LatinaLista — While debate still rages on about the electability of the current GOP presidential nominees, speculation over who could possibly fill the VP position is gaining momentum. From the intensity of the talk and the one name that dominates the rumor mill, it appears that whomever the eventual GOP presidential nominee is, he will have had little choice in picking his running mate — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
[caption id="attachment_16116" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Florida Sen. Marco Rubio"][/caption]
Unfortunately, if the rumors are true, Rubio's selection would be a sign that the GOP is trying to duplicate their failed 2008 strategy. Back then, having seen the popularity of Hillary Clinton among women and the disappointment when she didn't win the Democratic nomination, the GOP party leaders thought all they needed was to run a woman as McCain's running mate to attract women voters from both sides of the aisle.
It's now clear that, with voters, substance does trump gender, and in the case of Rubio, it may just trump ethnic pride as well.
At first thought, it would be a natural assumption that a ticket with Rubio on it would instill such ethnic pride in Latino voters that they would abandon their doubts to vote for a ticket that sported one of our own.
Not so fast.
In speech after speech, Rubio has been alienating himself from a good majority of the Latino electorate because of his stance on immigration reform, especially the DREAM Act. Yesterday, in Miami, Rubio met with a young high school Valedictorian who was granted a two-year reprieve from being deported.
While he supported the girl, Rubio almost immediately began sending a mixed message saying that the DREAM Act is "the wrong way to do the right thing."
Instead, my hope is to come up with a bi-partisan solution to this problem. One that does not reward or encourage illegal immigration by granting amnesty, but helps accommodate talented young people like Daniela, who find themselves undocumented through no fault of their own,” Rubio said
It's clear that Rubio is practicing the fine art of "double-speak." He doesn't want to lose his Tea Party base, the voters who propelled him to his win and at the same time he wants to appear to be compassionate and empathetic to DREAM students for the sake of the Latino electorate.
Rubio is trying very hard to show the GOP leadership that he can be two kinds of candidate in one — only he can't.
The reaction among Latinos to Rubio's remarks after meeting with the Miami student has been anything but kind or positive. "Sell-out," "selfish" and "idiot" are the kinder comments readers have been sending Latina Lista via social media networks in describing Rubio's remarks.
Even Latino Republicans who have come to his defense against the national campaign "No Somos Rubios," still make clear their differences with the freshman senator.
We call on Presente to discontinue the “No Somos Rubio” campaign against Senator Marco Rubio. Although we do not agree with a number of Senator Rubio’s positions on immigration reform, the “No Somos Rubios” campaign is neither helpful nor constructive, especially considering that Senator Rubio has demonstrated himself to be more open to immigration reform as of late." — Cafe con Leche Republicans.
"As of late" is the operative phrase. A recent Fox News Latino poll shows that 90 percent of Latinos support the DREAM Act.
…the poll also found that 85.9 percent of registered Latino voters supported providing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in general, indicating broad consensus among Hispanics that people of all ages should be given a chance to normalize their status.
Rubio understands that he is walking a political tightrope in trying to prove he would be a VP candidate who could deliver the Latino vote for his party.
Yet so far, he's not doing a good job of keeping his balance.