An Immoderate Proposal: Sam Rodriguez, ‘Centrist’ Evangelical, to Give Benediction at RNC
Xenophobi[c]. Nativis[t]. Quasi-racist.
These are among the words the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, used to describe the Republican Party shortly after the 2008 Republican National Convention. Two years later, in 2010, he described as “legislative nativism” Arizona’s draconian anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, which was boosted by the “xenophobic” Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a scheduled speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention this week.
Despite these criticisms, and just six months after tweeting that “Any candidate that seeks the endorsement of Sheriff Arpaio also seeks the rejection of the Hispanic community,” Rodriguez will deliver the benediction for the RNC’s first full day of events on Tuesday.
While he may quietly pray for the party to abandon its xenophobia, quasi-racism and nativism, the GOP is just hoping he can provide them some cover—and perhaps a few extra votes—by bringing a Latino face to the convention stage.