The Subjects of Immigration and the Latino Vote Once Again Dominated the June 24th
Network Sunday Public Affairs Programs
By Micheal E. Hill
Monday, June 25, 2012 -- 7:00 am EDT
For the second weekend in a row, the subjects of immigration and the Latino vote dominated the Sunday public affairs programs. Indeed, once again, substantial discussions about the two subjects occurred during all five major network programs.
As the programs began, there was much anticipation that immigration would be a big topic. After all, the headliner immigration figures appearing on the programs on Sunday, June 24, included Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Task Force on Immigration; former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, who served under President George W. Bush; Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) former Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM); Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus; Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), who was a candidate for the 2012 Republican nonination before dropping out of the race earlier this year, and Antonio Villaraigosa (D), Mayor of Los Angeles, California and Chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. They did not disappoint. Each of them spoke extensively about immigration and the Latino vote during their appearances.
In addition to the headliner immigration figures, the programs included a number of political operatives, political pundits, and journalists, many of whom also weighed in on the subject of immigration.
The following is a summary of the immigration-, refugee-, or demographic-related comments that were made during the June 24, 2012, Sunday public affairs programs:
ABC - This Week. The guest list for the roundtable discussion segment of the June 24, 2012, edition of ABC's "This Week" program included Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus; ABC News' George Will; National Journal White House correspondent Major Garrett; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan, and Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen, all of whom participated in a spirited discussion about the politics of immigration.
- CBS - Face the Nation. The guest list for the June 24, 2012, edition of CBS's "Face the Nation" included Governor Rick Perry (R-TX), who was a candidate for the 2012 Republican nonination before dropping out of the race earlier this year. Governor Perry accused President Obama of going around Congress and the law with his DREAM Act Children Prosecutorial Discretion initiative and defended Governor Romney for supporting defending the border. Governor Perry also criticized the performance of the economy under President Obama, particularly in the Hispanic population.
Also appearing on the program was Antonio Villaraigosa (D), Mayor of Los Angeles, California and Chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. During his appearance, Mayor Villaraigosa defended President Obama's immigration record, saying that 51 Democrats in the Senate and 208 Democrats in the House supported the DREAM Act in 2010 when it came up for a vote in the House, but only four Republicans in the Senate and eight Republicans in the House did so. He criticized Governor Romney for not answering questions about whether he would continue the President's DREAM Act Children Prosecutorial discretion initiative, for saying he would veto the DREAM Act, and for saying that "the Arizona and Alabama laws should be a model for the nation." Mayor Villaraigosa said he did not think that Governor Romney can win 40 percent of the Latino vote, which the campaign has set as its goal, saying he wouldn't be able to do so because of his policies and record.
Appearing during the political roundtable segment of the program was CBS News' Senior White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell, who speculated on what Governor Romney's lack of a clear position on immigration may mean for his campaign.
- CNN - State of the Union. The guest list for the June 24, 2012, edition of CNN's "State of the Union" program included Senior Romney Campaign Advisor Ed Gillespie, who declined several times to respond directly to questions from host Candy Crowley about whether Governor Romney would leave the President's DREAM Act Prosecutorial Discretion order in place while he works out a permanent solution. Instead, Gillespie contended that there is a question about the legality of President Obama's initiative and that a President Romney would review a number of executive branch actions like the DREAM Act Prosecutorial Discretion initiative with an eye toward reviewing and repealing them.
Also appearing on the program were Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Task Force on Immigration, and former Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, who was a leader under President George W. Bush pushing for enactment of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. During their appearances, Secretary Gutierrez contended that the Obama initiative is a patchwork effort and that Governor Romney wants a permanent solution to immigration, derided members of the Republican party who have said things insulting to Latinos, and excoriated President Obama for high levels of unemployment among Latinos, saying that the President has not delivered and that "they have been playing with Latinos." Representative Gutierrez criticized Governor Romney for "hiring the architect of the discriminatory Arizona law as an advisor" and for calling for "self deportation" of undocumented aliens. He criticized Gillespie's call for a "review and repeal" of Obama executive actions. He said that two-thirds of Americans support the Obama initiative. And he called on Governor Romney to respond to questions about whether he would deport DREAM Act children.
FOX - FOX News Sunday. The guest list during the roundtable segment of the June 24, 2012, edition of FOX's "FOX News Sunday" included Brit Hume, Fox News Senior Political Analyst; Jeff Zeleny, Political Correspondent for The New York Times; Nicolle Wallace, Former Adviser to the 2008 McCain Presidential Campaign; and Kirsten Powers, a Columnist for The Daily Beast and a Fox News Contributor. While the panelists did not discuss the subject of immigration during the broadcast, they participated in an extended discussion of immigration and the Latino vote during their "Panel Plus" web-version of the program.
- NBC - Meet the Press. The guest list for the June 24 2012, edition of NBC's "Meet the Press" program included Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), who former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA) last week said was being "thoroughly vetted" as a possible Vice Presidential running mate. Senator Rubio spoke extensively about the politics of immigration during his appearance on the program, saying that he had to grapple with Arizona's SB 1070 during his 2010 Senate campaign and that, while he was not initially comfortable with it, he came to understand Arizona's need for the legislation. The freshman Senator asserted, as he has in the past, that Arizona's law is constitutional but that it should not be a model for other states. The Senator also spoke about the DREAM Act, which he said he cannot support, about the version of the measure that he was drafting before President Obama announced his DREAM Act prosecutorial discretion initiative, about the President's initiative, and about President Obama's and Governor Romney's immigration policies and record.
Appearing during the roundtable segment of the program were former Governor (and for Representative) Bill Richardson (D-NM); Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform; Jonathan Martin, Senior Political Reporter for POLITICO; and NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell, all of whom participated in an extended and spirited discussion about the politics of immigration.