Tea Party: Say ‘conservative’ not ‘Republican’ to woo Latinos
Preaching a conservative message is a better way to connect with the growing U.S. Hispanic community than to mention the Republican Party by name, the nation’s first Hispanic tea party group president said at an Austin forum on Thursday.
“Whenever the word ‘Republican’ is used, it was almost like an automatic wall that falls,” George Rodriguez, president of the San Antonio Tea Party, said at a conference organized by the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation. “Yet when we used the word ‘conservative,’ people were more responsive.”
“For some reason, these folks continue to vote liberal, only because their parents did,” he said. “When you ask them, ‘Why do you vote like that?’, they don’t know, they don’t know, they just do it.”
Getting a message out to the Hispanic community, which at 50.5 million people is the largest minority in the United States, is hampered by the absence of conservative talk show firebrands and commentators in the Spanish language, he said.
“There is no Rush Limbaugh in Spanish,” he said. “There’s no Sean Hannity in Spanish.”
Is changing voter attitudes as easy as swapping one descriptor for another? In political circles, it can be. But what about in Latino politics, specifically? According to a Reuters report, a Texas Latino Tea Party activist thinks that changing a single word will make a difference:
Many Latinos are repulsed by the Republican anti-immigrant stance and rhetoric. In 2008 Latinos votes almost 2 to 1 against Republican Presidential candidate John McCain. And in Texas, specifically, 61% of Latino voters rejected Republican Rick Perry.
But the idea behind the conservative-versus-Republican change belies another thought, that Latinos, by and large, are politically immature:
‘For some reason, these folks continue to vote liberal, only because their parents did,’ (Rodriguez) said. ‘When you ask them, ‘Why do you vote like that?’, they don’t know, they don’t know, they just do it.’
So the Tea Party believes, apparently, that Latinos (‘these folks’) can be lulled by simply changing one word?
Here are the Twitter responses:
And back to the news story:
Rebecca Acuna, a spokeswoman for the Texas Democratic Party, told Reuters that it’s no coincidence that the Texas-Mexico border region is heavily Democratic.
“It’ll be hard for Republicans to convince Latinos that they want them in their party when they don’t even want them in this country,” Acuna said.