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Obama courts Latino vote on economic tour

By Jim Kuhnhenn

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 26 2012 4:10 p.m. MST

To win again, he will need that level of enthusiasm to make up for weaknesses elsewhere in his voter support. In a bright spot for Obama, the Pew poll found that even though Hispanics believe their economic condition is poor, two-thirds of those polled said they expect their financial situation to improve over the next year, whereas 58 percent of the overall population expect the same.

In his interview with Univision, Obama made a point of noting that both Romney and Gingrich have said they would veto legislation, known as the DREAM Act, that would give a pathway to citizenship to children who came to the United States illegally but who attend college or enlist in the military.

"They believe that we should not provide a pathway to citizenship for young people who were brought here when they were very young children and are basically American kids but right now are still in a shadow," Obama said. "They've said that they would veto the DREAM Act. Both of them."

At a debate Monday on NBC, however, both Gingrich and Romney said they would support modified legislation that only applied to young people who joined the military. "I would not support the part that simply says everybody who goes to college is automatically waived for having broken the law," Gingrich said.

Obama, in the interview, explicitly connected the Republican presidential field to congressional Republicans, who suffer from bottom-dwelling approval ratings right now. Asked why he had been unable to deliver on his promise for overhauling the immigration system, Obama replied:

"Well, it's very simple. We couldn't get any Republican votes. Zero. None," he said. "So this is the kind of barrier that we're meeting in Congress. We're just going to keep on pushing and pushing until hopefully we finally get a break."

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