Obama: Un Presidente Para Todas
President Obama laid out his second-term agenda in an off the record conversation with the Des Moines Register, which his campaign provided to the paper today with permission to publish. He says he will get immigration reform done in 2013. The full transcript is here.
"The second thing I'm confident we'll get done next year is immigration reform," Mr. Obama told the newspaper. "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.
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."
On Mitt Romney:
So I just want to contrast with what happens if Mitt Romney is elected. I know that he likes to talk about his Massachusetts record. The truth is there really were two Mitt Romneys. There was the Mitt Romney who initially got elected, passed Obamacare, and was interested in being the governor of Massachusetts. After his second year, it was the Mitt Romney who was running for president and abandoned all his previous positions.
His answer to people who don't think it matters who gets elected:
Well, what I’d say is that it will matter to millions of Americans who may or may not have health care. It will matter to millions of seniors who maybe -- or soon-to-be seniors who may be faced with the prospect of a voucher system for Medicare.
It will matter to young people all across the country who were born here, pledged allegiance to our flag, went to school here, and are Americans in every way except they don’t have documentation and would continue to be at risk of deportation.
It will matter to middle-class families who are going to find themselves locked out of the discussion in terms of how we balance our budget, or at least reduce our deficit, facing the prospect that things like the tax credit we put in place for kids going to college, the earned income tax credit, a whole bunch of things that make sure working people stay out of poverty -- that could all go away.
The consequences on just about every indicator out there would be enormous.
I'll just add for the 100th time it makes a huge difference with respect to who will be appointed for lifetime positions on the Supreme Court and federal courts. Republicans are just disastrous on crime issues and Romney is a one topic guy -- the economy, business and taxes are the only topic he cares about or pretends to know anything about. All decisions about crime and punishment will be made by his advisers, most of whom are Bush/Cheney holdovers.
And for the 90th time, Obama should have taken a position in support of states' rights on marijuana, declaring and implementing a hands-off policy on all but large-scale trafficking of amounts that otherwise federal prosecution standards. He's now battling for 4 electoral votes in New Hampshire, a state which passed a bill this year legalizing medical marijuana, only to have be vetoed by the Governor and failed to get enough votes to override the veto. Had he reversed course two months ago, at his huge rally in Colorado, I think he would have clinched for Colorado's 9 votes. And he would have energized young voters in the other swing states and medical marijuana users in all 16 states where it is legal, but they live in fear of federal intervention with their right to acquire it.
Nevada's 6 votes are still up for grabs and 15% of voters are Latino. Maybe today's announcement will increase their turnout and move the state to Obama.
On the positive side, 40% of voters will vote early and the latest Ipsos poll of those who have already voted show Obama with a clear lead -- 54 percent to 39 percent.
Update: The Des Moines Register has endorsed Mitt Romney -- its first endorsement of a Republican for President since 1972 when it endorsed Richard Nixon.
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