Obama to Latinos: Romney ‘uncertain’ about immigration reform plans

(Carolyn Kaster/AP)President Barack Obama, under tough questioning at a Univision-hosted forum in Miami on Thursday, defended his failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform during his first term in office.

"My first priority was making sure that we prevented us from going into a Great Depression," Obama said after Univision host Jorge Ramos bluntly told the president he had failed to keep his promise to pass immigration reform.

"I did not make a promise that I would get everything done, 100 percent," Obama said, adding that the issue remains a "top priority" for his administration.

The president also took a shot at GOP rival Mitt Romney's suggestion that Obama supporters—which Romney estimated to be 47 percent of the country—have a "victim" mentality and are reliant on government handouts.

"When you express an attitude that half the country considers itself victims, that somehow they want to be dependent on government, my thinking is, maybe you haven't gotten around a lot," Obama said, describing Americans as some of "the hardest-working people there are." "People want a hand up, not a handout."

Obama's comments came a day after Romney participated in the first of the Spanish-language network's two forums. The Republican presidential nominee had also come under tough questioning about his immigration policies.

Obama additionally cast blame on congressional Republicans, saying he was "naïve" to think the opposing party would work with him on the issue. He told Univision he was not "all powerful" and simply didn't have the votes to pass the bill without the support of GOP lawmakers.

"One of my first acts was to invite every single member of Congress who had previously been supportive comprehensive immigration reform to the White House and say to them, 'We need to get this done,'" Obama said. "What I confess I did not expect... is that Republicans who had previously supported comprehensive immigration reform … suddenly would walk away."

Obama also insisted that his executive action earlier this year that allows young immigrants brought into the country illegally by their parents to obtain work visas without fear of deportation was not politically motivated, as Romney has suggested.

"I was winning the Latino vote before we took that action," Obama said, acknowledging polls that show him leading Romney among Hispanic voters by more than 40 points. And Romney, he said, who has criticized Obama for failing to deliver on immigration reform, is "uncertain about what his plan for immigration reform would be."

Obama added that "the issue here for voters is whose vision best represents the aspirations not just of the Latino community, but of all Americans who believe that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. And that candidate I believe is talking to you right now."

Comments on Yahoo pages are subject to our link to Comments Guidelines. You are responsible for any content that you post. Yahoo is not responsible or liable in any way for comments posted by its users. Yahoo does not in any way endorse or support comments made by its users.

  • MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer The Malaysian Insider
    MH370 passenger’s partner tells of strange email from sacked Fox officer

    The partner of an American passenger aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has spoken about how a Fox executive who was recently sacked by the news station had contacted her offering to raise funds on her behalf. Sarah Bajc, whose partner Philip Wood is among the 239 people on board the missing plane, told the Sydney Morning Herald... …

  • The Poop on Pooping: 5 Misconceptions Explained LiveScience.com

    Here is the truth behind five common misconceptions about defecating. Misconception No. 1: Daily pooping is normal, and optimal. …

  • Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears The Malaysian Insider
    Dr Ling’s son chose wine over woman, court hears

    The son of former MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik today reached an out of court settlement with his ex-girlfriend in a breach of contract suit over seven properties registered under their joint names. Ling Hee Leong and businesswoman Teh Chee Yen agreed to settle out of court after he took the stand briefly and testified that he had chosen... …