Obama Says Latino Vote Is Key to Victory, Vows Immigration Reform in 2013

Dave Boyer, Washington Times, October 24, 2012

The Obama campaign’s strategy of winning the election with the help of Hispanic voters was on full display Wednesday as President Obama promised to achieve immigration reform next year, and a top aide predicted the country’s fast-growing number of minority voters will propel the president to a second term.

In an interview that the White House originally insisted be kept off the record, Mr. Obama told an Iowa newspaper that he’s “confident” he will achieve immigration reform next year if he’s re-elected.

“Since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt,” Mr. Obama told the editor and publisher of the Des Moines Register in a 30-minute phone call. “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.”

{snip} In polls, Mr. Obama holds a lead of more than 30 percentage points over Republican nominee Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters.

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A senior adviser to the president, David Plouffe, told reporters that the burgeoning voter rolls of Hispanics and blacks this year is “a big thing to understand.”

“In every state, there are going to be more Latino voters than there were four years ago,” Mr. Plouffe said. “In Florida, there’s going to be hundreds of thousands more Latinos and African-Americans voting than there were last time. The demographics of some of these states are already improved, through nothing we’ve done. The electorate is just more friendly to the president than it was four years ago.”

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Mr. Obama pledged in the 2008 campaign to make immigration reform a priority but failed to follow through on the promise. Leaders of the Hispanic community and others have been especially critical of his broken promise.

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The White House originally insisted the president’s interview be kept from the public, although Mr. Obama’s comments on immigration and other topics didn’t diverge much from his public remarks on those issues. White House officials reversed course Wednesday morning and released a transcript of the interview after Editor Rick Green publicly complained to readers about the secretive nature of the interview. Mr. Green openly speculated that the White House had been worried that the president might commit a gaffe that could hurt him in the election.

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