7.02.2007

Republican Presidential Hopefuls Diss 1,000 Latino Leaders

It's clear that Republicans have written off the Latino vote for this presidential cycle since only one--Duncan Hunter--even bothered to show up at National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials' conference in Orlando this past weekend.

Republican Party chairman Mel Martinez was on hand to blast the U.S. Senate for failing to past immigration reform. And California's Congressman Duncan Hunter felt it was important to communicate his message to the audience of 1,000 Republican, Democrat and third party Latino office holders from across the country. But none of the others bothered to show up.

Florida's Republican governor, Charlie Crist, was present and had these words to say:

“Every day we witness the impact of the Hispanic culture throughout our
state in business, government, music and the arts. The unity of the Hispanic
community shows us the beauty and importance of tradition, faith and family
values. Florida’s rich cultural diversity is truly something to celebrate.”
It's a sign of just how freaked out the radical right has most Republicans that otherwise open-minded politicians such as Rudy and McCain stayed clear of Orlando.

Here are some of the comments:

Barack Obama: "I want my daughters to be raised in a community in which all people, and not just some, are considered part of the American family."

Hillary Clinton: "Many of us had relatives who came to this country without skills but have made a great contribution to themselves and their families and we're proud of them and we want to give more people that chance going forward."

Chris Dodd: He characterized the recent immigration debate as a race to see "who out there can be the most anti-Hispanic."

Bill Richardson: "It's going to be a huge political loss [to the Republicans] that's going to be reflected not just in the presidential race but also in the Congressional races."

John Edwards: He said that the border fence "crazy" and said he did not want to live in an "America that is made up of first class citizens and second class workers."
Read Democrats woo Hispanics with immigration reform.

Duncan Hunter: “Let’s get the border enforced first before you get to the subsections of enforcement.”