The Democratic Party in Tomorrow's America

Latino Democrats discuss the Hispanic surge and the new landscape of American politics.
3:00 | 09/05/12

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Transcript for The Democratic Party in Tomorrow's America
Good afternoon good afternoon and welcome. My name is Ron Brownstein and I the editorial director of National Journal. And relatively here this afternoon also a political analyst for ABC. And an admirer and friend Univision. We are here today to talk about the Democratic Party in tomorrow's America the Hispanic surge and the new landscape. Of American politics. I don't have to tell the people in this room. That we are living through the most profound demographic change in the United States is the melting pot -- at the turn of the twentieth century. In many ways the twenty consensus. Was a postcard from the future in 1980 whites represented about four fifths of America's population. By 2000 it was 69%. In 2010 it'd fallen to 63 point 7% Hispanics alone. Now constitute one in six Americans as is often the case the pace of change is greatest among the top. Today 47% of Americans under AT and are nonwhite. You know we all kind of have a sense that sometime in the distant future after 2040 we are on track to be a majority minority nation. But in the under eighteen population projections are that we will be majority minority as soon as a few years after 20/20 and in fact. Over the past year from July 2010 -- July 2011 we passed an historic tipping point. Where a majority of the newborns in the United States were non -- This repulsive change is not only deepening diversity in places that are accustomed to like Miami and Phoenix and Los Angeles and Dallas. It is spreading diversity to places that had not really -- very much of it in their history. From 2000 to 2010 the Hispanic share of the population increased in every state. It accounted for majority of the population increase in eighteen states and at least 40% is seven others. This is bringing new flavors to places that we have long considered the demographic equivalent of white bread and mayonnaise. In Des Moines, Iowa or all of us who cover politics -- spent our share of time. Half the kids indicated twelve system are now non -- This transformation hasn't made its weight felt as quickly in the political arena but inexorably the demography is leading an imprint their -- When Bill Clinton was first elected 12% of the vote was -- white and 88% of the vote was cast by whites. When Barack Obama was elected 74%. Of the vote was cast by whites and 26%. Of the vote. Was cast by non whites Hispanics -- 2% of the vote. In 1990 -- and 9%. In 2008 and the best estimate is at 50000 Hispanic young people who were born in the US and our citizens turn eighteen every month. And we'll do so for at least the next twenty years in whites and minorities voted the same way they did in 2008. But were present in the proportions they were in 1992. John McCain not Barack Obama would be seeking re election. This year instead Barack Obama became the first nominee. Ever. To lose whites by double digits and win the White House this year he could lose them -- even more and still win. We are here today to talk about the impact of these momentous changes on policy and politics in America. At National Journal we have for years place a special emphasis on illuminating. The implications of these trends most recently through our next America website at our next America supplements to National Journal magazine. I hope you'll take the opportunity to find that our website. Our friends at ABC and Univision are also keenly attuned to these changes are launching an unprecedented project. A joint website and 24/7 cable network to address the growing Hispanic population in English. And to talk about that and our program today. I want to turn over the the podium here to my colleagues Jake Tapper who is the senior White House correspondent for ABC news in a regular host. This week. And Maria Elena Salinas who is the anchor of Univision network news. A radio commentator a syndicated columnist. And the most recognized. Female Hispanic journalists probably not only in America but the America is as well before before I gave you that the Mike to both of you talk about. Your thoughts and and your project is well -- divide our. Will people watching to join us at hash tag. 2012. DNC so -- that -- and Maria Elena. It's a pleasure to be here -- some really and an honor. On the special session and and to start -- talking about the joint venture with Univision and ABC. We are thrilled at Univision for this joint venture for for several reasons not only because we're working with such a professional group of of journalist and an ABC. But also because this will give us an opportunity to -- that part of of the Hispanic population that is is either English dominant or would like to here. What's going on around the world. In -- in new language as you said. -- Hispanics are very young population. Every thirty seconds again -- turns eighteen they become adults and the growth of the Hispanic community has come more from. Hispanic born from you is born then form from immigrants. But -- more than that I think it would be an opportunity also to reach out to mainstream media. But you just know about Latinos we know our issues and I think this is an opportunity for for people out there. To understand always this -- sector that is growing so rapidly. That the fastest growing sector of of the population and also of the electorate. What are our trials and tribulations are what our contributions to this to this country's I think in a way this this seven joint ventures contributing. The democratic process in this country. It's it's -- It's it's such a fascinating year to be talking about McCain -- and politics. Obviously with both the democratic and the Republican conventions we've seen. A real. Demonstration of of both parties trying to reach out to these communities. Whether it is Marco Rubio with his prominent speaking or -- governor. Martinez. Or of course are our own our guest of honor table over there. Mayor Castro. We've seen both parties really trying to reach out. One of the things it seems very interesting to me is while we have this happening I think its. Fair to say that that Mitt Romney has. On immigration reform the most conservative position. Of any. Republican presidential nominee at least going back to the seventies. One of the reasons for that that might be counter intuitive this is he's the first. Republican nominee not from a border state. Not from California Arizona or Texas and counter intuitively that might actually be one of the reasons why that is. Does this say a few words about the joint venture with Univision and I'm obviously thrilled to be here with Maria -- -- she is a broadcast giants. Known and admired by millions and millions of Latinos who tune in every -- her program she and her colleagues have brought their expertise. Two ABC news to our programs to talk about important stories from the election in Mexico. Two obviously. The interest in the and of Latinos in America are. In the coming months ABC news and Univision are going to be working even more closely together. As -- two companies get ready to launch a new news entertainment and lifestyle network on -- this fall. And on air. Next year over the first network with culturally. Relevant programming -- not just news but -- current events music politics food entertainment health wellness. In English for the fastest growing demographic and US fifty million Hispanics -- -- it's a real pleasure entry to be sitting next hour. -- like rice of course I will I'm very proud to keep -- off this session into just someone who is -- shining star. You've been hearing for weeks and weeks and weeks about this young Latino mayor from San Antonio that would be. The key note speaker. At this convention. And if he was the first Hispanic at a Democratic Convention. Definitely a lot of expectation after in 2004 Barack Obama. Became that the speaker and four years later the precedent. But now we have here with -- someone and we want to make sure we see your hand first because I want to make sure that you are joining Castro and -- walking -- -- that you can tell them apart. Mayor quirky cast the public could excessive. It's great to see you you did a great job -- -- had an opportunity to interview -- a couple of weeks ago in San Antonio. And you really try to. Put. -- little bit -- from the expectations. That he said I am not Barack Obama I had I will would do this my way and I think a lot of people would agree that you did do this you what you did. We were able to talk about the opportunities are available in this countries to so many. But I have to begin to ask you tell me about your daughter because I think she upstaged -- last night. -- -- Is three years old and of course -- was getting yesterday to. That part of my speech about. Sort of passing that the towards the next generation and now I would tell current -- -- I get yours in the told that when I was pretty -- when we -- of brigade their first implicated today. And I was on that line which is really the apex of the whole speech like the most emotional poignant line. And that the Jumbotron as her flipping her hair. That everybody starts laughing and I'm same offense and what you're not supposed to laugh at -- But sees -- he knew -- he knew about yesterday it was you make -- -- speeds. And so I think -- -- the -- in the years to com when she gets to see that it understated on videos to have a really great time somebody gave me good -- this morning. That I should save that for her wedding reception one day and then play that for everybody. Yes he made history and so did -- -- do have a very high profile role in this convention and as -- mentioned before in 2004 it was president Barack Obama. Who gave that speech and -- became president but. Several other. People who have given keynote speeches have run for president eventually. Are your interest in running for president. Now and that's not gonna happen. -- they're also a lot of folks more folks who were given the speech and gone nowhere. Hence no there's -- that there have been some folks who who have gone places. And people ask that. All the way up there yesterday and even now of course with. I've never woken -- on any -- in my life and said I wanna be president of the United States you know I got into politics. Because I wanted to. Make the community that I came from. A great city. And I have a real competitive streak for San Antonio. And the fact is that we have 29 statewide offices in Texas and the -- between Republicans and Democrats is twenty ninth zero. So something has to change in the state of Texas and lot deals have to vote -- -- -- much greater rate than their voting right now. In order for any Democrat not just need to think that they're -- elected statewide. There. For many people I think the most powerful and resonant image in your speech. Was when you said that the American dream is not a sprint or even a marathon it's a relay. Among generations and if you think in that context how would you assess. The trajectory the generational trajectory for the Hispanic population the US you look at educational. And economic attainment how -- the relay going. I believe bit that America is working its magic. On. This demographic group the way that it has on others. That that that. Upward trajectory is happening in the Latino community let's -- take it through education. Just recently we saw -- new numbers on a surge in enrollment. Among Latinos in college. We have more Latinos today who are getting their Ph.D.s hitting their masters graduating from college graduated from high school thankfully. Than we did when my mother was growing up. In in the field of in the realm of business the fastest growing segment of business owners are -- beat us. In the United States which is great. And elected officials -- -- will tell you that since the early eighties. The number of a lot -- an elected office if you take everything from you know senate. Two school board level has tripled. So there's a progress that's been made. However we also have issues like SB 1070 in Arizona and voter ID laws that are being passed. And this -- Response -- you're seen in places like Alabama. So I think it's mostly been forward progress you're seeing that intergenerational progress my family is an example of that and that's what I told yesterday. But sometimes least we take a couple steps back like you've seen recently. One more question and -- your mother was a well known political activist but it worked essentially as an activist outside the system working inside. The -- talk a little bit about how you are perspective of how social changes achieved differs from hers. Well you know my mother grew up in a different time my mother grew up when she would get punished for speaking Spanish and schools she went to Catholic school for sixteen straight years. You know at a time when she was a girl that you would still see signs word and in Texas news no Mexicans are dogs allowed you know -- -- -- -- A time of overt discrimination. Statutory discrimination still. It's it's very different and so of course her outlook. And in her participation -- -- -- -- -- movement I think was fitting for that time you needed a group out there like in any. Any any movement of progress you get half votes -- state -- you know we're gonna protest we're gonna try get folks to vote we. Something needs to change now. And so I'm very proud of that. When I got elected mayor the first thing that I did on the Sunday that I got to move in. Was I put up 1971 campaign poster when she ran for City Council. Having said that. The blessing that I have as a younger -- -- -- is that my generation were the beneficiaries. Of her work her generation's war. The the good hard news good hearted in this in ability of Americans to become better. As people as a nation you know that has been a blessing to the younger generation and we see the glasses as half full by instinct you know and perhaps. We're we're. Proud of our heritage were also able to operate you know in the corporate courtroom but also in the legislative chamber out neighborhoods. There's a new exciting generation of folks. Who who because the times have changed do have. A different approach. So it seems likely. That Ted Cruz will be elected. To the US senate from Texas from your home state of Texas and and if that happens. He will be I believe the fifth. Statewide. Elected official. Who -- Latino and Republicans if you count the governor of Puerto Rico it's five. And meanwhile the Democratic Party only has one in terms of senators and and and governors. Senator Menendez of New Jersey. He referred to from the National Association of Latino Elected Officials a second ago. And yes there are many more with an elected officials were Democrats -- -- Republicans but not statewide. And the executive director of on the way have said this has been a consistent Achilles heel for the Democratic Party. They haven't been nurturing of Hispanic leadership. I'm wondering if you think that that's the problem why Republicans outpace Democrats so much when it comes to looking as they -- officials and also win. Can we look for taxes to be a purple state because of the changing demographics do you see that in the next ten years pointing -- thirty. Well I would say that both parties in and they both parties historically probably did did not do a good enough job of outreach to Latino community and cultivating leadership within the community. I believe that the jury's still -- -- regard to the effect. The wellspring of Latinos statewide candidates on the Republican side and I say that because if you if we start actually getting into the mechanics of when these folks got elected. It was basically in the 2010 cycle a Tea Party cycle of you know historical wave of folks who rode into office and then. I think that Tea Party cycle was -- -- delayed in Texas and so we're seeing that -- Terry crews now. So and I commend all the folks governor son of -- governor Martinez senator rubio. Probably have who knows but senator maybe senator crews. The issue is not the personalities the issue really is the policies that's why. Present Obama is leading seven -- point five in the polls but there's your question about Texas. I believe that within the -- the next six to eight years that when you're gonna see is it is the acceleration of that state in new purple state. For two reasons the growth of the Latino community that is growing faster than a community. There was. Six the think sixty -- percent of the growth in the last decade but secondly public policy polling had a fascinating cross tabs about a week and a half ago and. Poll on Virginia. Usually don't see this in polls that -- republic. Reported publicly but it took Virginia for Romney vs Obama and Obama was beating Romney in Virginia fifty to 45. But among folks who lived in Virginia. For at least -- -- years Romney was winning 5145. Among folks who would only lived there ten years Obama was beating. Romney 67 to 29. So the irony here is this. -- -- Texas has done relatively well. During these last couple of years of downturn and over the last couple of decades that state has been growing like crazy it's one of the fastest growing states. You have people moving in from moderate states into Texas in the Harris County Travis County -- county Dallas County. The combination of those two factors the growing Latino vote and the growing number of people who come from more moderate places. Are gonna change that state within the next sixty years by pointing pointing at the latest. United -- point one. -- me during our interview that -- Latinos have done one of the lowest have one of the lowest voting. Patterson the country hot do you believe percent say that they vote twenty -- that put -- five times less likely to vote. 30% net and as a bit there was a fascinating -- the other day that in California Latinos -- vote. At 10% less the rate of the -- than the rate of the mainstream voters angle voter. That in Texas it's 25%. Less so even lot -- state Filipinos stage you wonder what the world is going on why and how do you change that. -- well I think you change that through their. Old fashioned. Voter registration drives voter turnout drives. You know you Ron and I were talking about this off -- he had a very good point about unionization. Unionization -- unions is much stronger in California and Texas. They traditionally -- mobilize their votes. But also. I'm convinced that this is to tie it back to what you guys are doing that one of the most untapped segments in terms of trying to reach them. Of Latinos has been in this second generation third generation Latino that is not Spanish dominant. That is the English dominant at the same time the campaigns and really advertised as well but corporate America better than the campaigns. The campaigns have not been speaking. -- advertising. To that group of folks because they think that. Dave Dave you know generally folks think that they got advertise in Spanish and that's hitting the -- -- -- And then they don't want to mix their messages in English -- you're gonna have for the first time with this effort in a couple of others. A channel that really is getting -- be aimed at English dominant. Latinos and a broader audience but is -- to reach that that. Demographic. That is it is it I think under appreciated. But can be -- very influential way. That the campaigns can can -- and mobilize a group. There right now isn't mobilize I would just -- -- one last point it was fascinating to see the breakdown of polling in terms of generational support for these candidates. And present Obama's support was strongest with new immigrant knew you knew were immigrants and weaker with second and third and fourth generation Latinos. -- that's exactly the folks that this. This new ventures to hit the English -- crowd. So with all of that and with good grassroots efforts. I believe that you have a formula there for and being in the long run the Latino vote. Natalie going on seconds which it was at one of the things you wanted to ask the mayor now I do I was. Like millions of Americans Google -- -- yesterday to find a little bit more. And I came across a very you Google my twin brother -- got life. I came across a very usual story that a move like Dave have you share with everybody about. The parade incidents and 2005. Which reminded me of an episode of the Brady -- once. Where your brother actually. Was mistaken for you in a parade and became I wouldn't call it scandal that occur -- -- order of the Spanish word for her for awful us. So I know bloody dollar familiar with San Antonio. And you know that one of our big interest yes right -- -- attended. And so it's Antonio there actually two different river parades. And each time the City Council gets a barge line and I was on the City Council at this time running for mayor and I what you can take family members I would always take my brother. It was -- campaign at the last minute I decided not to go. You know not to go on the parade but my brother was still there. And he stayed on the barge he was already in the Bartz told the people there -- was but the announcer. Just announced all of the City Council members. As if all of us were there. And so my political opponents were also on the -- -- one of whom was -- started seeing that we tried to from people like it that he would -- me. So we -- we're not trying to do that nobody believed as you know because it was too good of a story. So we end up like Good Morning America The Today Show -- the early show. I had you know I've been. It's very up and down for seven years now that we didn't try to do that we only -- to -- one teacher in high school one time. It may get harder after last night -- -- Thank you very much for joining us what you. Why are you our next guest Maria Elena you have -- media. Trivia when he was -- -- -- -- talking about -- using about second and third generation that the innocent and that is a target audience said that the one hit with this. We have a couple of to get -- -- many Hispanics are eligible. Two votes in the US sit fourteen million as of five million -- -- two million or twenty million. I know at least fifty people out -- that know the answer. Are eligible Ellen I'll be eligible voter -- very good ambassadors at a fan you -- -- when the centerpiece. I we analysts expected -- to anything really what what's interesting is that there are fifteen million that are registered in only twelve point two million. That are expected to vote which means -- and there's still a lot of work to be done to get twenty million that are eligible. And -- in many of the states that could definitely make a difference and if that units are already making a difference in. A lot of races that we saw that in Nevada. In the last senate race that could mix up their defense could be so much more if they registered to -- I think that's one of the biggest challenges is here. And -- talk about some -- yes there is questioned you know whether we're gonna hit that twelve million figure there's dispute among some of the Hispanic political activists about whether we're gonna get that high. Let's bring up our next -- panelists frank Sharry. Is the founder and exactly her executive director of America's voice a group that works on immigration issues previously he served. For seventeen years as executive director of the national immigration forum. Where you can at the -- every immigration debate since the Clinton administration and Janet Moore dia is the president of the National Council of La Raza. And has also been centrally involved. In many of these. Issues and frank let let me start with you because well I wanna talk a little -- president Obama's record. In this area and as we will discuss an album we will discuss the view is well on. With are later panelists. Into the question of what happened or didn't happen on comprehensive immigration reform in 2009 and 2010. Responsibility is kind of diffuse and it is a big legislature whether he pushed hard enough and so forth. But enforcement enforcement of the immigration laws are under his control under his administration control. How do you assess the record. The Obama administration on the enforcement of immigration laws and in particular. What has happened in the last year since they have announced their administrative guidance to revise the policy. Well I think. President Obama came in with the intention of following through on the promise that he made in front of the and -- our conference. July of 2008. As a candidate -- gonna make it a priority in his first year. Quite frankly I don't think he expected the lack of Republican cooperation on every issue. But we have to be -- did not make it a priority. Health care priority he made other -- apparently came in with the idea that. This sort of an old notion -- that yet tough enforcement. And a willingness to deal Republicans would come to the table. That was sort of the formula that had been president 20062007. When bills almost passed. But the ground shifted under them. And I think -- -- was caught up in an old conventional wisdom. That if Democrats really lead to immigration it would rally conservatives her that -- swing voters and put Democrats on the defensive. That was position that was famously enunciated by Rahm Emanuel back in the day he's now most pro -- mayor in this in the country but at the time. He's a Democrat should steer clear this issue I think the dreamer decision. Is kind of a turning point I think the Obama crowd got. That they've -- the lead into the issue. You know skin in the game take a chance. And see what the reaction would be we predicted. And thankfully it turned out this way. That in fact the reaction among Republicans would be divided in defensive. That swing voters don't vote on immigration and that I would rally Latinos and progressive. I want to comment I didn't think I get a lot of credit to President Obama. Early in the Yunnan and agreed to do the deferred action but quite frankly in ironically. It was one senator Marco Rubio. Who had an idea. That was framed around these principles. And I think in the end gave copper. To this president to be able to move forward because as senator rubio was putting out this notion. And really trying to -- the rest of his party quietly and behind the scenes to figure this out. It really was an opportunity that Senator Obama took advantage of and gave -- that. The chance to lean into it and I think they were overwhelmed and surprised. By the reaction not only among. Hispanics and and the broader. Constituencies but I think even the fact that there wasn't as much attack from the right. Where talented forever my colleagues and Franklin is follow up though he now the broader issue not the dreamers but the broader secure communities program. Use your organization has put out press releases as -- recently as this summer. Expressing concern. About the way it is still be implemented a year after the president said he was shifting course. What is your sense of how that program is unfolding what are your concerns about it what have they changed what haven't they changed. DHS has gotten the memo from the White House and what the White House priorities me be blunt. The White House -- that clearly. That their priorities to go after the bad guys the worst of the worst. And yet secure communities is the programs -- sources in fourth priorities to local police. Many areas that means. A mother with a broken taillight is getting swept up in the dragnet. And detain and deport meaning that many. Cases people that the president promised to. Egypt. The deportation. The trust acting California's attempt. To give local control of these efforts so they don't have -- undermine civil rights and public safety. I think quite frankly -- -- second term in Africa. Dramatically changed their enforcement practices that they line up with the priorities that they -- announced an -- -- like -- back to the 2007. Immigration. Reform. Effort because. Beyond the principles that you are fighting for are the politics. And I think it's it's tough to argue that. Anything other than John McCain risked a lot to push for to push immigration reform. And if for those of us who follow the senate imaginations closely -- Obama straight off the reservation a few times in that coalition voting for poison pill. Amendments. That the coalition did not support the McCain Kennedy did not support. -- believe reportedly he heard from some of his democratic colleagues about that. And yet when it came to election time John McCain did horribly with Latino voters. Felt abandoned by the Latino groups that he felt he had been fighting for. And -- probably. The most but it's not the most certainly one of the most negative ads that ran in 2008. Was a Spanish language ad that tried to link John McCain two views of -- Rush Limbaugh. Not even fairly taking the views of trust Limbaugh in context but even if one were to think that -- Limbaugh had said those things in that context. To -- -- hates John McCain so it made no sense whatsoever and John McCain the politics of it. He he abandoned. Efforts at immigration reform after the election as far as I can tell. And frankly just not talking with the principal just the politics how can you blame him he -- completely abandoned by Latino groups. I would say that his party abandoned him and we saw in the primaries. Leading up to his nomination. You know you had. Rudy Giuliani and Tom Tancredo. Trying to outdo each other in terms of their extreme rhetoric which was anti Hispanic anti email. I think it became a weight that he couldn't overcome as he was heading into the nomination. And he realized that he couldn't completely fulfill. The positions that he had taken early on and he had no choice but I think. This is really every reflection. Of the Republican -- still be -- at great odds in terms of reconciling how hearkening gauge the Latino community overall. And how are they -- deal with this issue then there's great dysfunction. Still -- played out. On this issue and we have to. Understand that if the Republicans -- Gains strength. And grow as a party. They're gonna have to figure out how to deal with the issue of immigration and they're certainly gonna have to reach out and engage -- let you know community. On a broader set of -- an agenda issues as well. But if you this way I'm a moderate Republican senator. Convince me that it's worth my time to do this not for principle but for politics -- the politics gonna help me at all. Well I I think that. If -- moderate Republican senator I'd really like to find you out there but. With them without okay. We've seen this yet. There are encouraged. By I've heard from senator Marco Rubio I don't agree with him substantively. On ultimately a lot of vehicles that he has in mind. Last year when. Large gathering of Republican leaders many Hispanic leaders as. Find ways to change arc tunnel and to be much more thoughtful about how -- solved this problem. Leadership with Republican Party that's understand that the been talking about the way they've been talking about immigrants it is counterproductive. To them. And circles as a party. Interest deal with its immigration issue it -- get past it and be able to do more with the community and I think for us. McCain lot of credit I know he was disappointed in that final outcome. But really I don't think it was a reflection about him and his principles and I think that way we're -- the Eagles are eager to see. Leaders on both sides of the aisle and I think hurt by the fact that more Latinos are -- In it. In both parties because. When we robust representation in both sides of well parties is where I ultimately we're gonna get to a solution. Multiple -- and especially the last poll by in print media and that's in the decisions that. The number one issue of protecting us is the economy and jobs and the number tuition now -- an immigration not education health -- in in previous polls. So what -- -- Latino voter to do when you perceive. One party to be hostile to -- the nose and the other one to have broken promises. This really hurts the Latino vote when people think well maybe I should just stay home and not go out and vote. How do you address that. -- This is -- that Matt experiment and if the Republican ticket of today. Jeb Bush is Martinez. Imagine the discussion we'd be having about the Latino vote being -- We're not -- Obama mishandled this issue. Too much and fourth and none of the gain made a strong comeback with -- relief. Let's be honest it's the dreamers the credit they deserve fourth in the active. They responded to. Is that a good idea that came from the White House was it inevitable idea that came from the grass roots but. Let. What what -- the Latino vote -- that cares about immigration. Has a choice now between someone who didn't do enough to keep its promises. But put some skin in the game -- at a at a crucial moment. And a candidate who wants to embrace the Arizona laws support self deportation. And and and you know wants to veto the dream. Contrast couldn't be clear. As as -- sometimes that people are disappointed -- -- of -- terrified of Ron. But that isn't enough to really get them to get out of the house that day and go and vote I know that and -- participates in and programs with other civic organizations even with -- to. Get people to register to vote and then to go out and vote -- -- get people to go out and vote this time around it seems like. You said in the beginning we might not even reach the to -- -- point two million. Voters -- I do think that we have to do more. And the -- of San Antonio's -- it to. To create a culture of civic participation. In Latino community. And I do think that we have seen great progress. We have to recognize that this is not necessary something that's gonna change over night and I think this mentality that somehow. In one election everything's initiative entirely. Is is not plausible. 162020. Strategy to make sure -- -- We have campaigns underway. On its. It's an important role where recognize that you have to do more in terms of -- -- -- voters are blocked until there is broad campaign that guys like -- is something that we continued. And -- are all elements. Picture books -- citizens registered. Voters and polls on election. Our issue and working to -- those as we get into. Election Day. Just one last thing what are the risks of -- not going -- to vote. Will -- get the same attention to from the party six parties realize that if if if all they can do is try to -- -- undermine their vote by making history and -- Formula -- -- executable for the other -- What does that mean with elected I think we have to recognize that as. -- as immigration is and it is important addition. The economy and jobs is also an issue and a lot of folks I think are just solutions not just the -- -- -- community and it'll be interesting to see what the turnout rate is overall. Obviously as -- the -- we have a lot at stake. Other folks have a lot at stake to I hope we're not in my dreams and the one that moves you -- well so I think that we're working hard to make sure people understand what's at stake here. But for us. Ultimately. I think that if we -- continued progress. In terms of art turn out we're not going to be. But respected and happen clout that -- and need to change the politics and the policies that a. -- asked about -- -- -- have a minute left but the president says time magazine last week well in the second term. I can get this done. On immigration reform part of the reason they didn't act in the first term was fear among about losing some of the more rural and blue collar -- represented by blue dog Democrats and others what what. Even without acting on immigration losing most of the season when -- -- anyway so what would be different and 82013. Environment. That the that you think would allow this to move forward more realistically that it -- in his first two years. One I think if Obama wins in the Latino vote is the factor it's expected to be and I think both the Democrats and the Republicans we'll see the issue differently. Victims -- Obama administration be much more willing to lean into it hard. And I think you might see people like John McCain and Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio begin to reassert that moderate strain republicanism -- for immigration reform. That could lead to a break. But I think the most important thing is that by -- -- acting on the executive action for dreamers would. When he convenes Republicans and Democrats in 2000 -- team if he's elected it's -- -- It worked together on legislation. And you could share the credit and continue to take executive action and Atlantic UniCredit. And taking the risk. Your choice is put them in a much stronger position actually the -- decision not only important for the more than million people are going to be protected. But he could sew the seeds for a series of actions that lead eleven million -- -- Janet. Thank you so much for joining us. You -- want to welcome our next guest. You don't wanted to do trivia question -- trivia question or at -- request -- my next guest comedy US born Hispanics turn eighteen every month. Making them eligible to vote and I think and it given it away. Today sent out a that we are to do with the Kurdistan and I. Won't might work my questions I spoke -- American Maria -- in my mind that we're very complicated. Our -- net migration. Take a number of Mexicans who immigrated to the United States. And subtract the number of Mexicans who moved from the US to Mexico. Between 2005 and 2010 how many do you yet. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I'd like to call on states now congressman as -- here they are concerned there are there -- -- on. There's that handsome income -- out. First elected. Courtesy of just by -- -- a brief introduction and first elected to congress in 92 -- seeking his eleventh term from California. In Los Angeles he's the vice chair of the house Democratic Caucus sits on the powerful Ways and Means Committee and is a member and former chair. Of the Hispanic caucus thanks so much for joining I'll go right in. Do you I -- -- this is sodium pentothal putting in your arm right now. What happens with immigration reform if President Obama is reelected. Assuming that congress. Stays pretty much the same house Republicans control that chamber. And you know close split but -- senate Democrat. -- control what happens Jake. You use the wrong where to start the question. It's not if -- when and and it makes no difference if it's a Democrat in the White House are Republican we're going to get immigration reform. Is just a matter of when you have a Democrat it's a lot faster. And I believe that President Obama. We'll get it done in this next -- with or without Republican help. Because quite honestly I believe that Republicans and I can even when these days I'll name them. There -- a lot of conservative Republicans. We're tired this. They want to move on it like to do. What is right for the country because they see what this does they they are now surrounded by these immigrants as well and they're ready. It's just. Right now. They are in the grips of this minority within their majority in the House of Representatives in. They can't get -- -- the -- -- Is that how different though is that minority within the majority in the experience you had in 2009 and 2010 you were in the rose. Democrats had their biggest majority since the 1970s. In the house and the senate. Why would why was the decision made not to move forward with the immigration reform in 22 and once health care was off the table. Because remember we were drinking from a fire -- We were trying to figure out how do you get eight million people back to work we're trying to figure out how do you stop millions of Americans from losing their home. We're trying to figure out how you find its credit for small businesses in America -- trying to figure out how you finally tell a woman that she had a preexisting condition. The -- your insurance company -- -- and we wanted to figure out how we. -- that called immigration. So retrieved from a fire hydrant and quite honestly we -- quite a bit Health Care Reform yes economic Recovery Act yes we also in the House of Representatives. The energy reform -- that you found time for cap and trade. Which was not an immediate. Response to the economic crisis and obviously absolutely -- absolutely woods. You remember the price of energy was going up while peoples' income -- going down. We need to crack this -- on energy because the -- there and everybody -- you -- you can get the balance budgets in the future. You -- -- -- -- question from a different angle -- Emory on a jump in. -- their voices were you and others advocating. Going forward with the immigration while you had these large majorities and what was the response are given about why it did not come -- absolute. There -- a conversation with the president where we -- races and say you promise. And the president said I absolutely did. Have you ever once heard the president back away from the problems. That was pretty gutsy back in 2008 to make promises that candidate on an issue which Republicans was a winner for them to go after him -- The president is committed to it but let. You situated to this story of what happened let me tell you. Democrats passed immigration reform we called the DREAM Act we passed in the House of Representatives we passed the bill and in this and -- -- what. They passed the bill in the senate it just never got to go to the president because of the procedural maneuver Republicans employee called the filibuster which required that. In the senate majority would not rule which is what Americans think happens in the United States of America that if you get a majority. Democracy you you you do stuff well 55 out of a hundred that's a clear majority says yes to the DREAM Act in the senate. But because -- republic -- that -- I don't know. For that but we're gonna require sixty. For the filibuster it never got to the president. To stay on the stain on the same issue pres Obama has again promised immigration reform. But if he just -- if it continues to have a Republican congress. He can't keep that promise yesterday we spoke to Nancy Pelosi and as opposed to -- said. That unless Democrats to retake control of of the house of represented -- It's impossible to have immigration reform so why make a promise that he knows he can't keep. -- like to always agree with -- -- Nancy Pelosi that in this case. It's a matter of when an idea we're gonna get it I believe there are Republicans. They're friends of mine more conservative. Who want to do this who I believe would be ready to -- if they saw that he can be done without them having. Thirty daggers in the back they're back the moment it passes. The difficulty is is because I think this leader Pelosi soon to be speaker Pelosi is right if the democratically controlled congress again it gets done. If Democrats don't win control its heart for the president to live up to its promise if Republicans continue to decide to be obstructionists. I don't believe Republicans and in the end will ultimately obstruct -- but at this week Lamar Smith the chair the Judiciary Committee and house -- represented. That day after Barack Obama announced his deferred action program for immigrants with an issue a scathing press release denouncing with the president. Amnesty tolerance unit recital that it that press release -- -- collided -- why. He was told to pull back we're gonna get this done. Just -- matter what. Congress has the lowest. Rates approval rate a look at me -- History here there and that's up. In its history. It's gonna continue to be like this what's it gonna take two to to break the ice and to -- this polarization the country has -- been -- -- more polarized. Congress -- that have been more polarized. Isn't it interest the net. Every election for president really is the most important election in our lifetime. And that's the case when he twelve because. We're at this crossroads is almost as if we're watching. America. And what -- it will have we will we -- the destiny are the America. The leadership of -- pass through it he is growing generation. Or will it be the leadership. The crisp whole box of the world who issue these. This legislation that creates SB 1070 in Arizona. That kind of leadership that takes -- in the direction saying it's time to circle the wagons in America. I. You can't ask the son of immigrants. To be pessimistic. I am very optimistic and I believe that this -- -- choose the right path. I hope it's in 2012. Strongly. One where the other. The American -- cannot fail because my kids are still growing up. And there are a lot of children who have -- experience what my parents did my father with a sixth grade education my mother coming from well how to at least from the -- but with no English. No money no family here. -- -- -- -- -- -- recognizing -- of fairly partisan Democrat and and and rewarded within your leadership for being just that but why do you think the other party has done such a better job of recruiting. Latino candidates to to win statewide office. -- I was hoping to get asked that question asked that we I don't think that's the case. Numerically. Let me just state this I think those Republican Latino candidates better thing. Latino Democrats who voted for them because they had a name that's -- you sound familiar the familiar -- baby you gonna do something for me. A lot of folks d.s and -- have never done for me before. But do I think that the Republican Party has done a better job. Appealing to Latinos. In terms of issues that are important and the people who could do this after nobody has been I think it -- good -- We've known each other for decades that I would tell you this not -- still has. Predominantly a membership. But the collective membership that is democratic and the Republicans have a long way to go but good for the have high ranking Latinos in their ranks and shame on Democrats if we don't see that we -- do the same -- real soon. And we got the start to do what you saw when you're just a minute ago -- it. I would sitting down right here in the near Los Angeles. Why do you think it is do you do you agree with the executive director of no layout that that this is an Achilles heel for the Democrats they're not nurturing. The talents. It's -- -- to talent percolate to the top and this is where I think we need the help of a lot of its soldiers who've been involved in politics from some of the other communities that are far more mature in politics. I think -- Jewish Brothers sisters have been phenomenally trying to help Latinos move up. And we need those communities that had success especially compared to their numbers. In population. To have that opportunity because. -- -- -- I make my wife and I make more money -- when years. And it took my parents twenty years to me there's it's going to be real tough for folks like my parents to make a lot of contributions to talented young. Ambitious Latinos to get into office if they have to rely on my parents to make the contributions. Arsonists are gonna have to leave it there thank you for joining us -- your appreciate your thoughts. We have one more. Antonio Villaraigosa. The mayor of Los Angeles former union organizer a member of the Los Angeles transportation board. Former speaker of the California assembly the first Hispanic mayor of Los angeles' 1872. Also the outgoing president of the US conference of mayors and the chairman. Democratic National Convention mr. mayor thanks for joining us -- that. It's Syria. About -- tonight so. -- if -- -- I apologize for. Guys are being -- to regret its RC. -- First Lady had a rough time getting in place and -- -- We've talked a lot to him and immigration but as mayor you had a particular focus on education. We mentioned before 47%. Of Americans under eighteen are now non white. Are we on track to provide those young African American Hispanic. Asian other minority kids the tools and skills they need to move into the middle class. Absolutely. Let me. Effort for an yours Tom Friedman when he writes that the world is flat and not competing. He's talking about -- kids get to go to Princeton Yale. UCLA Stanford we're not competing in math and science around the world. When you're talking about the Latino and African American kids -- report. Years you're talking about an achievement gap where these people aren't competing with some of the developing world and and that's our talent. California's gonna be a million down in the number of college graduates that we need for one reason the achievement gap. And some would say that we need more money where 47 and -- per pupil spending and we do need more money. But we also need to time money to success to results to high standards. To innovation. Two blended learning teacher effectiveness teacher trained a number of things to -- to really. Pick up. The success in our schools in California around the country. You've focused a lot on teacher reform -- about a different element of this it really doesn't get discussed much. Anymore in the Los Angeles public schools -- -- -- that I seen 73% of the cancers panic only 9%. Our white we know that about two thirds of both Hispanics and African American kids attend schools were on -- where a majority. Of the students are from families low enough to qualify for reduced lunches. Is integration and segregation still an issue and a contributor to -- -- happy talk about. I I think it's poverty I think it's per pupil spending. But I think it's the failure on the part of our leaders to set the highest standards of success why did Jeb Bush and and on the Democrat. But why did Jeb Bush. In Florida. Written race -- to a level where Latinos did better -- I think 36 states. That we we've got to be willing to take on these tough issues we've got to lose willing to take on the status quo we -- set high standards for market. When I hear ad nauseam that is just poverty. That you know these kids have poured on the school lunch program their parents English language learners. -- in all of them. Their Foster kids are kids out of broken homes if you're talking about me. And I can read and write the fact of the matter is it's a lot of things. But one of them and that's why -- focused and on it not just teacher effectiveness. But on that kind of accountability that we need we're -- convince. The voter. We're -- -- can convince taxpayers that we should spend more and I believe we should spend a lot more when I went to California public schools. With the best public schools in the country and we were in the top five per pupil spending there is a connection no question about it. But we also got -- connected to results we've got to connected to success and we got to focus on. Where we have the biggest problem and the biggest problem -- low performing schools primarily in poor areas. Disproportionately. As you say with Latinos and African American. It was -- that we've been talking about during and during this whole session. And that is why we don't not have warned that the -- in higher office particularly Democrats as we know. There are what almost 6000. Latino elected and appointed officials of those. That our partisan 90% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans yet it by the that would have -- -- -- house vote at the last number I remember its it's closed an idea might have gone down a bit. But it's overwhelming it's -- sixty it's -- to have an overwhelming number at a Latino exactly but to tackle premier to president. So how how what you do in your case will tell that young Catholic. Which wouldn't -- and yourself in many other mayors. Of me just east. What is your next -- do you have a plan and when I met for governor is now percent is that talent to run for that. I agree with congressman -- A lot of those. He knows. Crossed over I got the same thing when I ran in in. In 2001. We I got a high number of -- the Latino Republicans. Just aren't enough for them. But they voted for me in big numbers. And they still vote for me in big numbers not his -- Latino Democrats. I think they've been very purposeful. -- is seen. That recruitment at the highest levels that there's no question about it. But you know. John for as the speaker of the California State Assembly -- -- the speaker of the house in the congress that the B job. We're going to get there no question about it I think our party will realize. That you know we can cross over. You know I was joking with some people that when I ran in 2001 you -- there. People said to me you can't run until 2017. When that penis would be about 35% of the electorate. And I said -- that. They said well as -- only 22%. Said well. -- why can't I get votes outside of that community and I did. And again and again so we can -- I think as time goes on you'll see more of us in a position to run I mean -- We pastoral and -- I think -- be -- senator. Texas governor of Texas the president the United States there we have a very deep bench by the way the difference between us and them. Is they had you know they also have great. Speakers I've said again on public. Television and it everywhere I can say it Marco Rubio and Susanna Martinez with the best speakers at that convention bar none. The soaring rhetoric doesn't -- the policies and it doesn't match the platform in -- when you have a platform that calls for the self deportation of eleven people. Making life so intolerable -- pretzel oppressive. Seoul awful for them that they -- the port. What they forget the party of family values is that they have five in citizen children in this country. Another million dreamers -- -- no other country but their own when they try to -- round Chris -- back and and you know sheriff Arpaio they're saying something and I'll tell you Cubans central Americans -- -- whoever they are. In fact not Latinos here that kind of rhetoric that kind of you know hate filled language and people get -- So I think there rhetoric or rhetoric -- With their -- there's a disconnect -- -- you gotta protest going in Los Angeles county this week over the deportation rates. In the county. The trust act which frank -- mentioned before that -- kind of withdraw California participation in the secure communities program of the bomb in his attack -- I think what you Jerry perhaps easier browns on how long should absolutely sign that law. -- -- You know we got. All these issues marriage equality act in 1994. It wasn't very popular going in a press conference speaking in Spanish. Broken Spanish media. Let's say let them again with David you know speaking in Spanish on that issue in 1994. When the president spoke out in support marriage equality he did something that was that was the courage of his convictions. As we know -- in some places not popular but it was the right thing to do it was reflective of his guys. Governor Brown. Should sign it. I expect him to sign it because. This is a state that she would chart a different path -- Arizona and Alabama. -- -- -- It's not -- what I feel just I needed there I have two quick questions one in your capacity as chair of the of the Democratic National Convention. That's obviously been announced that. The venue for tomorrow's night's speech. Will be moved from the Bank of America Stadium 75000 seats to the much smaller venue. -- Time Warner Cable Arena. Did -- I understand that the official explanation is severe weather forecast but were you really going to be able to fill all those. Pieces of -- Absolutely not. We were seen until last night all of us. The show will go on. The fear is and then we added. In of the fears it's not just the rain you know there's lightning if -- you know people could get hurt. That there was no issue about. Filling up the stadium. We have. Knocked on doors reached out all across the state all across the south in the country that wasn't going to be a problem that you all -- -- That enthusiasm factor was down that there -- And last night of this morning I saw you all saw you on TV and everybody Democrat Republican by the way all had to admit. Enthusiasm was there it was strong and and you're gonna see it there all the way through. What a convention does is it frames the campaign. We think everybody's watching because you're talking about it all the time and I'm talking about it but most people are struggling to make ends meet. They're not read in taking care their families they're not focused until now. But the enthusiasm level is it is high and among the delegates what about the voters. The voters I'm talking to are excited. Look we've got our work cut out for us we've got a very deep and strong the most aggressive grassroots effort to knock on doors and talk to voters. In our history -- any party's history by the way. But we I've said for a long time and -- one -- shows that this is. This is going to be close election it's -- divided electorate and by the way the reason why I agree with. He's not there anymore. I waited to hear it. The reason why I agree with. And I've been saying this with congressman the -- be a little more specific about why I believe the Republicans. Will join Democrats and pass. A comprehensive immigration reform. And the DREAM Act. They'll do it because they have to. Once they lose this election. They're gonna move from the far right where they are insult on so many issues. To the middle ground. That -- give their people and look. They're decent people in both parties including our leaders and there are reasonable people in both parties they're gonna realize that -- losing the demographic. They'll take out at some point. -- keep them you know the the issue of abortion opposing abortion. But don't take out. For rape and incest because that's extreme that's -- where most people -- they'll pick out the morning after pill. They'll they'll -- again to -- for civil unions maybe not marriage. They're losing the demographic across the board so they're gonna vote for comprehensive immigration reform because you're gonna get ready after they lose this election. To be a party of the middle again. And not a party that would. Make Ronald Reagan turned his great watching and hearing the things these guys are saying mister -- sit -- for 12 and -- Maybe -- that -- final hours as where as were the closing out here your thoughts on what we've heard today. Well it's it's have been a great conversation that look forward to doing a lot more of this with the ABC news Univision partnership. And I wish that we who had had. Similar turnout at the Republican events but but obviously can't can't prevent everything that was. There are more Democrats that are Hispanic and Republicans. It's been a question of -- -- saying that this the states -- with all of you. Especially having such an incredible guests and in this event. I think the important things to highlight the importance of the Hispanic vote. That the Hispanic vote will once again decide the election I think -- Obama has -- challenges unemployment deportations. And it's. Voter disenchantment. This is this electoral apathy. Among Latino voters. But at a lot of the people that are here I think it's it's their job to go out and try to motivate that -- -- to vote for whoever they want to vote for that we've seen one of our slogans. What -- -- stink it up you know what -- which is vocal hopeful whether you want to vote for but. But that Latin -- and. Actually do not right now that is the normal course in Spanish and is by no -- -- -- and -- -- We want people to vote in fact we -- all Americans to vote let's remember that's you know we we let the talk about how little Latinos vote. America's not voting everybody when compared to western industrialized democracies. You know they vote more in Mexico today than they do in the United States -- let's be clear that we all got -- Lift up this notion that right to vote -- something sacred -- -- Doing it a good final thought I hope you all keep -- -- -- -- the ABC Univision new web -- we'll take a look at the next America website on the National Journal dot com. And join me in thanking my fellow panelists and he's terrific guests for this conversation this afternoon. Another -- down Yankee.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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