Former U.S. HUD director campaigns for Clinton

May 3, 2008 7:03:23 AM PDT
Friday the Clinton campaign called in a big name in Latino politics -- Bill Clinton's former housing secretary, Henry Cisneros.

Only about a dozen people, mostly media, gathered in the Latino Bank lobby.

Cisneros began his address to the crowd in Spanish. "Necesitamos una persona que va luchar por nosotros."

He hammered his points on why he's pushing for Senator Clinton.

"What we've seen very clearly over the last few weeks is the backbone, the character, the strength?" Cisneros asked.

The former HUD director spoke of what he sees as Clinton's strengths on jobs, health care and ending the war in Iraq.

"By bringing Hillary to victory, added to Indiana, will change the complexion of this race," Cisneros said.

But one Iraq veteran asked about what might be Latinos biggest issue -- immigration.

Cisneros said Clinton supports an immigration law which would allow some illegal immigrants who work and pay taxes to eventually become American citizens.

"Some people call that amnesty," he said. "It is not. It is earning your way with the contributions you make to this country."

But Cisneros also said he does not think the immigration debate will hurt Clinton, who has been gaining on Obama but largely with conservative Democrats, Independents and white voters.

"Reasonable people understand that the system is broken and needs fixing for everybody's sake," Cisneros said.

He attributed Clintons wins in California, Texas and Arizona to the Latino vote. He said a Latino vote for Clinton was a vote for more Latino influence in American politics.


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