NPR Political Director: 'The President is Exactly Right' About Immigration Politics

On Wednesday afternoon's Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio, NPR political director Ken Rudin told host Neal Conan that of course, President Obama was "exactly right" in his El Paso speech to say Republicans are never satisfied on immigration, and want a moat with alligators in it:

CONAN: And this is not likely to pass as a piece of legislation but likely to be pretty effective as a piece of campaign rhetoric.

RUDIN: Well, remember, every moat counts. We always say that in November. But actually, that also was a very good Boehner impersonation.

CONAN: Very good, yes.

RUDIN: But you know something? I mean, the Democrats still have no legislation. The president didn't propose any new legislation. It
really was a campaign speech.

But again, you know, he's exactly - the president is exactly right. Every time the Republicans say the administration is not doing enough on immigration, so then the administration deports 400,000 illegal immigrants a year, or they build higher fences, and yet the Republicans keep pushing the goalposts further.

CONAN, smelling victory: And this could wrap up the - well, help the president solidify his already substantial lead among Hispanic-Americans.

RUDIN: And we saw that in California in 2010. Perhaps Meg Whitman could have been elected governor. Maybe Carly Fiorina could have been elected to the Senate had they had slightly more percentage of the Hispanic vote. But anti-immigration rhetoric coming from some conservatives really hurting the Republicans in states like California and Texas. 

While we're on the subject, Conan and Rudin also thought the Democrats were backing a  "very popular idea" in taking away standard business tax breaks away from Big Oil:

RUDIN: Right, exactly, and so he - the party is just dead set against any kind of new taxes. And so obviously the Democrats are saying: Okay, well, you want to cut some of the deficit, let's cut some of the special tax breaks for the oil companies.

CONAN: And this is a very popular idea, at least according to the opinion polls. They say: Tax the big oil companies. Get rid of their oil depletion allowances, which are tax breaks written into the law. Hey, there's $21 billion right there.

RUDIN: Well, it makes sense because - I mean, it certainly makes sense at least in the public's mind because here you have the oil companies making billions and billions of dollars in profits, and yet gasoline prices keep going up, now approaching $4.50, $5 a gallon. Something is not working somewhere.

CONAN: So Republicans are suddenly put in the position of saying...

RUDIN: Having to defend, or not, the oil companies, right.  

NPR staff are really terrible at hiding their enthusiasm for and agreement with liberal Democrats.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis