Ruben Navarrette Jr.
The Dallas Morning News
Many Latinos believe that the Republican Party is “hostile to their presence in America,” said Ruben Navarrette Jr. The GOP now thinks it has a “magic elixir” to cure this problem, and his name is Marco Rubio. Florida’s popular young senator, a Cuban-American, is sure to be on the short list for vice presidential nominee, no matter who wins the Republican presidential nomination.
Republicans think Rubio is “the most popular Hispanic since Desi Arnaz,” and will win back Latino voters. This is both wrong and insulting. Latinos know that “the GOP’s rock star” supported Arizona’s harsh immigration law, and opposed the DREAM act, which would have given immigrants legal status if they attended college or joined the military. They also know that Rubio falsely claimed his parents were political exiles from Cuba, when they actually came to the U.S. before Castro took power.
In a recent poll, only 13 percent of Latinos said Rubio’s presence on the ticket would make them “much more likely” to vote for a Republican, while 46 percent said he’d have “no effect” on their vote. Memo to the GOP: All Latinos are not conservative Cubans, and we’re “not interchangeable.”