The general election is upon us, and in case you have not noticed, it is upon us.Santorum has made a valiant attempt at becoming the nominee, but for all the hyperbole coming from his camp these days, there is little chance that he stops Romney at this point.
Therefore, it is time to start talking about the general election.Today we will talk about one of the issues that is bound to come up, and sooner rather than later. This issue would be the Latino vote.
Some of the pundits in the media have conjectured that Romney should put Marco Rubio (R-Fla) on the ticket as VP because the GOP needs to reach out to Hispanic voters if it wants a chance at beating President Obama this November.The second half of this statement is surely true.The Latino vote is sure to be an Achilles ’heel for the GOP now and well into the future consider the way population trends are moving these days.
Latino’s accounted for 6.6 million of the votes in the 2010 mid-term elections, which was a record for the mid-term.They were also a larger share of the electorate that ever before coming in at 6.9% of all voters, which is up from 5.8% in 2006.According to the Census Bureau, 50.5 million Hispanics were counted by the 2010 Census, which is up from 35.3 million in 2000. Bottom line is this voting block is growing fast, and to exacerbate this for the GOP is the fact that many of these voters live in important electoral swing states: which includes Nevada, Florida, Colorado, and New Mexico. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Barack Obama won the Latino vote by 36 points in 2008
Some people believe that this is why having Marco Rubio on the ticket with Mitt Romney would be a good thing.Romney had this to say about Rubio: “Marco Rubio is living proof that the American dream is still very much alive.”
This is very true, and it alone is reason enough to place Rubio on the ticket with Romney. However, it would be spurious to place him on the ticket thinking that alone who garner enough Latino support to win election. One should expect this proud people to see right through this.
Listen to Rubio talk about what it means to be an immigrant:
“To me, the story of immigration...the story of the Hispanic community, is the aspirations for a better life.” He then states “The sacrifices so that your children would have opportunities you didn’t have. I didn’t read about in a magazine article. I’m surrounded by it every single day of my entire life.”
Rubio gets it, but sadly, the GOP and many conservatives do not get it.
The most veracious way that I can put this is to say, that the only way the GOP is can consistently win the Latino vote is to show some empathy when dealing with issues that affect the Latino community. Something Romney has not done well in the last few presidential election cycles.
One example of this would be the DREAM ACT, which allows young people who arrived in this country as children, and graduated high school in the U.S. to become U.S. citizens.Under the provisions of theDREAM ACT, qualifying undocumented youth would be eligible for a 6-year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.
Earlier this primary season Romney was very critical of Texas governor Rick Perry for signing a Texas state version of the DREAM ACT.Of course, this was being used as a club against someone that team Romney viewed as a threat, but Perry was right to defend the law.States are required by law to help people who cannot help themselves, why not allow the children to become contributing members of the state if they are already doing everything they can to better themselves.
This is not only the moral thing to do; it could also be seen as the conservative thing to do.Think about it this this way, how many people are complaining that immigrants are getting things free while everyone else has to work for them?This bill works towards allowing these young people to contribute to a society that often times they did not choose to live in.
Rubio is also working on an alternative version of the DREAM ACT that would allow children of illegal aliens who came into the country at no fault of their own to stay here legally and get in line to become citizens.
In the above Fox News Latino interview, Rubio also said, “What I have found, unfortunately, in my time here in Washington is that this is a very powerful issue and that, in fact, there are those that maybe don’t want to solve this and would like to leave it there so they can use it in the elections.”
If this is true, that is even more reason for Republicans to take the weapon away from Democrats.
The Hill reportedthat Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) are also working towards getting a bill done, but are not expected to release details until after Mitt Romney has clinched the nomination.
That is probably because Romney will come out in support of this bill, and then be called out by Santorum and Gingrich for another flip-flop, which in Romney’s case will likely not matter. If you were not going to vote for Romney because he has a flip-flop problem, then you likely already came to that conclusion.
Putting Marco Rubio on the ticket because he would help attract Latino voters is a fool’s errand.The GOP does not have to back track on it strong border issues stance, but they should rethink their views on what to do with those who are already here.These people only want to see their children grow up in a better world, and that is what American represents, a better future for all people. It is hard to blame them for wanting to leave their host countries, which are likely not a pleasant place to live. Closing the border needs to be a top priority, but so does dealing with those who are here already.
When discussing Latino issues in the video above, Rubio states that for these people this it “is a personal issue -- you’re talking about their mother, their father, their brother, someone they love” and “It’s hard to make an economic argument to people who think you want to deport their grandmother.”
Rubio is already doing more for the party by talking out about this than just putting him on the ticket.Even though it would be nice to have him on the ticket, doing so may look shallow.Besides, if Romney loses, we will want him to be fresh for the 2016 campaign: just saying.