Longtime CNN anchor Lou Dobbs resigned last night, telling the audience, "Over the past six months it’s become increasingly clear that strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us, and some leaders in media, politics and business have been urging me to go beyond the role here at CNN and to engage in constructive problem solving as well as to contribute positively to the great understanding of the issues of our day. And to continue to do so in the most honest and direct language possible."

You can read his full remarks here—and see video after the jump—but in his surprise announcement, he also said:

I truly believe that the major issues of our time include the growth of our middle class, the creation of more jobs, health care, immigration policy, the environment, climate change, and our military involvement, of course, in Afghanistan and Iraq... I believe these to be profoundly, critically important issues, and I will continue to strive to deal honestly and straightforwardly with those issues in the future.

Unfortunately, these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous, empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion. I’ll be working diligently to change that as best i can. And as for the important work of restoring inspiration to our great free society and our market economy, I will strive as well to be a leader in that national conversation.

Dobbs' immigration views—specifically anti-illegal immigration views—have, as Media Decoder puts it, "made him a TV lightning rod." Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Latino advocacy group Presente.org, which lobbied for Dobbs' firing, told Media Decoder, "Our contention all along was that Lou Dobbs — who has a long record of spreading lies and conspiracy theories about immigrants and Latinos — does not belong on the ‘most trusted name in news.' We are thrilled that Dobbs no longer has this legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate."

CNN head Jonathan Klein noted how they would "miss his appetite for big ideas, the megawatt smile and larger-than-life presence he brought to our newsroom... For decades, Lou fearlessly and tirelessly pursued some of the most important and complex stories of our time, often well ahead of the pack," adding, "With characteristic forthrightness, Lou has now decided to carry the banner of advocacy journalism elsewhere. We respect his decision and wish him, Debi [Dobbs' wife], and his family the very best."