After an interview with the Des Moines Register in Iowa to see who the paper would endorse for president, an editor complained in a blog post that President Obama had requested the interview to be off the record. In response the Obama campaign has released the full transcript of the conversation which contains his unvarnished thoughts on Republicans alienating Latinos and why they’ll be motivated to help him get immigration reform through Congress.
“The second thing I’m confident we’ll get done next year is immigration reform,” Obama said. “And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And this is a relatively new phenomenon. George Bush and Karl Rove were smart enough to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly confident that they’re going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And I want to get it done because it’s the right thing to do and I’ve cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008.”
Republican strategist Javier Ortiz says he’s surprised Obama would say this off the record and not on the record. He also challenges the president’s assertion that he truly cared about moving forward with immigration reform at the outset of his presidency.
“They ran in 2008 saying they would do this,” Ortiz says. “They arrived in 2009 and spent two years doing nothing about it. Not even when they got enticed, motivated or otherwise shamed by their congressman Luis Gutierrez — they still didn’t do anything. The president offers a great deal of things and delivers very little.”
This is not the first time Obama has said he would address immigration reform in a second term. In a Univision candidate’s forum he said not getting it done was his biggest failure and he told Mexican super-group Maná that he would get it done if elected for a second term.
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