The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce this week demanded a retraction of the controversial remarks made by CNN talk show host
Lou Dobbs, who blasted President Obama for picking the USHCC as the venue to deliver his March 10 address on education reform.
On the show, Dobbs seemed to draw a link between the USHCC and illegal drug trafficking.
"I don't know what's happened to this White House, but the wheels appear to have come completely off here over the last several days," he said on the show. "Making a decision to talk about a national initiative on education from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is effectively an organization that is interested in the export of American capital and production to Mexico and Mexico's export of drugs and illegal aliens to the United States. This is crazy stuff."
( Click here to watch a video clip that was posted on the Orlando Sentinel.)
On Monday, the chamber issued a statement demanding that Mr. Dobbs, CNN and Turner Broadcasting retract the "defamatory, misleading statements."
"Frankly, we are baffled and disappointed by these comments," said David C. Lizarraga, Chairman of the Board of the USHCC, in a statement. "The Hispanic community values issues like education as much as anyone in the nation. Our members, as with the rest of the country, are concerned about economic growth, job creation, access to credit, education, health care, and the many other policy areas that impact the country.
"To suggest that it is out of place for President Obama to speak on a national issue before our organization, or any Hispanic group, is just absurd."
Dobbs has long been a polarizing figure when it comes to topics affecting the Hispanic population, and is generally considered a hard-liner on illegal immigration.
President Obama's speech on March 10 addressed key policy initiatives concerning education reform. The event was the chamber's 19th Annual Legislative Conference.
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