before Dobbs.

    Dobbs – go get a hobby that involves you spending your time quietly in a basement somewhere. Maybe model trains?

    November 25, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Dawn, Mesa Arizona

    What really needs to happen in immigration is for the U.S. to hold Mexico to the fire in doing a better job of taking care of their poor. By doing a better job of meeting the basic needs of it's poorest citizens, Mexico could do a lot in reducing the desire to come to the U.S. illegally.

    This would allow better enforcement of those who do still cross illegally, by the U.S., along with more money and time to devote towards taking care of the poorest citizens in the U.S.

    No one, including Mr. Dobbs, seems to be addressing this. All they want to do is build more walls that desperate people will find a way to break through or climb over.

    November 25, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Adam

    Wow... already positioning himself for the presidency run in 2012.

    November 25, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. God Bless President Obama!

    Dobbs has spent years denegrading Latinos and now he wants to be their friends? Yeah right............nice try but im sure they are not buying it! i know i am not.

    Dobbs is a racist! And he doesnt need to open any constructive dialouge.

    November 25, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. patriot

    Somebody, pinch me please!


    November 25, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. W l Jones

    It is a difference on the out side than inside if you have make decision "believe" they call it turn mouth when one change his opinion drastically just to suite his ambition.

    November 25, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. mithun

    Lou Dobbs is Mr.Opportunist and NOT Mr.Independent ..hey latinos, I want your vote too, so guess what I have changed my decade old beliefs and going to become a moderate...Mr.Camelion

    November 25, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. DR

    My My My isn't strange how people change when they have to start considering other humans plight here on earth. We have but one planet for all of us to call home, it's best we start learning to share. I for one think that everyone in this country should pay taxes. Everyone that is employed should have a employer that pays taxes. Everyone should contribute to the medical system. You should not get free medical just because you are here without following the rules. Everyone should have a path to citizenship! But it should not be a free path!

    November 25, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Eric

    Lou Dobbs is a racist - end of conversation. His beliefs are based in fear, not fact (and apparently a heavy dose of opportunism as well.)

    Calling himself a friend to Latinos is obscene and offensive.

    November 25, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. KLJ

    Now that he wants to be a Senator he wants to rewrite history. Lou, man up and hold firm to your priniciples. After all you would accuse the left of not having values if they did what you are doing. At least with this behavior, you are off to a good start as a double talking politician!

    November 25, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. kevin

    ah yeah this is great. awesome. anyways, can someone tell me with this obama monkey picture. the way people are complaining about it, did i miss something. Did someone drop dead because of it? was there some type of bodily harm done to some one. I would pray for america to man up. no one was hurt. It was a sick twisted person who posted it. This complaining on and on about it only furthers the sick twisted little person who posted pic on google. lets grow up america

    November 25, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Jordan

    Why is this news? It is disgusting that this water cooler gossip gets national attention.

    The "journalist" is more concerned with one man's opinion on a topic that deserves national attention. Seems this issue has all but dropped from sight since the election and the days of W. This is why he left, CNN is more concerned with ratings, than reporting.

    I can't believe someone got paid to write that and I can't believe I read it.

    November 25, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Mark

    Ah yes. Welcome to the world of spinning and compromise. Definitely becoming a politician.

    November 25, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Beaver State Barker

    Lou Dobbs has a lot of apologizing to perform with Mexico and this public relations stunt just doesn't cut it! With the many years of immigration and illegal diatribes Dobbs has been expounding upon makes one wonder what he was all about. He is married after all to a Latina lady. Why the demagogue aspect to his reporting. It never made any sense since the George W. Bush administration was all about illegal alienation which kept salaries down for his corporate interests which made Dobbs' angst and recoil all the more sel-destructive. Dobbs railed about this to no end and yet was unable to do anything about illegals. It made no sense and now he has to pay for it. Personally, I liked Dobbs' economic savvy but his constant barrage on illegals was simply too much and too long. It never really made much sense and his untimely prospect for political office says likewise!

    November 25, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. kish G

    what a hypocrite..

    November 25, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Surf Dog San Diego

    Dobbs is transparently a liar and a loser.

    November 25, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. CR

    Self-promoting buffoon who should have quit while he was ahead.

    November 25, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Alex

    Typical. A newsman wants to be a politician, he better start to learn how to lie.

    November 25, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Bruce

    Wants to be a politician right, changing his views, soft stepping previous comments, imagine that.

    November 25, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Former Iowa Boy

    Lou Dobbs is an idiot with an inflated ego

    November 25, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. IndyVoter

    Too Late Dobbs! Don't even try it. All of your hateful diatribes have been digitally preserved for all eternity...Be advised. They will be brought to light if/when you try to run for president.

    November 25, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Kathy

    What a hypocrite! Does her really think anyone is going to buy this change of attitude?

    November 25, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. Dem from Az

    If Dobbs gets 4 to 6 percent of votes. I will be impressed.

    November 25, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  25. andrew s. rostolder

    lou dobbs has become a bloviator, gas bag, losing all credability. hopefully he will run for office and truly find out what the american people really think of him

    November 25, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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