Exclusive: Q&A with Patti Solis-Doyle

What do you think about the Republican Party’s choice of Sara Palin as vice-president? Do you think it’s going to have the intended effect of swaying former Clinton supporters to support their ticket now that they have a female in the running?

When 9/11 happened, George Bush was in the air and it was Dick Cheney who was in the situation room making all the calls. I think I’m very comfortable with Joe Biden being in the situation room if something like that were to happen again. In terms of Sarah Palin attracting the Hilary voter, you know, I was a Hilary voter and Sara Palin is just wrong on the issues that I, as a woman, care about. She’s wrong on choice. The reason that I think she made such a splash is because she’s so conservative and she’s really revved up the conservative base for Senator McCain. In terms of the issues that matter to women, I don’t think she’s in the right place.

What do you think is specifically at stake in this election for Latinos?

I feel strongly about this one. I don’t differentiate between what’s at stake for Latinos as opposed to all Americans. I think this is probably the most important election of my lifetime and I think what’s important for me, what’s important for Latinos, what’s important for everybody in this country, is their kids, their families. Issues like making sure that we can afford to send our kids to college, that they have adequate health care if they get sick, making sure that there are opportunities for decent paying job so we can support our families. Barack Obama and Joe Biden—they’re going to put this country on the right track so not only I have these things but my kids will have these things when they grow up, and that’s why I’m supporting this ticket.

Your father came to this country illegally, was deported and then applied for re-entry legally. What is your opinion on the whole immigration debate? What do you think the Democrats can do to bring about change with regards to immigration policy?

It’s obviously a personal issue for me because indeed my father came here to Chicago illegally twice—he was deported twice. The third time he returned, he got his papers and did it legally. My father’s the first to say, "You have to work hard and play by the rules". Barack Obama supports comprehensive immigration reform and he’s committed to addressing it in his first year as president. Specifically, for me as a mother, the separation of families that's occurring is a horrible thing.