GOP Candidates Court Latinos: 'Hola, Quiero Su Voto'
Candidates push English-only government while courting voters in Spanish.
How does one say the word insincere in Spanish? “Insincero.”
Bueno, Mitt Romney y Newt Gingrich no son sinceras con los votantes latinos.
(Don’t understand what you just read? Look it up and get your Spanish lesson for the day.)
Insincere is the only way to describe the xenophobic rhetoric coming from some of the remaining GOP presidential candidates. They’ve been advocating a plan for English-only government services and public education system, while also wooing Latino voters with Spanish-language advertisements.
This tactic is hardly unique to this election cycle, but it underscores a “have it both ways” attitude, classic to the conservative playbook. This attitude became more pronounced when the topic was first broached during this week’s NBC News debate.
The plan could ban, for instance, multilingual DMV forms, snarling operations in already busy locations. Of course, that doesn’t mean the right wing won’t, out of the other side of their mouths, hire Spanish-speaking television and radio ad producers to court the 12.2 million Latino voters expected to cast ballots in 2012.
Gingrich’s ad says Romney is anti-immigrant. Romney’s ad quotes Gingrich's disparaging remark about bilingual communities. These ads became a “problema” for Gingrich and Romney during Thursday’s CNN debate, when both complained about the other’s mischaracterization of their immigration policy.
Recently, it was Gingrich who had to make an apology for even implying Spanish was the “language of the ghetto.” He delivered that apology in Spanish, with a fluency that would make New York City mayor Mike “El Bloombito” Bloomberg proud.
The biggest problem for these (and any) candidates, who continually dog whistle the anti-multiculturalists on the right, is their assumption that Latino voters are deaf and or blind to such blatant insincerity.
This rhetoric isn’t working for Florida’s Cuban-American senator Marco Rubio. And it undoubtedly gives pause to Latino voters who swing independent. The remaining question: which of the two GOP frontrunners will Latinos say “adios” to first?