Asked about the timing of the administration’s immigration executive order at a Univision forum Thursday, President Obama first responded that he had already been winning the Latino vote.
ELENA SALINAS: The fact that you announced the deferred action was granted months before the election has led some of your critics to say that it was only to win the Hispanic vote. Why didn’t you do that earlier in your presidency?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think if you take a look at the polls, I was winning the Latino vote before we took that action—partly because the other side had completely abandoned their commitment to things like comprehensive immigration reform. But I did this because I met young people all across the country, wonderful kids who sometimes were valedictorians or participated in the community, had aspirations to go to college, some who were serving in our military. And if you heard their stories, there’s no way you’d think it was fair or just for us to have them suffering under a cloud of deportation.