Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
I'm Juan Williams and that's that they Fox News Latino exclusive an interview with congressman Raul Labrador.
Of Idaho congressman your first term you came in with the Tea Party freshman and twenty cent for yourself and not a Tea Party guy.
Well I'm not a member of the Tea Party caucus I I believe in the principles of the Tea Party I believe that what they believe man is less government less.
More government accountability but I just think when you kind of come to Washington and you say that you're a member of the -- what you're doing is you're you're bringing the establishment to a grassroots group and I don't think we should be doing.
Well in fact people like Sarah Palin and other prominent Tea Party leaders endorsed her opponent.
Would you nonetheless won in Idaho -- that local Tea Party groups endorse me.
And and I think that's what the tea parties about it's about the local grass -- is about the local people who know all the candidates.
Who understand what they stand for and who have seen their record and that's how we were able to when I have four years in the state legislature.
And they knew that I stood for less government less taxes less.
Less regulation and they wanted me -- as their nominee.
Well I think lots of people and -- Latino community know that in the midst of your campaign your opponents say that you were born Puerto Rico you Wharton American.
Can use this against you of course it was a totally ridiculous charge which would you were quick to point out.
But the idea that somehow because you're born in Puerto Rico because you're Latino.
Somehow made you not acceptable in his ranks I think struck me Latinos as evidence of the problems that Republicans have.
With the Latino community.
-- correct that a little bit when he said he tried to called Puerto Rico a foreign country.
And I try to explain to him and and to the voters in -- which the voters understood very well.
That as a Puerto Rican I was born citizen of the United States.
That a there was nothing foreign about -- Puerto Rican.
So he didn't say that was an acceptable but he.
He did -- some things but.
But at the bottom line is that -- and what -- what really matters is that the people of Idaho rejected that message and you know you hear a lot of things about Idaho.
And people courtesy cast that's persons that Idaho and I think the fact that I was not not only the Republican nominee.
But I'm also the congressman from Idaho tells you actually quite a bit of.
Well I think you're one of those popular politicians at the moment I had -- -- things have turned around for you.
You're also a Mormon yes and you're more you're Mormon at a time win.
The likely nominee of the Republican party for the presidency Mitt Romney is also -- Mormon.
And Marco Rubio who sat in the chair you're in for a Fox News -- -- exclusive interview just recently.
Said he too had been a Mormon in his childhood.
And now you're saying that the Mormon Church you anticipate is going to be under attack in this presidential campaign why.
There's no question about it if you watch MSNBC.
You watched New York you've reached -- New York Times they continue to.
Write stories about the Mormon religion and -- try to cast aspersions at the church MSNBC has been actually pretty explicit in what they have said.
They have actually lied about the origins of the -- -- some pretty terrible things.
And and I think they're what they're gonna -- -- they're gonna do the president's bidding because I don't suspect the president's gonna go up and say anything negative about the Mormon Church because it would.
It would actually not helpful in his re election.
But he's just gonna let other people do that and and yeah I'm I would be very happy to see that nobody does that but it did you see it every single day in the stories are told how do you see it.
Well you see for example Lawrence O'Donnell.
He talked about the origins of the church and he said that that -- founding of the church was just some guy waking up 1 morning deciding that he wanted to have.
More than one wife and he better invent a new religion which is completely false.
Use New York Times and the New York Times has written stories about.
The relationships of Mormon -- -- and race and -- things that that are really.
Going back to some of it all original things that happen in the church in and -- they claim that it's a historical perspective.
But at the same time what they're trying its should say is that there's something strange.
Wanna back up more mormons did not allow people of color in the church correct that's not true but what happened for a long period of time.
There was people of color did not have the priesthood but they have there were mormons baptized in the church -- probably coming -- -- weren't allowed to rise up.
In the ranks of the church I think that's what most people -- correct -- -- Here's the thing you're not only there and a Republican.
Hispanic and a Mormon.
And -- Romney supporter and when you look at -- Hispanics are likely to vote this election becomes critical.
To Mitt Romney's potential success if he is -- -- that has that he is able to woo an increasing number of Latinos at the moment.
President Obama has like -- 70% -- rating among Latinos.
Mitt Romney down in the 30%.
But there's still remains a large segment -- more than a quarter of Latinos were undecided.
What would you say to Latinos to try to get them.
To view Mitt Romney favorably.
You know the first thing have to do is look at the policies of the president Latinos under this president -- actually have more poverty.
They they actually have had more unemployment they have had more problems.
Then then under any other president in in recent history.
And I think what they need to look at that the policies that the Republican Party is -- -- And and what they will see is that what we want to do is we want to bring to the Latino community just like we want to bring to all Americans.
We want to bring prosperity you know I've talked to a lot of people in the Latino community that.
That asked the question why is it that week you know many of them are a recent immigrants that come to United States escaped -- The problems that they had him in more dictatorial.
Countries in in in countries where the government was taking too much power from the individual.
And they're asking why so that they come here and they're finding -- government.
That it's actually tried to do the same thing that -- are the countries that they escaped -- doing so they they've not very happy with the form of government that we have with the type of government that they see here that the Obama administration is trying to establish.
When you realize that that's not the issue for most Latinos and immigration is the number one issue and when they look at the positions that Republicans have endorsed.
They find that its hostile -- its -- and I don't think immigration is.
Number one -- I think jobs and the economy is the number one issues for Latinos that for any other American but I do agree with you that immigration is an important issue.
And I think that's the thing that I would tell Romney as I would tell anybody.
Is that they -- we need to start talking about being a party of inclusion when it's tough start talking about how where -- party.
Afford legal immigration that we actually want to reform the system so people can actually come to the United States in a legal Safeway that's what all of us want.
And the interesting thing -- is if you talk to the freshman Republicans you know this so called Tea Party freshman.
Most of us agree with this week we are actually looking for a way to reform.
The immigration system so we can have a system that it's fair.
That is not not so taxing on on individuals and also you know you can do it without amnesty and you can -- without pathway to citizenship.
But you can do it in a -- where individuals can actually come to United States and feel welcome and.
Well you -- proposed sort of legislation to.
That would allow people who have Ph.D.s and master's or students who are about to get a job United States to obtain citizenship.
The question becomes what about the guy who is here's a Gartner migrant worker he's working hard to he wants that opportunity become a citizen isn't it.
Rather elitist to say oh I'll give it to the man -- has the higher education but I won't consider persons hardworking family person.
Who's trying his best to advance his family's economic tonight.
They're on their pathway to becoming -- legal permanent -- not pathway to citizenship but just become a legal permanent resident.
The waiting period for those people it's about nine to ten years.
And that doesn't make any sense because what we're finding is that these people are actually leaving the United States they're going to other countries are becoming our competitors.
And what I'm saying that's up aft portion of the immigration system that needs to be reform.
I think it's something that we could do in a bipartisan basis were both parties seem to agree if you look at every Republican candidate for presidency.
They have actually agreed with something that's very similar to what I propose.
Now if they.
Issue they went -- -- make a lot of people that would say well how is that the congressman Labrador.
Can be against the DREAM Act.
If he is for people who are here on a visa.
Trying to get an education and then bringing talent and energy to America's economic system because they came here illegally.
And and the key is when people come here illegally they should not be rewarded with a -- -- -- but these are people who came here as children they didn't come here of their own volition but their parents brought them here.
And they are.
Productive in terms of being in the schools are being in the military and that's what the DREAM Act is about an -- that it's overwhelming in terms Latino community is support.
But what we can do we can find a way that the with a problem with the DREAM Act for an -- it does provide a pathway to citizenship you can look at reforming doing something similar to the DREAM Act.
And taking away the pathway to citizenship.
Doing something where -- can maybe go back to their home countries and get a student visa or something like that that would allow them to to become legal -- What most Americans want is for these people to get to do -- -- right way.
They don't have a -- most Americans don't have a problem with immigration what they have a problem is with illegal immigration.
Now when you support the idea of your spam legislation and don't you think though that again to come to my point that is somewhat.
Elitist that you don't consider someone who's a hardworking Gardner.
Who's trying to make -- wait for history and we don't give them the same opportunity.
-- what I'm trying to do is try to start a discussion on immigration start it's you know because if you remember what happened in.
During the Bush Administration to discuss and turn into really heavy rhetoric from both sides.
Both the right and the left started to -- some really terrible things.
-- what I want to do is start what what I call it conservative -- conversation on immigration.
Start having the conservatives in the house and the senate -- you know what we should be talking about pro legal immigration legislation in both the house and the senate.
And I think this is a good vehicle for that conversation to start.
One last point on this.
The candidate -- the likely candidate Mitt Romney.
Has call for.
He opposes the DREAM Act -- you do he's been.
Opposed to in state tuition for illegal immigrants and beat up on Governor Perry of Texas on this account.
Do you have any understanding of why it is that people and Latino community -- are we area in the.
Oh absolutely do you need to be a little bit more careful in the way you express your opinions about these things for example Rick -- whether I agree or disagree with the statement just you know with what they did.
It was a state legislature that decided to do and and that's something that I think it I think he even said that there -- only two or three.
Legislators who voted against the right you sign a bill that he signed the bill.
So the states I think are free to do whatever they want to do.
I think we we need to start talking about what things we would do if you're against the DREAM Act that's what would -- do you know what what you do with these students I think that's a conversation that is worth happy.
And it's a conversation that some members of the -- are talking about right now there's some legislation that they're working on.
And I think at some point we need to figure out how we can have invite these children.
To go back to their home country and maybe allow them to apply for some sort of student visa where they can come here it in a legal way.
Now if so interest thing to be able to speak with you because I think you represented -- -- two problematic issues of Republican Party.
One is the Mormon is -- that you've been talking about and two is relationships with the Latino community at large.
Let's go -- back for a second to the Mormon issue why is it that you think that so many in the conservative community evangelicals and the like.
To vote for a Mormon.
You know I think every American is reluctant to vote for somebody who was different than there whether it's Mormon -- there's some some something else.
And I think what you have to do -- -- Republican as a politician.
It's you have to convince the people that even though -- different than they are.
That you still believe in the same things that they believe in and I think everyone needs to do that and as sometimes I kind of get upset -- on my own friends who are members of the LDS faith who who think that the only reason people are not.
In love with Romney's because he's Mormon that's not true he needs to in champ them just like everybody needs to ensure that there -- audio set out to be myself as an example.
My state has a very large -- population but -- the first alias congressman from my congressional district.
So you always and imagine that I was LBS and I was Hispanic.
But I needed to convince the people of my congressional district that I agreed with them with their values with their principles and they voted for me overwhelmingly.
So you it's not about making excuses why you people are not voting for you it's about trying to figure out why people are not going for you and try to convince them that you're there.
-- you realize that you've even heard from the likes.
Back when Romney was running in 08 you know -- this business about mormons believe that.
The devil is jesus' brother I mean this comes from fellow conservatives it's not coming from the Democrats or somebody at MSNBC.
There's seems to be your reluctance on the part of your fellow Republicans this with the -- Remember that -- well you know everyone always picks on each other during the primaries and now you're gonna see the conservative.
Coalition get behind whoever the nominee is and it looks like right now it's going to be Romney.
And I think all conservatives are gonna do everything they can't to make sure that Obama's a one term -- Now the second part of -- -- I'm just so glad to have the opportunity speak with you again is that Latino issue and what you're saying is that.
You believe that there's going to be a pivot point you know there are people say Etch A Sketch with Romney what you think that when it comes to -- -- a pivot point where he can.
Reach out to Latino community and make a convincing argument as to why they should support him.
-- and it will be -- I liked the way you say it's not going to be at his -- where he's gonna start talking about something and he's gonna talk about.
The same issues that he's been talking about to everybody how the economy has been much worse under Obama than under the previous president how.
That Hispanics have been damaged by this economy how.
African Americans have been hurt by this economy how we have more people in poverty because of this economy and it's not about immigration.
I think he should talk about immigration what he's talk about legal immigration.
What his vision is for it legal immigration system that actually works because right now we have a broken system we have system that is not working for anybody.
And I think good Republican.
Candidate will find a way to talk about immigration.
Without having to talk -- pathway to citizenship and amnesty we can reform the system without providing -- By the way did you know that Marco Rubio had been a Mormon -- -- -- I have heard about that yes and -- what do you think is if it's if it's rubio on the ticket you have to people who had.
Mormon -- -- in their history.
I don't think that that will damage -- -- in anyways when very popular.
Senator from Florida.
I don't think it will be an issue.
Do you think rubio would be able to increase the number of Hispanics who would vote for the Republican Party in this election.
You know I think any other candidates that I've heard about that in the top five list would would probably increase the number of Hispanics because once Hispanics -- are given.
The opportunity to look at the record I think they're gonna make the decision that they want to vote for Republican candidate because they're gonna that we gave Obama a chance.
And now it's time to get somebody else -- congressman elaborate -- of idol.
Thank you so much for coming in for this Fox News Latino exclusive.
Filter by section