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Obama Visits Miami

Photo by Pete Souza

Univision’s Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas recently interviewed President Obama as part of their Destino 2012 programming. The questions were asked in Spanish while the President answered in English.

One of the topics that were brought up early in the interview was the Innocence of Muslims video that led to the death of Chris Stevens, the US Ambassador to Libya. Many agreed with Obama when he said that it is important to let the world know how freedom of speech works in the United States. Just because an American citizen puts something out there does not mean that the government supports it nor does it represent the view of all citizens.

He was then asked if he thought Romney’s views was a good representation of America, to which he answered that Romney seems to be a bit out of touch with the current situation of the country. Romney had previously commented that people do not want to pay taxes or are too lazy to do so. That is not the case. Some people work every day of their lives, but do not earn enough to pay taxes. Students who are in the work-study program, for example, earn less than $5000 a year. But this does not mean that they get to escape taxes entirely. Every time they buy food, gasoline, school supplies, and other basic necessities they are paying taxes. No one is living in this country for free.

Later in the interview, Obama was asked what he considered to be his greatest failure. President Obama replied that it was not being able to pass an immigration reform.

Jorge Ramos insisted that in not passing an immigration reform a promise had been broken and would not let it go for the duration of the interview, even switching to English at one point to make his point clearer. Obama answered that he did not forget about what he had promised and had been diligently working on it throughout his four year term.  Originally, he had enough republican support to get an immigration reform through but right after he became president many of them backed out. Even Senator John McCain, who had previously said he was in favor of it, changed his mind abruptly. Obama was also met with another obstacle. When he took office things had gone downhill for the country so he found himself having to focus most of his energy on fixing the economy first. Obama answered Ramos’ constant drilling by saying that he promised he would do all he could and work every day toward making sure that living the American dream would be possible for everyone, and that is a promise he did keep. He also informed Ramos that many people think that the President is all powerful, but he is just one piece in the executive branch of government. He needs support from all sides and branches to be able to implement and enforce new laws.

Washington cannot be changed from the inside. Rather, it must be changed from the outside. Those in government may have one idea about what they think is right, but it is the citizens of the United States that have to pressure them from the outside to make sure things change.

Although 47% of the people did not vote for him in 2008, he heard what they had to say and would work just as hard for them as for everyone else. This isn’t about picking favorites or sides; it is about every living being in this country. President Obama has not done everything he set out to accomplish, and if he were re-elected, he thinks we can build upon the progress that has already been made.

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