Republican Candidates to Boycott Latino Convention

I hate going to Disneyworld too, so I understand every major Republican presidential candidate wanting to stay away. But…staging what amounts to a virtual boycott of what is known as the Latino political convention doesn’t seem like a smart move.

Especially when, according to a June 11 press release, all the Democrats will be there.

Do they take the votes of this demographic as a given, or are they writing them off as going Democrat?

Los Angeles, CA – The Democratic contenders in the 2008 presidential campaign will participate in a candidate forum hosted by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) in Orlando on June 30…

The participating candidates will include, in alphabetical order, Senator Joe Biden (DE), Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY), Senator Chris Dodd (CT), former Senator John Edwards (NC), Representative Dennis Kucinich (OH), Senator Barack Obama (IL) and Governor Bill Richardson (NM).

NALEO extended identical invitations to the Republican presidential candidates to participate in a separate forum. All have declined to date.

So the question is, why do the Republicans think they can snub Latinos? Do they take the votes of this demographic as a given, or are they writing them off as going Democrat?

…several factors put the Hispanic vote in play. Among them: Non-Cubans aren’t as likely to have historical ties to the Republican Party as Cuban-Americans.

“Living in Weston, I see it just walking around the neighborhood. There are people from Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. They don’t have the same preconditioning to vote Republican,” said Weston resident Andrew Torres, president of the new Broward chapter of the state Democratic Party’s Hispanic Caucus…

Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said once Castro is gone, “you will see Cuban-Americans shift to the Democratic Party.”

…Torres said the increasing numbers of younger voters and people from countries other than Cuba make this a good time to capitalize on trends favoring Democrats.

The explanation could be simple, of course.

National and state Republican officials did not comment on why GOP hopefuls will not participate in the conference, but the campaigns of Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney cited scheduling conflicts.

Those durn scheduling conflicts. Funny how they never crop up when it’s time to come to South Florida and fund-raise. And no matter how you slice it, boycotting the convention of their fellow elected officials can’t win many friends. Not to mention there are two other groups piggybacking off the event — the National Hispana Leadership Institute and the Orlando Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Summit.

Maybe there really is a simple reason. Republicans might just want to distance themselves from immigrants — and please their xenophobic base — as much as possible.


  • nikolai
    June 13, 2007 - 10:43 am | Permalink

    This is GOOD NEWS! The latinos can be very organized and one-minded as evidenced by their street protests several months ago in regard to immigration policy. I live in Phoenix, AZ, and there were 100,000 latinos in the streets of downtown Phoenix! This is serious organization, the likes of which I have not seen since Vietnam. If only the left could organize (then ACT) like this!

  • Lucretius
    June 13, 2007 - 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I think the last sentence of this article pretty much sums it up.
    I am terribly afraid that the consequences of the republican campaign to work their supporters into a frenzy over immigration will be hate groups targeting hispanic persons whether they are legal or not.
    For many, the fact that they mostly all have brown skin is enough reason to hate them. It is very sad.

  • June 13, 2007 - 4:51 pm | Permalink



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  • June 14, 2007 - 7:11 am | Permalink

    The Republicans will never appear at a forum where there is the slightest chance their hate rhetoric will not be applauded.
    They don’t need to court the Latino vote anyway. All they have to do is dis-enfranchise them as they have done so successfully with minorities in the last two Presidential elections.

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  • February 16, 2008 - 12:00 am | Permalink

    Latinos do not think with an accent. Just a word for the wise…

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