While addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in his keynote address, President Obama slammed Republicans for “turning back the clock” and called for Latino Americans to vote in the 2016 election.
“They have invented this new reality where everything was terrific back in 2008, when the unemployment and uninsured rates were rising and DREAMers lived in fear of deportation and [Osama] bin Laden was still at large,” Obama said, according to The Hill.
“That was the golden era apparently, the good ole days. Then I came and messed it all up. Now when you listen to them you still don’t know what they’re for — except turning back the clock on the work that we’ve done together.
“There’s nowhere they want to go further backwards than on immigration,” he said to a booing audience.
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Obama noted that former president George W. Bush was focused on immigration throughout his tenure in office. Obama also chided Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio for abandoning the 2013 immigration reform bill he sponsored, without naming names.
”Some of the very same Republican politicians who championed immigration reform in the past, some of whom sponsored these efforts, suddenly they want nothing to do with it,” he said.
“That’s not leadership, turning against what’s right the moment the politics of your base gets tough.”
According to Politico, Obama added: “In these circumstances I always say don’t boo - vote.
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“They can’t hear the boos but they can hear your vote.”
Obama also took aim at front-runner Donald Trump. “America’s greatness does not come from building walls,” he said. “Leadership is not fanning the flames of intolerance and acting all surprised when a fire breaks out. Saying clearly inflammatory things and then saying, ‘That’s not what I meant,’ until you do it again and again and again,” he said.
“The anti-immigrant sentiment that has infected our politics is not new but it is wrong. … Unless you are Navajo or Cherokee, somebody somewhere came from someplace else."