Is Marco Rubio Too Late in Pushing the GOP to Win More of the US Latino Vote?

Apr 7, 2012
11:59 am

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: let the senator speak. This past week, Senator Rubio gave a rather lengthy interview with Fox News Latino's Juan Williams. It was 17 minutes long and the whole interview can be seen here. Williams also provided his commentary about the interview, and he raises some interesting points to consider:

In the interview the son of Cuban immigrants told me the proposed law, written by Democrats, would have allowed for “chain migration” of 3 to 4 million of the young people’s relatives. He is reportedly considering proposing a version of the Dream Act that blocks deportation of those young people but does not give them citizenship. 

The senator’s uneasy straddle on the Dream Act is similar to his attempt to ride the fence on immigration reform. He supports tough new laws passed by Republicans in Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina to allow police to demand proof of citizenship – arguably exposing all Latinos to harassment based on racial and ethnic profiling.

In that case, the senator said he stands with the Republicans who put the laws in place because local officials are reflecting their constituents’ frustration at the lack of federal action on immigration reform. But he wants the federal government to take the lead.

The young senator’s difficult tap dance with the Dream Act and immigration reform is more than one politician’s problem. Sen. Rubio, the son of Cuban American immigrants, is every Republican’s first choice to be the vice presidential nominee in 2012. His presence on the Republican ticket is potentially a game-changer with Hispanics now the fastest growing segment of American voters and with a large presence in swing states, such as Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

We agree with Williams. Rubio is lacking the political courage to be a bit bolder about comprehensive immigration reform. By trying to placate those in the GOP, he winds up pleasing no one because in essence Rubio is taking no stand. In essence, if he had true courage, he would actually "work the room" and (gasp) work with Democrats on this one, but he won't.

This whole Dream Act, Rubio Style, is a vain attempt to gain more Latino voters for Mitt Romney. And that is why the GOP won't get more than 15% of the national US Latino vote. Too little, too late, not only for US Latino voters but also for others in Rubio's own party, who claim that "There's No Such Thing as a Republican Dream Act."

Our take on Rubio's interview? Some video commentary of his DREAM Act position and his "Latino-ness."