The Sunshine State Latino forum with the Democratic Presidential Candidates will be held tonight.
Tonight’s forum will be streamed on the web as well as broadcast on television. Check local listings for the Univision channel in your area.
Univision and the University of Miami
Sunday, September 9, 2007
7:00 p.m. (EST)
Our apologies for the use of the word “illegals” typing “undocumented workers” proved to difficult.
Jorge and Maria are introducing. Rules: no opening or closing statements. No interaction between candidates. Spanish questions, English answers. Biden not attending.
To Obama: Why did you attend this forum to the Latino community.
Obama: I was a community organizer. I understand the importance of the latino community and I want to bring the country today.
Hillary: I am very proud to represent a vibrant Latino community and I hope as president to represent everyone. I am very happy to be here and I thank Univision for this opportunity.
Gravel: For the same reasons as stated. I want to take my time to talk about an latino fighting in Iraq who can be thrown out of the country.
Edwards: It’s a great honor. I grew up in a small town and my father was a mill worker just like many latino families now living in North Carolina. There are great obstacles for immigrants. I recently was on a poverty tour and know the problems.
Jorge: Bilingual families? Spanish as a second language in the U.S.
Kucinich: I was a Mayor of Cleveland I know the problems. I am not new to this community.
Dodd: There are many who think we should only speak English. But we need full particpation and a second language is a good thing.
Richardson: Can I answer in Spanish? I am proud to be the first latino running for president. Latinos care not only about immigration but about health care and other issues. I thought Spanish would be permitted in this debate. I want to show that one of their own is running for president.
Jorge: The rules are you must speak in English.
Maria: Pew poll shows Americans want out of Iraq what do you think.
Kuchinch: Remember, I am the only one who has voted 100% to get out of Iraq. I have a plan. Bring the troops home now.
Maria: When is the Mission accomplished?
Obama: I spoke out against the war years ago. There is no military solution.
Jorge: If Petreus says the surge is working will you still want all U.S. troops out?
Edwards: Yes. The overriding need is for a political solution between the Sunnis and Shites. The Iraqi Parliament is on vacation. The congress must get us out.
Clinton: I was against the surge and nothing Petreus says is going to solve the problems we have in Iraq. We need to get out. Our troops have acted heroically and they have done the job they were sent to do. The Iraqi government has not achieved a political solution.
Richardson: I said at the last debate that I will not leave troops in Iraq like Obama, Clinton and Edwards. They need to all get out.
Maria: what would you do to capture Bin Laden that has not been done?
Gravel: there is no war on terror. Terror has been with us always. We need access to Interpol files.
Maria: what to do, not what was done wrong?
Dodd: Terrorism is now growing in Iraq because of our presence. We need a stronger presence in Afghanistan and revitalize the coalition there.
Maria: Immigration. None of the 9/11 terrorists came in from the Mexican border, why is there no attention to the Canadian border but a wall with Mexico?
Obama: I have always supported immigration. My father came from a small village in Kenya. We need to bring immigrants into the political process. I have led on that in Congress. We can’t lose control of our borders.
Clinton: I favor more border security in all our borders. I have been a leader in securing our borders but also in bringing immigrants into legality. We need to verify status with employers.
Dodd: Mexico is our friend. We need to discuss what motivates people to cross borders and bring up the standard of living in Mexico. We need to punish the employers.
Jorge: When will you start working on immigration reform? First year of presidency?
Kuchinch: No human being is illegal. We need to go back to trade based on workers rights.
Richardson: Yes. Look at the Statue of Liberty and what it represents. We are a nation of immigrants. We will have border security but we also have to have a path to legalization. A 12 foot wall leads to 13 foot ladders.
Edwards: yes. The president has a responsibility to address this issue and the 40 million Americans affected by this. [Edwards does a dumb Blockbuster analogy]
Gravel: Immediately. But the immigration issue is a false one. We have enough policy failures and the idea of a wall embarrases me. People come here for opportunity.
Clinton: Absolutely. There are 3 aspects to this. Congress has to pass legislation like the one I have proposed to keep families together. An intensive effort to work together with our southern neighbors. Finally immigration today is just as important as when immigrants arrived at Ellis Island.
Dodd: Immigration is being used as a fear factor. We allow Hugo Chavez to get the better of us when we do not invest here but rather in Iraq.
Obama: I have already agreed to do that. We need to begin to go forward. We need border security and a path to legalization. We need to fix a broken immigration system which is also broken for legal immigrants too.
Maria: More than 50 million children of illegal immigrants separated from their parents, would you suspend this?
Richardson: Yes I would stop them. These separations are ineffective and inhumane. Why do we not focus on latinos fighting for this country in Iraq? We need comprehensive immigration reform not separation of families.
Jorge: Another email question, are illegal immigrants necessary because they do difficult jobs for little pay that no one else wants?
Edwards: It would be difficult to find someone to take these jobs. The illegal immigrants help our economy. Those working for 10 hours a day in difficult weather deserve worker protection.
Kuchinich: Many corporations encouraged illegals because they took low pay.
Maria: The country is polarized and there is a hint of racism in the immigration debate. How do we alleviate this?
Clinton: I know many latinos, they work in my campaign. We need to fight attempts to criminalize immigrants, like the House tried to do.
Obama: We need to pay attention to these immigrant workers and stop racist attitudes like in the time of Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King.
Edwards: We need to unite the country. Bush divides us. The Democratic Party is best when it speaks for the poor.
Jorge: Is anti-americanism in Latin America a danger?
Richardson: I would pay attention to Latin America. Get rid of the Cuban embargo. Like John Kennedy I would pay attention to Latin America. Latin America is a key to our future.
Dodd: We spend a fraction in Latin America of what we spend in Iraq. We need a dialogue. I was in the peace corps. We should not be losing the public relations battle with Hugo Chavez.
Maria: Is Hugo Chavez a dictator? Would you stop buying oil from Venezuela, break relations with Venezuela?
Edwards: We need a plan to deal with Latin America not improvise. We need to be a force for good, fight disease, help with finances, the economy, that’s how you fight Chavez.
Gravel: I would extend my hand. The CIA tried to depose him. We caused the problem. Same with Castro.
Jorge: What will happen in post Castro Cuba?
Clinton: We do not know what will happen but let’s work with other countries, in South America and Europe to make it a good transition. When Bill Clinton was president Castro was the only president in Latin America hostile to the U.S. Now there are many because of bad Bush policies.
Dodd: The embargo is a failure. 25 years of failure. I would end the embargo. We need a dialogue with all of Latin America. The aspirations of the Cuban people are important.
Maria: Polls show the importance of education and the high drop out rate of latinos. What would you do?
Kuchinich: We need to promote education.
Obama: This is a crisis for all not just the latino community. Dennis mentioned how we have to have children ready to go to school. Some of our schools are falling apart. We need school construction.
Jorge: Will bilingual education help?
Richardson: Yes. We need science and math teaching. We need federal involvement in education. We need to encourage universal education and financing for college.
Maria: Why is is so difficult to get healthcare?
Obama: My mother died of ovarian cancer. I have a healthcare plan. You should have healthcare as good as I do. As president I will do this.
Richardson: I would pass it the first year, and take a few years to implement the full plan. We need mandated care. We need prevention and start early with children. We need physical education, we need to start early.
Dodd: Healthcare is a basic right. We have many plans but we need a leader to get the job done. I’ve been in the Senate for 25 years, I can get the job done.
Jorge: What did you learn the first time you had a plan?
Clinton: I am proud we tried. I will present my healthcare plan next week. We need universal healthcare. Even the insured cannot get medical care. I just helped a mother whose child could not get the operation the child needed even though they had healthcare.
Gravel: The insurance companies should compete not decide your treatment.
Jorge: Do we need to raise taxes to pay for healthcare?
Edwards: We need to fight the lobbyists and special interests and use market forces to pay for healthcare.
Kuchinch: This is a false debate because these candidates want to preserve the current system. We need a single payer system without insurance and drug companies involved.
Jorge: 1 our of 12 latinos will lose their houses. What is the federal role in bankruptcy/housing?
Clinton: This is an important question. We need federal intervention. Chris Dodd is looking for answers as head of the Housing committee and I support him. We need to make sure that millions of people do not lose their houses.
Obama: We need to work to get more regulation in this field. Subprime lenders are responsible for this. This is a failure. We need to help homeowners refinance.
Maria: What is the major contribution to America by Latinos?
Richardson: We are the heart. Praise for Henry Cisneros. We need to decide not only what is good for latinos but what is good for all Americans. Latinos are growing populations in many states and latinos are fighting for the nation in the military.
Dodd: Many. Each latino contributes according to their talents. We need to provide the opportunity to achieve dreams.
Gravel: Culture. They come to this country and they give us an appreciation for the diversity of the human race.
Edwards: In many ways. It’s an error to just say one. Diversity, culture, music. They made it a better place. I started from nothing to much and I want to give the opportunity to others.
Kuchinich: This forum reflects the power of unity. The expression of culture and the reminder of where we are from. Cesar Chavez said Yes We Can, that is the power I want to bring to the White House.
Obama: Right now it is the belief in the future and in this country. I see citizen induction ceremonies and latinos with American flags, no group shows this more than latinos. Thanks Univision and thanks latin community.
Clinton: There are many latino families that have been here before the United States was a country. We are all varied in our values and our families. I see in the latino community leaders in all parts of the society. I am very proud to have worked with many latinos to make this country what it should be. Thank you and I hope I get your support and vote.
Jorge and Maria: Thank you. Register to vote. We invite Republicans to also participate in a forum. Good bye.