Like Ed, Mark McKinnon is a very smart participant and observer of Republican politics, so when he says something it’s important to listen. In an article today, McKinnon confirms what many Democrats believe: Republicans have painted themselves into a corner with Hispanic voters, a corner that may get a little hotter tonight in the Univision debate in Florida.
As McKinnon notes, Hispanics are like most Americans in their concern for the economy, education and opportunity. And they are not monolithic in their attitudes toward immigration and its reform. But, with few exceptions, they have no tolerance for the intolerance expressed by Mitt Romney toward ideas like the Dream Act, which provide illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship if they meet several strict tests.
Easy to deride as “amnesty” and appeal to the relatively small voting bloc of the hard-right, easier still to alienate the huge bloc of Hispanic voters. That’s what Romney did way back when Rick Perry looked ascendant and the former Massachusetts governor attacked the inept Perry for agreeing to a Texas law that grants conditional citizenship and had overwhelming bipartisan support. Newt Gingrich immediately smelled blood and went to Mitt’s left on immigration; i.e., where most Americans are.
Tonight, tune in to see if and how Mitt can walk it back on immigration. His chances in November may depend on it. Buenas suerte, Mitt.