10 Questions We Would Like to Hear at Tonight’s #CNNDebate in Arizona

Tonight, the GOP Debate Tour is back. CNN will be broadcasting the 20th debate of the primary season.

As with all the other CNN debates we have covered on Twitter, the official CNN hashtag #CNNDebate will be lively. Here are the 10 questions we would submit to CNN. In the meantime, we will see you tonight on Twitter! Bring your popcorn.

  1. Governor Romney, you have proudly promoted Kris Kobach, the chief architect behind Arizona's controversial SB 1070 immigration law, as a key adviser to your campaign. Kobach has become a pariah among US Latino voters, a demographic that you yourself admitted is an important one for this year's election. How do you explain to US Latino voters your support of Kobach?
  2. Senator Santorum, today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season for Catholics all over the world. Where is you ash? Did you wash it off before the debate? Follow up to Speaker Gingrich: you are Catholic, too. Where is your ash?
  3. Congressman Paul, you said that the Dream Act, which over 85% of US Latino voters support, is not a good idea for America, yet at the same time you said in Nevada that US Latinos are "scapegoats." How do you reconcile these statements.
  4. Speaker Gingrich, you speak of a more realistic immigration policy, but in November, you told a South Carolina newspaper that if you are elected President, you would withdraw federal law suits against immigration laws in Arizona, South Carolina, and Alabama. You also spoke against "birth tourism." These immigration laws have very little support among US Latino voters, a group you are trying to court. How can you speak of a more realistic immigration policy, but not speak out against these controversial laws?
  5. The latest polls show all of you trailing President Obama by a wide margin. Why do you think this is so?
  6. Is the economy getting better? To whom would you credit this improvement?
  7. Why is birth control an issue again when we have had this debate 40 years ago? As a follow-up, can you point to specific cases where religious institutions have been denied their freedom to worship by the federal government and have been persecuted?
  8. Can you say, straight up, that President Obama is Christian? And if you don't, why does it matter that people think he is Muslim?
  9. Do you reject Satan, and all his works, and all his deeds?
  10. Why did CNN not add Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer to this debate? Would you as candidates let him debate with you the next time? (Wait, Buddy already answered that one.)

So the bonus question is: What percentage of the US Latino do you predict the GOP will win?

When Rush Limbaugh Craps on You, Mitt Romney Has Got Problems

Yesterday in an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien (who is quickly earning Rebelde status with us), GOP candidate Mitt Romney said things about the country's classes that he probably regretted saying.

According to reports, Romney had to spend most of the day clarifying his statements. Sure, he got pummeled by the left, but it is interesting to note that he also got heavily criticized by the right, particularly Rush Limbaugh, who basically identified the elephant in the room: Romney as the prototypical rich Republican who continues to give Obama 2012 a portfolio of campaign gems. This is what CBS reported:

”Sometimes things don't come out exactly the way you'd like them to," Romney explained. "That's not exactly what I meant to say. My focus is on middle income Americans. We do have a safety net for the very poor, and I said if there are holes in it I want to correct that."

Opponents on the left jumped on it, saying it shows Romney is out of touch. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh noticed, as well. "Everyone knows what he was trying to say," Limbaugh observed, "but he didn't say it. He makes himself a target with this stuff. He comes across at the prototypical rich Republican. … It's gonna make it harder and harder and harder to go after Obama."

Romney's comments also gave an opening for his Republican opponents to attack.

Newt Gingrich said he is "fed up with politicians in either party dividing Americans against each other. I am running to be the president of all of the American people, and I am concerned about all of the American people."

The GOP’s Mixed Message to the US Latino Voter



When Rick Santorum made his statement about Blacks on welfare, he touched a familiar nerve among its traditional voting base.  In a room of largely white voters in a State with an African-American population of virtually zero, Santorum said, “I do not want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money, I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” 

With heads nodding in approval, applause even, Santorum appealed to a stereotype long perpetuated and successfully applied to win over white voters throughout the South, where it would be difficult to find an institution more despised than the GOP.

By Veronica Bravo, USA TODAY

Yet the growing demographic power of Latinos in key states, particularly Texas, makes it obvious to anyone who can see beyond their nose that the GOP cannot sustain this tactic for much longer. Meg Whitman ran for governor of California as a centrist and it wasn’t until her campaign ran into the issue of immigration that she was derailed.  In an election season ripe for her ascendance, and in a stunning example of political tone-deafness by her advisers, Whitman turned to Pete Wilson for help on the issue.  Its not necessary to go through the Prop 187 episode here, but asking Pete Wilson for advice on immigration in California is like asking Dina Lohan for advice on parenting.

Similarly, Sharon Angle ran for Senate in Nevada in an election she had no business losing, but once again, the potency of white angst was too much for her clueless advisors to resist, not to mention her clearly deficient leadership capabilities.

The Republicans are still stuck in the past, and if they are to expand their appeal the GOP will have to own up to its past.  Latinos have been waiting for some coherent message from the GOP and this week there was an indicator that message would come.  The Republican Party announced that Bettina Inclán would head the Hispanic outreach effort of the Republican National Committee.  However, on that same day, Mitt Romney boasted about the endorsement of Kris Kobach, one of the main architects of the waves of anti-immigrant legislation around the country, including Arizona’s infamous SB1070. 

While Inclán has some experience within the Party structure there’s no evidence they will listen to her. The mixed messaging coming from the Party with the announcement of Kobach’s endorsement demonstrates a decided lack of consciousness about the sentiments of Latinos. Perhaps Inclán can change that. She will need to work hard to gain the trust of Hispanics rather than just repeat the Party line.  Whether or not the GOP will allow her to do that is another question.

Professor Stephen A. Nuño is an Assistant Professor at Northern Arizona University. He is currently writing a book on Republican outreach in the Latino community. You can visit his page at http://stephenanuno.com/

Satirical Video Explains the US Debt Ceiling in Real Terms We All Understand


A satirical short film taking a look at the national debt and how it applies to just one family. Starring Brian Stepanek & Eddie Jemison, Produced by Seth William Meier, DP/Edited by Craig Evans, 1st AC Brian Andrews, Sound Mixer Gus Salazar, Written and Directed by Brian Stepanek. Help us spread the word at www.debtlimitusa.org

Gingrich Supports Controversial South Carolina Immigration Law

Newt Gingrich's latest backpedal takes place in South Carolina where he strongly supported the tough anti-Latino Arizona-like anti-immigration law. The 

new law requires proof of legal U.S. residency from anyone who is arrested or pulled over by police.

Gingrich stated, "South Carolinians have actually passed a law that I think is a pretty reasonable law – that basically says if you pull somebody over for legitimate reasons, you can ask them whether or not they're a citizen." He goes on to say "This is the opposite of sanctuary states. Think of it as enforcement society rather than a sanctuary society."  After watching police officers pepper spray, beat and unlawfully manhandle peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters, one would think we are already living in a enforcement society. 

In another not so surprising statement, Gingrich said,  "Here's a simple way to pin it: President Obama sided with Mexico. I will side with South Carolina." 

If anyone had any doubt that these anti-immigration laws racially profiled, the proof is in Newt's latest statement. He reestablished his stance on Tea Party extremism and confirmed these anti-immigration laws are nothing more than anti-Latino racist laws stamped with the Republican party's approval. 

Gingrich Campaign Tries to Pull a Fast One on Romney and Immigration

Sure, the Newt Gingrich campaign is right. The video below did indeed happen.

© Getty/Washington Post

This is what Mitt Romney said in 2007 on Meet the Press:

And if that is all Romney said, you would think that he is supporting an amnesty-like solution to the estimated 14 million undocumented in the United States. But in fact, if the Gingrich campaign played the whole clip, this is what you would have heard Romney saying:

"My own view is, consistent with what you saw in the Lowell Sun, that those people who had come here illegally and are in this country, the 12 million or so that are here illegally, should be able to sign up for permanent residency or citizenship, but they should not be given a special pathway, a special guarantee that all of them get to stay here for the rest of their lives merely by virtue of having come here illegally, and that, I think, is the great flaw in the final bill that came forward from the Senate."

So, in essence, even though Romney is known for his flipping and flopping, he has been fairly consistent when he comes to immigration. Although he now wants to build a fence. Why not. And the day after the GOP debate, Romney expanded on this stance at an campaign stop in Iowa:

"My view is that people who come here illegally should not have a special break or a special pathway to become permanent residents or citizens of this country," Romney said Wednesday during a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa. 

"They should be in line or at the back of the line with other people who want to come here illegally," he added, as first reported by ABC News.

On @TheDailyShow: GOP So Extreme, Pat Robertson Says “Shut Up, Guys!”


Last Night on The DailyShow:

Indecision 2012 – The Great Right Hope – The 180 Club

Pat "Gay People Cause Hurricanes" Robertson expresses concern for how extreme the Republican party has gotten.

The first rule about Right Club? Don't talk about Right Club.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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Go, Buddy Roemer: Yes, He Is a Republican

You can take Ron Paul. We like Buddy Roemer. When will the media actually invite this former Governor of Louisiana and Republican candidate to an actual debate?

He really IS a Republican!

Arizona Corporate Commission Denies Approval of National Tequila Party

In a move that has discredited its founder, the Arizona Corporate Commission recently rejected an application by the National Tequila Party Movement to incorporate itself in Arizona as a domestic limited liability corporation.

The Tequila Party organization, founded by Somos Republicans founder Dee Dee Blase Garcia, in essence is not a legitimate organization, as defined by the Arizona Corporate Comission. Arizona listed a "potential name conflict" that potentially invalidates the Tequila Party. The current application expired last week.

We did reach out to both Somos Republican and Blase Garcia for comment, but they have not returned our requests.


Senate Republicans Block $7 Billion Relief Package

Natural disaster victims will have to wait for relief aid a bit longer thanks to House Republicans. Senate Republicans blocked a "$7 billion aid package  for relief funding of the natural disasters that have swept the country this summer" (abcnews.com).

According to abcnews.com:

Democrats again need 60 votes to advance the measure, but it does not look as if  they have the votes yet. Republicans say that the bill calls for too much spending – and they prefer to go through the House’s proposal for funding – attaching the FEMA aid package to the Continuing Resolution that would keep the government funded past Sept. 30. They will call for a $500 million increase for FEMA to remain solvent through the end of the month and will request an additional $5 billion for next year.

If only our political leaders would agree on at least an immediate emergency relief amount, say meet each other half way at $3.5 billion to get people moving from Joplin, MO to the flooding victims of Hurricane Irene along the northeast.

With the full understanding that our nation is cash strapped and overspent, we still believe that funds from other "approved budget cuts" can be diverted for this much needed relief.  What is it going to take for Congress, House  and Government to work on behalf of American's best interest?

Original post found at palantelatino.com