President Obama has revealed fresh resolve in pressing for immigration legislation Tuesday; challenging Republicans to join his path for reform or face the electoral consequences.
"[P]erhaps some of my Republican friends are gonna start recognizing, if they looked at the last census, that they are gonna have a very hard time winning any elections if they continue to deliberately target anti-immigration sentiment," the president told Spanish-language CNN en Espanol Tuesday in El Salvador.
"I find it ironic that a president who promised immigration reform and failed to deliver, like he has on so many other issues, is now criticizing the other party for issues he has done absolutely nothing on," Republican National Committee Spokesman Sean Spicer tells Fox News.
Mr. Obama has been down this road before. He pushed for passage of immigration legislation in both 2009 and 2010. Those efforts failed.
Now the president wants to tackle the issue anew.
"The president will be making the case to the American people soon about why we need to fix the broken immigration system, as he has done before," a senior administration official tells Fox. "But as he has repeatedly said, it will require Democrats and Republicans working together to get it through Congress."
The president himself reiterated that need for Republican support on the issue Tuesday, then went on to critique the failings of GOP-backed ventures, like the Arizona immigration law. He cited the down-sizing of Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's controversial immigration law because, Mr. Obama said, businesses recognize it's not good for them.
The president appears to think momentum is on his side, saying the American people can rally behind a strong immigration reform effort. He will be testing that theory again when he speaks out on the issue and notes one of the things people always underestimate him on is "how persistent I am."
For more on President Obama's immigration stance, click here.