White voters are abandoning the Democratic Party because they feel left out, so the GOP should react by wooing Latino voters, President Barack Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio.
“There’s a burden on Democrats to need to make very clear to a broad swath of [white] working-class and middle-class voters that we are, in fact, fighting for them. And there’s also an obligation on the part of the Republican Party to make sure that they are broadening their coalition to reach out to the new face of America,” Obama said in the interview, released Monday.
Obama’s comments align him with many members of the GOP’s establishment wing, who argue that a high-immigration policy can aid business allies and help win ballot-box support from low-income Latino immigrants. That policy is endorsed by the GOP’s business allies, who want the GOP-led Congress to pass immigration laws in 2015 that deliver more workers and customers to their doors.
That view is opposed by the GOP’s populist wing, whose leaders argue that a low-immigration policy would spur 2016 support for the GOP from lower-income white, Latino and black swing voters in critical Midwest states. The leaders in this group include Sen. Jeff Sessions and likely 2016 candidate, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and they generally oppose Obama’s Nov. 20 decision to award work permits to five million unauthorized migrants.