Cain’s Electric Fence “Joke” Only Confirms That GOP Would Rather Insult Latinos Than Win Their Vote

Oct 17, 2011
2:57 pm

That kooky Herman Cain. It turns out that his comments about building an electric fence on the US-Mexico border were just a "joke" and that people in the United States just need to chill out. As reported by CNN:


Cain made the fence comments Saturday at a Tennessee rally while kicking off his bus tour to promote his "9-9-9" tax plan.

Speaking to the crowd, Cain recalled a conversation he had on his conservative radio talk show with a caller who argued against building a fence to prevent illegal immigration.

But Cain said he fought back, telling the caller:

"When I'm in charge of the fence, we going to have a fence. It's going to be 20 feet high. It's going to have barbed wire on the top. It's going to be electrocuted, electrified," Cain said. "And there's going to be a sign on the other side that says it will kill you."

Cain, who's surged to the top of the Republican presidential field to join fellow front-runner Mitt Romney, said he was only kidding about the remark.

"That's not a serious plan," Cain said Sunday.

And therein lies the problem with Cain's comments. It turns out that his comments and other comments by the GOP (Michelle Bachmann's fence pledge) when it comes to immigration will only do more harm than good when it comes to reaching out to Latino voters. At a time when US Latino voters have become disillusioned with President Obama, the GOP is missing a golden opportunity. A simple message, Republicans: less hate on immigration, more focus on jobs. Recently, we read an opinion piece by Republican strategist Javier Ortiz that said:

The truth is that Latinos are extremely reluctant to embrace GOP candidates, yet they have deep reservations about the current officeholder. That means that with hard work and commitment, there is an opening for meaningful dialogue.

Obama has received the message and acknowledged his vulnerability by feverishly working to make up for lost time.  Let’s hope the Republican candidates figure it out soon, if not, they could be observing another significant and sizeable hit to their support within a segment of the electorate that could easily determine who takes the oath of office in 2013. 

Bingo. And that's no joke.