Chris Matthews: 'Does Obama Want Immigration Reform or More Hispanic Votes?'

February 3rd, 2013 2:13 PM

Chris Matthews - apparently absent the thrill up his leg - asked a question on his syndicated program Sunday that will shock people on both sides of the aisle.

"Does the president want immigration reform or does he want more Hispanic votes?" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask a skeptical question: Does the president want immigration reform or does he want more Hispanic votes? Because it may be in getting the bill he has to put teeth into it, a lot of things the Hispanic advocacy groups won’t like, like work permits, really enforced e-checking and things like that. Or does he want the issue? Does he want the bill or the issue?

Not surprisingly, no one on the panel thought this was exclusively about votes including Matthews himself who eventually said, "I think immigration he wants for the books."

However, as the Washington Post's Kathleen Parker noted on last Sunday's show, nothing happening on immigration reform prior to 2014 is likely better for Democrats and Obama in that midterm election.

The lack of a bill allows Democrats to continue to pound Republicans for being anti-immigration reform and - of course! - racist.

It therefore could very well be in Obama's interest to not push aggressively for this - possibly even let the matter die at this time - until 2015 when he no longer cares about voters.

Matthews and Company chose not to address this.

As such, this was a case of the question being far more compelling than the answers.