Is Obama’s Latino Strategy Vulnerable?
Until recently, the general perception was that the Latino vote, which favored Barack Obama heavily in 2008 when he received 67% of that constituency, was assured of supporting him in the same manner in 2012.
But recent events have cast doubts on that assumption. Jorge Ramos, the premier journalist at Univision, the huge Spanish network, has been calling for answers in the Fast and Furious scandal, tweeting,” “It’s a very simple question. Who authorized Fast and Furious? We don’t have an answer yet.”
With Obama’s recent statements on immigration reform, including his decision not to deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, the expectation was that Obama had secured the Latino vote for good. Yet the Obama Administration has deported more undocumented immigrants. 1.2 million, than any other president, and that has not gone unnoticed by the Latino community, which smells election-year politicking behind Obama’s sudden amnesty for the undocumented immigrants.
Ramos, in particular, was offended earlier this year when he posed the question of Fast and Furious to Obama and was given the condescending response, “the United States is a big country.” In addition, Ramos was angry because the Obama campaign had used Ramos’ image in a campaign ad as well as the name of Univision without permission. He released a statement saying:
“A few hours ago the Obama reelection campaign aired an ad using my image and that of Noticias Univisión. I want to make clear that I reject the use of my likeness and that of Noticias Univisión in any election campaign. We have let the Obama campaign and the White House know, and we want to leave a public notice of our disagreement. We have always defended our journalistic integrity and will always continue to do so.”
Ramos also interviewed David Axelrod, who said picking Marco Rubio as a running mate for Mitt Romney would be “an insult to Hispanics.”
There is no guarantee that the Latino vote is in Obama’s pocket. If Univision, which is a television giant, starts to melt away from Obama, his prospects in November start looking grimmer and grimmer.