Latinos Are the “Most Powerful Force in U.S. Politics,” Says Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

By Jana Kasperkevic, Houston Chronicle The race for Latino voters is full on. “What a difference 35 years makes,” said Vice President Joe Biden as he walked onto the stage at Congressional Hispanic Council Institute’s 35th annual gala, referring to the increase in number of Latino elected officials serving in the U.S. “The contribution of Hispanic community has been incredible, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.” Polls show the Obama-Biden ticket leading Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan by a margin of up to three-to-one among Latino voters. Democrats are hoping that Hispanics will tip swing states such as Florida and Colorado. “You know, the Hispanic population has increased from about five percent to 16 percent of America’s population today and accounts for 60 percent of our nation’s population growth,” noted Biden. “And something else has changed, the rest of America is beginning to understand that your success is America’s success.” This became evident in the nation’s support of President Barack Obama’s executive order on Deferred Action program for childhood arrivals immigrants, explained Biden. According to him, over two thirds of the nation supported the executive order. “That is progress,” said Biden. Yet the administration is far from being done, and the vice president made sure that the audience understood that they need to get out the vote to re-elect the president. “We’ve got a lot more to do. And we will not rest in this administration until we find a permanent path out of the shadows for those who have spent their lives living in fear, a path to citizenship,” he said. Biden hit all the right topics last night as he spoke of immigration, education, Voter ID laws, and Hispanics serving in the army. “We’ve got our hands full with this Republican party. This is not your father’s republican party. As a matter of fact, it is not even Mitt Romney’s father’s Republican Party. This party that pushes voter suppression all around the country,” Biden said, echoing what many Democrats have said about Voter ID laws. He transitioned into budget cuts to education, cuts to early education and to Pell Grants. He drummed home the message that the president,  Michelle Obama and he are of the common folk, saying he doubted any of them would have gotten where they are without college loans. And at the very end, he delivered the line that summed up what both political parties know well: Latino voters might just decide this election. “You are about to become and already are the most powerful force in U.S. politics. Exercise that power well and the country will embrace it,” said Biden.
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