Accessibility links

Breaking News

Obama Blames Republicans for Failure to Pass Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama participates in a town hall hosted by Univision and Univision news anchors Jorge Ramos (L) and Maria Elena Salinas (C), at the University of Miami, Florida, September 20, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama is blaming Republicans for his failure to keep a promise to pass immigration reform during his first term.

Obama appeared on the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision Thursday, saying Republicans in Congress who had always supported reforming immigration laws suddenly walked away. The president admitted that he was naive not to anticipate this.

Obama also said that anyone who believes Americans want to be dependent on the government has not "gotten around a lot."

He was referring to a video that surfaced this week in which Republican candidate Mitt Romney said during a May fundraiser that 47% of people who voted for Obama are "victims" dependent on government benefits. Romney said he would not "worry about those people."

Romney appeared on Univision Wednesday, telling the audience that his campaign is about 100% of Americans. He said the Republican Party is the natural home for Hispanic Americans, calling it the part of opportunity and hope.

Polls give President Obama a nearly 40% percent lead over Romney among Hispanic voters. Both candidates campaigned Thursday in Florida -- a state with a large Hispanic population and crucial in winning the White House.

Also Thursday, former Minnesota Governor and Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty resigned as the co-chairman of the Romney campaign to become head of a Wall Street lobbying firm. The Financial Services Roundtable says it is non-partisan. Pawlenty was briefly a candidate for the Republican nomination. He dropped out of the race last year after a poor finish in the Iowa straw poll, one of the first major gauges of a candidate's popularity.