Three top Cuban-American political leaders endorsed today leading GOP candidate Mitt Romney. This reinforces the odds for Senator Marco Rubio to be included in Romney's presidential ticket.
|Mitt Romney with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart during a campaign appearance in Miami in November 2011. Photo Reuters|
The Miami Herald announces today:
Mitt Romney will pick up the ultimate Cuban-American endorsement trifecta Tuesday in South Florida: The support of U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart, and his brother, former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
The endorsements of the Miami Cuban-American leaders is a leading indicator that Romney is making a big push in Florida for one of its most crucial voting blocs in the state's Republican primary, scheduled for Jan. 31.The possibility of Marco Rubio running as vice-president is there:
A poll posted in November shows that Rubio would help a GOP candidate in Florida if he is included in a presidential bid. Last week, an editorial published by The Washington Post suggests that "Marco Rubio has what Mitt Romney needs in a vice president".
Last year, during the controversy about Marco Rubio parents' immigration story, it was Mitt Romney who came out in strong defense of the charismatic Cuban American leader who is known only by 54% of Latinos, according to a poll published by Pew Research Center.
Update: Just a few minutes ago, the Republican National Committee has appointed Cuban-Mexican-American strategist Bettina Inclan, as the new GOP Latino Outreach Director.The Romney campaign has launched this Spanish-language TV ad, where Rep. Ileana Ros-Lentinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers appear. This was released today by Mitt Romney's website under the title "Nosotros" (Spanish for us, as we.). In my opinion, the title for this ad should be "Nosotros los gusanos".
This campaign ad is bad. Not only it ignores the issue of immigration but also it reveals that for the Republican party, conservative Latinos are still mostly Miami Cubans who are very much disconnected from the large Mexican American communities in the nation, who by the way usually have voted mostly for Democratic candidates in recent Presidential elections.
However, Mitt Romney himself has Mexican-American roots. Watch the video at end of this post.
Latinos and immigration
Mitt Romney is facing strong criticism from Latino leaders, activists and advocate groups after he declared openly that he would veto the DREAM Act, a legislative initiative that would benefit more than 2 million undocumented students, most of whom are of Latin American heritage.
This past weekend while campaigning in New Hampshire, Romney ignored publicly a group of activists for the DREAM Act who tried to dialogue with him. Univision has posted this interview with undocumented activist Erika Andiola and candidate Rick Santorum who also declared his opposition to the DREAM Act:
It's interesting that both Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney share immigrant roots - well, as most U.S. citizens anyways. A video recently launched by Univision, exposed Romney as a hypocrite for opposing Immigration Reform and the DREAM Act.
Mitt Romney's father is a Mexican immigrant, and his relatives were refugee immigrants welcomed in Mexico after suffering political persecution in the United States.
And also today, the endorsement of the conservative Miami Cubans [known as gusanos by Cubans in Cuba and leftists in Latin America] was joined by Kris Kobach, author of the racist Arizona law SB-1070 which is extremely unpopular among Latino voters.
We'll see how this goes. So far Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are the only Republican candidates courting the Latino vote.