GOP Latino Strategy: Rubio, Immigration, Univisión

In case you were wondering, Florida Senator Marco Rubio says he’s not interested in running for vice-president. Rubio was at the Washington Ideas Forum this weekend in Washington, D.C., when a correspondent from the National Journal asked him about his interest in the veep slot.  The Republican Senator said he was definitely not interested, maybe, for sure.

The Huffington Post reported:

“I’m not focused on that; I’m focused on my job right now. And the answer’s probably going to be no — The answer’s going to be no,” he said, adding that he had to correct himself because he didn’t want to be seen as leaving the door open. Rubio has offered similar answers in the past, but no one seems to believe him and he is still consistently asked about his prospects.

The speculation (and I use the term more as a noun than a verb) has been that the GOP needs Rubio to ride shotgun on its presidential ticket for 2012 in order to attract more Latino voters. As if that were enough. The problem for the Republican party is that if they manage to convince Rubio to accept a running mate position, they’d have to let him talk, wouldn’t they?

Rubio has been adamant about what he believes his party must do to attract Latinos. One of those things concerns immigration.

Rubio also offered his party a cautionary note on immigration, saying it had to be careful not to focus primarily on targeting undocumented immigrants.

“We cannot be the anti-illegal immigration party. We have to be the pro-legal immigration party,” he said. “We have to be a party that advocates for a legal immigration system that’s good for Americans, good for America and honors our tradition both as a nation of immigrants and as a nation of law.”

That runs askew to the feelings of the Republican Tea Party base, that argues for strict enforcement of even stricter immigration laws – all of this couched in the idea that immigration is the key to winning or losing the Latino vote. The moderate Republicans, on the other hand, may have stepped into an issue involving Rubio, but not of their making. According to the Wall Street Journal,

…an escalating dispute between (Rubio) and Univision, the largest Spanish-language television network in the country, could complicate the GOP’s efforts to reach out to Latinos.

News Taco reported on this last week: the Miami Herald alleges that Univision’s top office people offered to “go easy” on a planned story about the Senator’s brother-in-law’s criminal background in exchange for Rubio’s appearance on the network’s Sunday issues program, Al Punto.  The GOP has backed Rubio in this controversy, and by default gone against Univisión.

There’s an interesting collateral implication here as well: the fact that going against Univision can somehow “complicate the GOP’s efforts to reach out to Latinos.” It’s no secret that Univisión is the dominant Spanish language television and radio network in the U.S. But does that mean that it speaks for all Latinos?

The problem, as with everything having to do with Latinos in the U.S., is in the definition. First, there’s the idea that all persons of Latin American heritage living in the United States can be pressed into one tidy box labeled “Latino.” Then there’s the myth that all you need are three things to get the people in that box to vote for your candidate/party:

Get a Latino on the ticket, go easy on immigration and play nice with Univisión.

The sound you hear are the crickets chirping where there should be Latino enthusiasm for the GOP.

[Photo by DavidAll06]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read

U.S. citizen detained overnight by ICE – they thought he was undocumented

Victor Landa July 6, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1.5 minute read)  This is startling news. Up until last night at a dinner conversation I believed that the idea that an American citizen would be […]

Willie Velásquez documentary is a lesson for Latinos on the importance of voting

NewsTaco May 9, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because today is Willie Velasquez day and a quick search of his name turned up no news stories. This piece, by Mercedes Olivera, is from […]

DIECIOCHO Podcast: Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia – Trump, Gerrymandering and Money

NewsTaco June 8, 2017

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco (1 minute read, 34 minute listen)  It’s safe to say that the just-ended Texas legislative session was the most acrimonious in memory. We can talk for […]

Ted Cruz gets an earful in McAllen for July 4

Victor Landa July 5, 2017

*I’m posting this because it was mostly Latinos, organizing, protesting, making their voices heard. Everyone needs to know that Latinos in deep South Texas are standing up. VL By Patrick […]

Pence will host White House Cinco de Mayo party

NewsTaco May 4, 2017

*Why you should read this: Because there’ll be no Cinco de Mayo celebration at the White House (I know, big deal – we’ll be spared the taco-bowl). VL By Hadas […]

Vietnam War veteran fears he could be deported

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*This Vietnam veteran, born in Mexico, was awarded two Purple Hearts and given U.S. citizenship after his service. He’s misplaced his documents and after paying $345 the government wants more […]

Castro will not run for U.S. Senate

NewsTaco May 1, 2017

By Victor Laneda, NewsTaco (i.5 minute read)    Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) says he will not be running for the U.S. Senate against Ted Cruz. Castro had promised to make […]

Henry Cisneros: Why Can’t Americans See Latinos Are Country’s ‘Saving Grace’?

Victor Landa July 7, 2017

*Good question. I think it’s because we’re not the ones telling our story. We need to fight for our narrative. VL By Suzanne Gamboa, NBC News (1.5 minute read)  SAN […]