Former top presidential adviser Karl Rove says President Barack Obama’s lack of action on comprehensive immigration reform is costing him the Latino vote and the voting bloc could start swinging to Republicans.
Rove also said Thursday on Fox Business Network that Obama’s numbers are tumbling in the Latino community because he has done a “lousy job” on most key issues.
|Karl Rove: President Obama's lack of action foils his efforts.
Rove, a key aide to President George W. Bush, noted the latest Gallup poll shows a severe dip in Latino approval, and while Obama has been courting the critical bloc by again pressing for immigration reform, his total lack of action makes it a futile tactic. Obama Thursday tried to enlist influential Spanish-language television anchors, radio personalities, and Latino actresses.
“He won the Hispanic vote in 2008 by a 67-31 margin — in Gallup . . . among the Hispanics he only has 47 percent approval — that doesn’t portend well for the president’s chances of re-election chances among Latinos,” Rove said. “I think the president made a tactical mistake by emphasizing today in his meeting comprehensive immigration reform. First of all, he has done nothing on it in 2009 and 2010 to push it — it’s too late to get it done in 2011 and 2012 — he is assuming that this is the issue that is going to move Latinos.
“I think his numbers are poor in the Latino community because he has done a lousy job from the perspective of a lot of people in the community on jobs, deficit, debt, spending, and healthcare,” Rove continued. “The president is sort of trying to pull one issue out, and sort of hope that he can regain his standing . . . by doing so — but I don’t think it is the central issue upon which a lot of opinions have been changed.”
Host Charles Payne said Obama’s decreased approval among Latino voters does not necessarily mean they would choose Republicans in 2012.
“Well, I’m not certain we know about it,” Rove said. “First thing you’re going to do is unglue somebody from where they were — so if they disapprove of the president’s performance, then they’re available to them.”
Turning to Obama’s release of his birth certificate, Payne asked whether it was a wise decision and a response to pressure from real estate mogul Donald Trump.
“First of all, I think he did the wise thing by finally getting it out — he should have got it out last year, but he was trying to be cute on the issue — he was trying to let this issue fumble along and let the Republicans discredit themselves by doing so,” Rove said. “But what happened over the last month or six weeks is that the issue began to have purchase among independents.
“Here is Mr. Trump’s problem: On Monday, Mr. Trump said he had evidence that President Obama's birth certificate was forged and that he was not born in the United States — and on Wednesday, he is claiming credit for having had the birth certificate released,” he said. “Does he now believe the president was born in the United States or does he believe what he said on Monday? Now the press is going to turn on Mr. Trump, who said he would release his tax returns when the president released his birth certificate — I expect we'll likely see a lot more of that in the weeks to come.”
Payne asked Rove his opinion on the tea party.
“I was critical of one candidate Christine O'Donnell in [Delaware],” Rove replied. “Frankly, I was involved in a group called American Crossroads that spent $4 million in Kentucky on behalf of Rand Paul, $5 million dollars in Colorado on behalf of Ken Buck, $5 million dollars in Nevada on behalf of Sharron Angle.”
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