“Like it or not, the Hispanic media perceives that approving or rejecting immigration reform is in the hands of John Boehner. When you listen to local radio stations and even national media, most of us are concentrated on John Boehner. We don’t even have a problem pronouncing his name.”
That’s from Jorge Ramos, the widely influential anchor for Univision who has been described as the “Walter Cronkite of Hispanic media,” in an interview with me today. Ramos left little doubt that Boehner and fellow House Republicans will get absolutely crucified by the Hispanic media if Republicans fail to support comprehensive reform.
The views of Ramos and others in the Hispanic media are mostly overlooked inside the Beltway. But Obama is set to take his case to that media directly: The White House just announced he will do a round of interviews with Hispanic media tomorrow.
By the way, there’s no dismissing Ramos’s criticism of Boehner as partisanship. He was a relentless critic of Obama during his first term for breaking what was widely known in Latino media as “the promise” — the vow to pursue immigration reform.
Indeed, Republicans are plainly looking to minimize the damage they will sustain among Latinos by debating a “piecemeal” approach designed to make them look as if they see the need to act on reform. But right now, Ramos says, the bulk of the coverage in Hispanic media strongly suggests it will be hard for Republicans to avoid most or all the blame if it fails.
“In the end, you just have to follow Hispanic media,” Ramos says. “The question is, who is responsible for failure? So far, the answer is Republicans.”