Obama: I “probably” shouldn’t have told Latinos to go out there and punish their “enemies”

posted at 8:40 pm on November 1, 2010 by Allahpundit

He included “probably” as a qualifier, I assume, just in case Latino turnout is unusually low tomorrow.

There were arguments being made that because Democrats hadn’t gotten this done, that Latinos should vote against Democrats or just sit out the election.

And I said, well, you can’t punish your friends when — the folks who’ve been supporting it. Now, I did also say if you’re going to punish somebody, punish your enemies, and I probably should have used the word, “opponents” instead of enemies. Now the Republicans are saying that I’m calling them enemies. What I’m saying is you’re an opponent of this particular provision, comprehensive immigration reform, which is something very different.

But the key issue here is that if you are supportive of comprehensive immigration reform, if you are supportive of health care reform, if you are supportive of making sure that credit card companies are treating us fairly, making sure that banks are properly regulated so they don’t end up getting taxpayer bailouts — if you support those things, then you’ve got to support those who helped to put those provisions into law. And you’ve got to make sure that those who are opposed to that legislation, that they get a clear message that they shouldn’t be standing in the way of the progress, but rather we should be moving this country forward.

Is that all he meant, that Republicans who support border enforcement are merely opponents on a particular issue? Because I’m finding that somehow hard to square with something else he said during that same original interview, namely, “Those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.” Is it any surprise that, in the course of rank racial pandering and insinuations that people who support Arizona’s law are un-American, he’d lapse rhetorically from “opponents” into “enemies”?

Here’s video of Boehner tonight in Ohio feeding him a giant shinola sandwich on this very point. It’s clever of him to include Clinton in the list of presidents who’d never refer to political opponents as domestic enemies, but I’m not sure that a guy who strategized with Dick Morris about how to use Oklahoma City as a bludgeon against mainstream Republicans belongs in that club. Exit question: How desperate is Harry Reid for Latino turnout to save him against Angle tomorrow? Here’s your answer.


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