Dobbs loses his base

The former CNN host has been saying too many positive things about immigration for some of his fans' taste

Published December 3, 2009 4:07PM (EST)

Lou Dobbs may hope that he can get Latinos to forget about the past few years of his CNN show, and the myths about Latino immigrants in which he trafficked. (Doing so, after all, would probably be a necessary step if he does want to mount even a semi-serious run for office.) But the people who liked what he was saying back then aren't going to forget -- in fact, they're pretty upset about Dobbs trying to rewrite history.

Dobbs has even managed to turn off the man who was once his biggest supporter. William Gheen, the president of Americans for Legal Immigration (ALIPAC), has devoted quite a bit of energy in recent years to trying to persuade Dobbs to run for president; he even set up a Web site about the cause. But in a press release sent out Thursday morning, ALIPAC announced that it's "withdrawing support" for the former CNN anchor.

From the release:

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC is withdrawing support for Lou Dobbs after years, including the suspension of websites calling on Dobbs to run for President due to the perceived change in Mr. Dobbs's stances on immigration issues.

"While Mr. Dobbs claims his positions have not changed, however, that is not the perception of many of our mutual supporters," said William Gheen of ALIPAC. "His recent comments on Telemundo and his national radio show supporting some kind of path to citizenship for illegal immigrants is inconsistent with positions of ALIPAC and the views of most American citizens." ....

ALIPAC is suspending the operations of two Dobbs fan websites. The Facebook "Draft Lou Dobbs for President or US Senate" and the fan site will suspend operations and have a notice of ALIPAC's discontinued support placed upon them. The site was launched back in early 2008 and has generated pledges of over $660,000 in contributions if Lou Dobbs were to run for office.

"We've received so many demands from prior Dobbs supporters to remove their pledges of support that we have to suspend all operations on the Dobbs fan sites," said Gheen. "Lou Dobbs has deeply offended his base of supporters and ALIPAC is going to remain loyal to those Americans who support our existing immigration laws instead of Amnesty disguised as reform."

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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