Obama to Latino Group: Don’t Trust Romney
President Barack Obama addressed the same Latino group that Mitt Romney did yesterday and in his comments today had a basic message: don’t trust Mitt Romney, especially if Romney does keep his promises like the former Massachusetts Governor vowed he would in his speech:
A day after Mitt Romney pitched a softer, gentler message on immigration reform, President Barack Obama said that Latino voters shouldn’t believe it.
“Your speaker from yesterday has a different view. In his speech he said when he makes a promise to you, he’ll keep it. Well, he has promised to veto the Dream Act,” Obama said Friday at the National Association for Elected and Appointed Officials conference.
“And we should take him at his word,” he continued with a shrug, to laughter and cheers from the crowd. “I’m just saying.”
That could be more than a one-shot deal line and be used by Obama up until the election.
The audience, largely made up of Latinos, repeatedly applauded, laughed and stood for the president. Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential candidate, spoke at the NALEO conference on Thursday, receiving a warm reception but one far surpassed by the response to Obama.
Obama’s main line was, “it was the right thing to do,” and he indicated that he has no plans to back away from his health care law or a decision last week to halt deportation for some undocumented young people. That directive largely aligned with the Dream Act, a failed bill that would allow some undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S. provided that they entered as children, have maintained a clean criminal record, and have either joined the military or attended school.
The president emphasized that his policy change wasn’t the end of the push for the Dream Act, or for broader immigration reform — which he promised at the same conference four years ago to tackle during his first year in office.
“[Current immigration law] denies innocent young people the chance to earn an education or serve in the uniform of the country they love,” he said. “Once again, the problem is not for lack of technical solutions. We know what the solutions are to these challenges.”
Obama pointed out that both Democrats and Republicans — specifically President George W. Bush, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) — led the push for comprehensive immigration reform during the former president’s term.
“Today, those same Republicans have been driven away from the table by a small faction of their own party,” he said.
Obama is, in fact, correct about his history: some GOP conservatives and the most conservative members of the GOP base thwarted the late Teddy Kennedy and seemingly get upset when they hear GWB or Jeb Bush talk about an immigration solution that doesn’t mean strict border enforcement and heightened deportations. (All of the talk about let’s do the borders first and get to the rest of it later is political spin. Many of those who are hard-line on immigration do not want any later except deportations).
FOOTNOTE: Obama is using the phrase “It’s the right thing to do” an awful lot. But won’t Quaker Oats get mad? Its their slogan some 20 years ago:
(Maybe as long as Obama doesn’t put on a handlebar moustache Quaker Oats will leave him alone..)