Tarkanian accuses Obama of using Hispanics as political tool

Republican congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian on Wednesday accused President Barack Obama of using immigration and Hispanics as a "political tool" to win re-election by changing his deportation policy just months before voters go to the polls.

Speaking at a Hispanics in Politics breakfast of activists, Tarkanian faulted Obama for promising comprehensive immigration reform when he took office and failing to deliver.

"Why wasn’t it passed?" Tarkanian asked. "Maybe it wasn’t passed because … they want to use this as a political tool. … They’re using it as a tool to get votes back in Washington."

Tarkanian faced a round of hostile questions after his remarks from Latinos who said Republicans are the ones who blocked immigration reform in Congress to deal with 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally. The critics said the GOP leaders also opposed the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for young adults who were brought to this country as children and have grown up and lived here for years. The undocumented immigrants would have to attend college or join the military to qualify for the program.

Obama last month announced his administration would offer the young DREAM Act immigrants two-year work permits and not deport them as a temporary measure until the law could be changed. The move caused already strong Hispanic support for Obama to rise in recent polls, giving him a 3-to-1 advantage over the GOP.

Tarkanian has said he opposed the DREAM Act, although on Wednesday he said he believes military service should qualify immigrants for U.S. citizenship.

Hispanic activist Michael Flores asked Tarkanian whether he agreed with Obama’s executive action to defer deportation for young undocumented immigrants.

"I certainly don’t agree with it because it wasn’t passed in Congress," Tarkanian replied.

Flores said it wasn’t that easy to pass laws in Congress. In a testy exchange, Tarkanian challenged that idea, saying Democrats controlled the House and Senate when Obama took office and the president didn’t make immigration a priority. Instead, Tarkanian accused Obama of spending all his time working to pass health care reform, which he said hurt businesses and job growth.

"Why did he wait until just before the election to do this political stunt?" Tarkanian asked. Obama "is just using this as a political football."

Pressed on whether he would support the DREAM Act, Tarkanian said he likes parts of it for military members "who put their lives on the line for our country." But he wouldn’t address other aspects of the proposal, including for students.

"I say go through Congress and do it the right way," Tarkanian said after complaining the activist were trying "to nail me down and make me say something I don’t agree with."

Tarkanian ended his 30-minute appearance before the group of 40 attendees by thanking them for the "civil discourse," although he probably didn’t win any new friends with his frank talk. He did get applause when someone thanked him for appearing before the nonpartisan group, knowing his hard-line positions on immigration would not be welcome by most of the Hispanic activists.

The audience included Republican supporters of Tarkanian, who stayed largely silent, and Hispanic outreach workers for Mitt Romney’s GOP presidential campaign.

In his speech before taking questions, Tarkanian did propose some immigration reforms, such as decreasing red tape so operations such as a Yerington onion farm could import more guest workers to do labor that many Americans refuse to do.

"Why don’t we make it easier for people to come into this country legally?" Tarkanian asked.

Flores said he was disappointed by Tarkanian’s standard GOP "talking points" on immigration.

"I didn’t feel like it was a genuine conversation," Flores said. "He’s not in touch with what’s going on in our community at all."

Asked whether Flores was pleased Tarkanian backs some immigration reform, he said: "You can’t pick and choose what you want to fix. That’s the problem. He just got my blood boiling."

Tarkanian is running for the new 4th Congressional District, which includes urban North Las Vegas in Clark County and all or part of six rural counties.

His Democratic Party opponent, state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, is scheduled to appear before the Hispanics in Politics group on Aug. 1.

Horsford, an early Obama backer, supports the president’s immigration policies and has advocated for the DREAM Act.

Nevada has a sizable Hispanic population, about 26 percent of overall residents. Latinos made up 15 percent of the electorate in the past two elections in 2010 and 2008 and were key in delivering Obama a big victory here four years ago.

Contact reporter Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal. com or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter @lmyerslvrj.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like