“A Puerto Rican Republican..?”
Democrats take Hispanics for granted and never produce any politically meaningful action such as Comprehensive Immigration Reform which Republicans have sponsored under Presidents Reagan and Bush (43).
What’s amazing, of course, is that there are very prominent Hispanic Republicans. There aren’t any such Democrat Hispanics. There are no Hispanic Democrat governors; there are two Hispanic Republican governors. They, along with the famous Marco Rubio who squashed an incumbent governor for the U.S. Senate seat are now joined by the Governor of Puerto Rico as possibilities for Vice-President.
The sensitivities of many winced painfully when accomplished Black movie actor Samuel Jackson told us that he voted for President Barack Obama only because he was Black. Of course wise American political thinkers realized that Obama received over 95% of the Black vote for probably that exact reason. Few were shocked by Jackson’s statement.
Does that political racial-solidarity apply to Hispanics as well? Will they stream into polling places eager to vote Republican if the GOP chooses a Hispanic for Vice-President this coming election?
Everyone talks about freshman Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio as a lock for the VP nomination despite his statements that he is “absolutely not” a candidate.; that he would refuse nomination. No politico worth anything thinks that Rubio can turn a VP offer down. He has nothing to lose if the job is offered and much to gain.
Politically the Republican Party has other Hispanic candidates it might look at for the Vice-President nomination, a situation it has never experienced before.
John Fund, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and now a senior editor of the conservative American Spectator magazine puts forth the name of 51-year-old Puerto Rico’s Governor Luis Fortuno as a potential GOP Vice-President candidate.
He reports: Newly elected Governor Fortuno slashed his government’s spending by 20%, laid off 17,000 public employees, cut corporate tax rates from 40% to 30% with another cut coming. He also cut individual income tax rates by 25% supplementing his other tax cuts.
His popularity is spiking higher and higher as a horrendous Puerto Rican unemployment number comes down and government appears to be working for the people not for government employees.
Fortuno says he became a Republican conservative while attending Washington D.C.’s Georgetown University in 1980 when Ronald Reagan won the Presidency.
He was elected and runs Puerto Rico with its 4-million people as a conservative, pro-business executive.
Fund posits that Fortuno might serve Republicans well if he is the Vice-Presidential nominee for 9% of all projected November voters will be Hispanic and in the key state of Florida, one in seven voters are Hispanic (Puerto Ricans, one in 15 or 16).
Despite Fortuno’s great job as Governor there are several real and gigantic reasons why the Republicans should not consider Fortuno as their Vice-Presidential candidate.
First, of course, Puerto Rico is not a state and its residents, though U.S. citizens, cannot vote for President. If they move to the mainland, they can. But, there is a negative caveat to that in that most on the mainland are concentrated in New York and New Jersey, normal Democrat voting states. They are numerous in Florida but outnumbered by Cuban Americans who normally vote Republican anyway.
Secondly, Puerto Ricans west of the Appalachians are negligible numerically and only a tiny number are Republican or even Independents.
Thirdly, there are more Mexican-origin people within sight of Los Angeles City Hall than ALL Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Dominicans in the U.S. combined.
Fourthly, there are huge differences among Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and Mexican Americans that do not project into monolithic “Hispanic” voting.
For example, there are language differences. In Cuba and Puerto Rico the word for a turkey is the same as in Spain – Pavo. In Mexico, where turkeys were domesticated by the Mexican Indian, the word is GUAJALOTE (wah-haw-low-teh), an Indian word. Because few Cubans and Puerto Ricans are descended from Indians their Spanish is different than of Mexicans, 70%-80% of which are Indian or have Indian blood.
If the GOP wants a Hispanic on its ticket, there is one great choice with two long shots. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio can bring Florida’s 27 electoral votes with him (one tenth of electoral votes necessary to win the Presidency); he can solidify the Party’s conservative base and he is one hell of a speaker.
If the Party wants a Hispanic other than Senator Rubio it might look at newly-elected New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez, a former very tough prosecutor or Nevada Governor, former Attorney General and Federal district judge, Brian Sandoval, both Mexican Americans and both of whom can bring their state’s electoral votes (5 each) to the Party along with votes in Chicago, Colorado and California that might otherwise go to Obama.
A serious note: John McCain received 31% of the Hispanic vote and lost. However, since Hispanic votes were first quantified in the 1968 Nixon win, every Republican that received 35% or more of the Hispanic vote has won the Presidency.
Can Governor Fortuna deliver national Hispanic votes, probably not; can Governors Martinez and/or Sandoval deliver them, maybe because they won in states in 2010 that Obama won in 2008. Can Senator Marco Rubio deliver enough Hispanic votes to help defeat Obama, most probably, as he is known throughout the country and carried Florida which Obama carried in 2008!
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