President Obama says he is "confident" that, if reelected, he will oversee passage of immigration reform next year, in part because Republicans will have an interest in reaching out to a growing Latino voting bloc they have "alienated" in recent years.
Mr. Obama made the comment in an off-the-record phone conversation with the publisher and editor of the Des Moines Register days ahead of that newspaper's scheduled announcement of an endorsement in the presidential race. After the Register's editor publicly argued that the 30-minute conversation should be available to all voters, the Obama campaign released the transcript.
"The second thing I'm confident we'll get done next year is immigration reform," Mr. Obama told the newspaper. "And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And this is a relatively new phenomenon. George Bush and Karl Rove were smart enough to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly confident that they're going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And I want to get it done because it's the right thing to do and I've cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008."