Well, that would explain why Romney did so poorly with Latinos. But how about John McCain, who with 31 percent of the Latino vote did significantly worse than George W. Bush — who hit a GOP record of 40 percent Latino support in 2004?
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has said that the divisive immigration reform debate of 2006-2007 “built a wall” between the GOP and the Latino community.
But Cruz doesn’t think immigration reform is the answer to winning back Latino voters.
“Immigration matters, especially tone. No one is going to vote for you if they think you don’t like them,” he said.
But rather than relying on immigration, he said the party should focus on jobs and small business, two issues that poll very high for Latinos. The stress should be on mobility because the 47 percent comments are the symptom of a party that has done an “incredibly poor job articulating the message of opportunity.”
Cruz is suggesting, like most Republicans, that tone and messaging is the problem — because their ideas can never be blamed.
However, there’s a lot of evidence to show that Latinos just don’t like Republican ideas — 3 out of 4 support an expanded role of government. Latinos are also 9 percent more likely to call themselves “liberal” than Americans as a whole.
By virtue of his identity, Cruz has a tremendous platform in the Republican Party.
But two major questions are yet to be answered. Can he keep his deeply unpopular conspiratorial views quiet as he takes his place in the national discourse? And is a change in tone enough to win with ideas that Republicans are having a very hard time selling at the statewide and national levels?
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com