Seeking to consolidate support from Hispanic lawmakers ahead of an all-out amnesty battle, Vice President Joe Biden last week called Hispanics “the center of this nation’s future.” (Politico, Jan. 3, 2013) The Vice President made these remarks in a speech at a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) event held to welcome Hispanic Members of the 113th Congress. (CHCI website, Jan. 4, 2013) Biden was joined at the inside-the-beltway event by other Administration officials, including Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. (Id.)
Pandering, in his speech Biden touted the strength of the Hispanic community and its many accomplishments. He celebrated the record number of Hispanic lawmakers in the 113th Congress; he also noted that Hispanics now make up a quarter of U.S. school children. “What’s finally happened is the American people, the American people have finally begun to understand . . . the awesome potential, future potential of the Hispanic community . . . . Now the nation—and I might add the hemisphere—understands the Hispanic community must be courted,” said Biden.
The Vice President also predicted that Republicans would cave under pressure to pass amnesty legislation. In the face of significant Hispanic support for President Obama in the November elections, Republicans, he said, have had a “rapid epiphany” about immigration reform. (Politico, Jan. 3, 2013)
Biden encouraged the audience to get the Hispanic community mobilized to push for amnesty legislation. ”It’s no longer about what can be done for the Hispanic community,” he said. “The question is what the Hispanic community is going to do to take this country to a totally new place.” (CHCI website, Jan. 4, 2013) Republicans, he said, need to know that “[if] you ignore the needs and concerns of the Hispanic people, you will not win, you will not win.” (Politico, Jan. 3, 2013)