Obama, in an interview with talk radio host Michael Baisden, said, “I probably should have used the word ‘opponents’ instead of enemies.” He was backtracking from a comment he made a week ago in an interview with Univision radio in which he sought to persuade Hispanics to vote for Democratic candidates instead of Republicans. “If Latinos sit out the election instead of, ‘we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’ — if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder,” Obama had said.
Republicans in hot pursuit of control of the U.S. House of Representatives in Tuesday voting were drawing attention to Obama’s “enemies” comment in hopes of encouraging more turnout by Republican voters. “Mr. President, there’s a word for people who have the audacity to speak up in defense of freedom, the Constitution, and the values of limited government that made our country great. We don’t call them ‘enemies.’ We call them ‘patriots,'” John Boehner,a Republican planned to say.