NBC's Todd: Obama 'Pretty Happy' With Immigration Decision That Will 'Alienate' Hispanics From GOP

Appearing on Monday's NBC Nightly News, chief White House correspondent spun the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's immigration law as exactly what the Democrats wanted: "Well, in crass political terms, today was a day where the Obama campaign was pretty happy with what happened and the Romney campaign was not very happy." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Todd touted liberal cynicism on the issue: "You talk to some Democratic strategists and they say the part of the law that was upheld will only help them motivate Hispanics even more and help them essentially alienate them from the Republican Party."

On Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer encouraged Todd to recite more talking points on the topic: "Chuck, I asked the [Harvard Law School] Professor [Noah Feldman] to take the politics and the political spin out of it. Alright, you can place it back in for a second." Todd happily obliged: "...talking to some Democrats, they would argue that politically, when it comes to trying to fire up Hispanics for the President, they couldn't have designed a better Supreme Court ruling."

Echoing his Nightly News analysis, Todd argued:

Because they [Democrats] got to win the larger argument that states, when it comes to immigration, the federal government – you can't have 50 different immigration laws being put together in some sort of patchwork. But the part that angers Hispanics the most was left into place. And so now they get to use that as a way to fire up Hispanics. If you can't get Hispanic turnout up on a positive, on hope, then maybe you get it up on anger. And so now they have anger to sort of fuel them in getting the Hispanic vote.

Monday morning on MSNBC, just moments after the ruling was announced, Todd immediately proclaimed it to be, "the worst of all outcomes if you're Mitt Romney."


Here is a transcript of Todd's June 25 Nightly News report:

7:05PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: And now we're going to talk about politics and the law. First of all, all of this, of course, taking place in a presidential election year. With us now, our chief White House correspondent and political director Chuck Todd, who is at the White House. Chuck, look at this for us vis-a-vis the campaign under way.

CHUCK TODD: Well, in crass political terms, today was a day where the Obama campaign was pretty happy with what happened and the Romney campaign was not very happy. Let's start with President Obama. You talk to some Democratic strategists and they say the part of the law that was upheld will only help them motivate Hispanics even more and help them essentially alienate them from the Republican Party.

As for Mitt Romney, Brian, you saw today he doesn't like talking about this issue right now because they know the fine line they have to walk between not looking like they're contradicting what Romney said during the primary campaign and not alienating Hispanics. He said today he was against the decision, if you will. He wished that the Supreme Court had given states more leeway, but he's trying not to talk about it much. He wants to be talking about the economy.

WILLIAMS: Alright. Chuck Todd on the White House lawn. Thanks. That's politics.

Here is a portion of Todd's June 26 exchange with Lauer on Today:

7:12AM ET

(...)

LAUER: Chuck, I asked the Professor to take the politics and the political spin out of it. Alright, you can place it back in for a second. What impact is this ruling going to have in terms of politics and the upcoming election?

CHUCK TODD: Well, look, I think short-term just look at the body language of the campaigns. Any day that the Romney campaign is not talking about the economy, they believe that's a lost day. So under those circumstances, yesterday was a lost day. It was sort of a continuation of what's been a rough ten days of Romney trying to walk this fine line on immigration.

Meanwhile, look at the Obama campaign. And to be completely crass about this, in talking to some Democrats, they would argue that politically, when it comes to trying to fire up Hispanics for the President, they couldn't have designed a better Supreme Court ruling.

Because they got to win the larger argument that states, when it comes to immigration, the federal government – you can't have 50 different immigration laws being put together in some sort of patchwork. But the part that angers Hispanics the most was left into place. And so now they get to use that as a way to fire up Hispanics. If you can't get Hispanic turnout up on a positive, on hope, then maybe you get it up on anger. And so now they have anger to sort of fuel them in getting the Hispanic vote.

(...)

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC