NY Times: GOP Tries to Appease Jorge Ramos on Immigration

From the New York Times:

For years, Mr. Ramos largely aimed his ire at President Obama for breaking his 2008 campaign promise — made directly to Mr. Ramos — that he would propose an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system in his first year in office, and for deporting two million people since. Even after Mr. Obama announced late last year that nearly half of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants could apply to work without fear of deportation, Mr. Ramos confronted him during a Nashville forum for having “destroyed many families” by not acting sooner.

But Mr. Ramos’s focus has changed, he said in an interview here: “Now is the turn of Republicans.”

This weekend, the Spanish-language Univision, and Fusion, its English-language venture with ABC News, will cover the first gathering of 2016 Republican presidential aspirants, at a conservative forum in Des Moines on Saturday organized by Representative Steve King of Iowa. Mr. King, an immigration hard-liner, is well known to Latinos for remarks like one claiming that most young border-crossers have “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana.”

That coverage follows Mr. Ramos’s in-depth reporting last week of House Republicans’ vote to block Mr. Obama’s immigration orders and deport up to four million people, mainly so-called Dreamers brought to the United States as children and the parents of American citizens. Given Republicans’ immigration stance, Mr. Ramos expects to cover more such stories through 2016.

And that has some Republicans worried.

“Remember what L.B.J. said, ‘When you lose Walter Cronkite, you’ve lost the war’?” said Matthew Dowd, a campaign adviser to George W. Bush, recalling the oft-cited if disputed story that President Lyndon B. Johnson said he lost “middle America” when Cronkite turned against the Vietnam War. Among Latino voters, Mr. Ramos has the sort of influence and audience that Cronkite had more broadly among Americans in his day.

Mr. Ramos is “not only a journalist, he’s become the voice of the Latino constituency,” Mr. Dowd said. “And that’s where Republicans have to worry — you don’t want to lose Jorge Ramos.”

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