Former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss., and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, disagreed about Sen. Marco Rubio's alternate DREAM Act proposal. Barbour said "some of the concepts are clearly attractive." The Huffington Post thinks he suggested a willingness to go even farther on the issue than Rubio's plan, though. Villaraigosa was strongly against Rubio's plan because he thinks it would create a "second class status" of people in the United States. Villariagosa supported the president's plan, which goes beyond Rubio's proposal. The Hill picked up Villaraigosa's comments.
Though they disagreed about the DREAM Act in some ways, both agreed the Hispanic vote will be hugely important in the 2012 election. Hispanics make up about 11 percent of the voting population, and in 2008 President Barack Obama did very well with the demographic. But in the election prior, President George W. Bush did incredibly well with the group, and experts agree GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney could really use a repeat of Bush's performance with Latinos. Villaraigosa predicted Romney's going to have big troubles with the Hispanic vote because of the things he said about immigration during the primaries. Read more about that from Talking Points Memo.
But just how damaging was the nominating contest for Romney? Barbour said the primary, "which wasn't as helpful as we might have liked it to be," but noted that Romney's positioning in the polls show it might not have been that hurtful for his campaign. POLITICO points out Barbour noted Romney's in a better position than many experts expected he'd be in at this time. But he didn't elaborate on where Romney stood with Hispanics in the polls.
Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., didn't focus on whether one demographic group could win the presidency for either candidate. He thinks it all "turns on if one of the candidates screws up first and makes a mistake" (The Sacramento Bee). Brown said. "Elections tend to move on the other person making the mistake." United Press International also picked up those comments.
Brown had someHe said "The Republicans have to move out of that reactionary cul-de-sac that some of the more extreme members are pushing them." He used immigration as an example of Republican ideology that isn't good for their party. He said, "They're so hostile to millions and millions of people in this country, and while they can't vote, they have millions and millions of people who they're related to or who identify with them. And you just can't ignore 12 million people, particularly when they're picking our food, they're working in the hotels and restaurants, and now they're increasingly in very important jobs." He didn't make any predictions about whether they could do this before November 6, though.
Graham Allison insisted that "While al Qaeda is near strategic defeat, the idea that the U.S. is not vulnerable to major attacks in the future is unfortunately wrong."
Peter Bergen took a slightly different tack, saying "Seventeen Americans have been killed by Al Qaeda or people influenced by its ideas since 9/11. More Americans die in their bathtubs by significant amounts, by accidental drowning. We don't have a fear of accidental bathtub drowning."
Go tofor more on the roundtable and fascinating new details about the planning of the raid that led to bin Laden's death in Abbottabad.