Pressed on Obama deportations, Joe Biden gets tongue-tied
Joe Biden still has trouble answering the most basic of questions.
In the friendliest, most relaxed, most expansive interview imaginable, with Telemundo's José Díaz-Balart, Biden tried to brush off the uncomfortable issue of the Obama administration's deportations of illegal aliens, not by saying he rejected it, but by trying to change the topic.
Here's the Mediaite transcript:
"The Obama-Biden legacy includes more than 3 million people deported in years that you were in power, and some of the structures that were created during — they have really been the ones that President Trump built upon to have his zero tolerance, family separation policy," Díaz-Balart noted. "Should you be apologizing for anything?"
"I think what we should be doing is acknowledging that comparing what President Obama did and what Trump did — it's night and day," Biden responded.
Díaz-Balart pressed him, saying "the numbers are there."
"No, no, no, no … that was what the law was at the time," Biden said, shifting blame to Republicans and noting that Obama enacted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and stressed he would pass it into law and not just make it an executive action.
"Do you have anything to apologize for," Díaz-Balart asked again. "Did you speak up for the immigrant community in those eight years?"
Yes I did speak up for the immigrant community, but I'm not going to get into anything I had difference with the president on," Biden said, though again defended deportations as "the law at the time."
Deportations are a big deal for this crowd, the Latino left, which hardly encompasses the entire Latino voting bloc. But for Joe, he wants at least the leftist part of that bloc. You'd think that for a voting bloc that big and coveted by Democrats, he would have his answer down pat, either through saying he disagreed with the Obama decision to deport or else defending the Obama record. Instead, he tried to change the topic to DACA and pretty much said he was only following Obama orders on the deportations, giving the Telemundo leftie interviewer no answer at all.
Biden's done this more than once. He's had all this time to prepare based on previous encounters with screaming open-borders leftists, and he doesn't have anything more to say to them than he did to Diaz-Balart. Talk about not doing your homework.
Mediaite has a column by an enraged lefty who points out how many times Joe's punked out on them, citing these tweets:
“You should vote for Trump,” Joe Biden tells @CosechaMovement protester Carlos Rojas at tonight’s town hall in Greenwood, S.C.— Eric Bradner (@ericbradner) November 22, 2019
Rojas and other protesters from the group were criticizing Obama-era deportations and asked Biden to say he’d end all deportations — which he rejected. pic.twitter.com/od188WIlrQ
It raises questions about how ready Joe Biden is to win if he can't get this fractious group of voters in his tree. At this late date, he still doesn't know what he wants to tell them.
How important is it?
Well, here's a passionate lefty argument from Antjuan Seawright about Democrats' failure to court minority, including Latino, voters, featured on RealClearPolitics:
Explain to me, when Republican are doubling down on family separation, draconian detention and "building the wall," every single Democratic candidate isn't courting the Hispanic community with every breath? Explain to me why every pamphlet, mailer and meme isn't produced in Spanish as well in English? Explain to me why only one candidate has a Latino coordinator in Nevada, South Carolina, and California?
Look, the truth is that the GOP has long feared losing the "sleeping giant" that is the Hispanic vote in America -- and with good reason. Imagine flipping 38 electoral votes in Texas, 29 in Florida and 11 in Arizona. Imagine picking up Senate seats in Arizona and Colorado. Imagine sweeping governor's races across the Southwest.
But bringing this vision to fruition takes more than the casual mention of immigration reform or demonstrating some high school Spanish on the debate stage. It takes actual commitment and real investment -- not just to penetrate a community that lives under constant treat, but to activate them, register them, and mobilize them on Election Day.
Here are a few headlines showing what's going on in Joe's campaign:
Biden jumps into damage control after upsetting Latino leaders —Politico, August 14, 2019
Trump campaign snaps up website name for Biden's Latino outreach efforts —NBC News, October 24, 2019
Biden's senior Latina adviser quits in frustration —Politico, November 25, 2019
...and for the desperate Johnny-come-lately "pander" file:
Joe Biden Vows to Give Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare to All Illegal Aliens in U.S. —Breitbart, December 6, 2019
How's Biden doing among Latinos? According to this NBC report:
In a Univision poll released this month, Biden was essentially tied with rival Bernie Sanders among Hispanic voters, 22-20 percent. Castro placed third with 12 percent.
Univision pollsters said Biden and Sanders' positions in the poll mainly reflect both men's high name recognition among Hispanic voters. Support could shift, the pollsters said, as Hispanics become familiar with other candidates.
Trump's got more than that and offering an entirely different agenda, a far more sensible and direct one. This Politico item cites a poll showing the president walking off with at least 25%. Surprise, surprise.
Image credit: Noticias Telemundo screen shot via shareable YouTube.