GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky told his colleagues that the Republican party needs to become more appealing to latino voters in 2016. Paul, a libertarian leaning Republican said that the GOP needs to get pass immigration reform and move past deportation to start to work towards gaining more Hispanic voters in upcoming elections.
“If we’re going to change peoples attitudes towards the Republican party, we have to show up and have something to say,” Paul said. He further went on to say that he sincerely hoped that he could be a part of that conversation.
In 2012, the Republicans only received 27 percent of the hispanic vote, compared to the Democrats who received 71 percent. However, Paul is confident that the Republicans can double that number in 2016, if they have the right message to hispanic voters. Paul stated that it was important for the GOP to focus on issues important to the Hispanic community such as work visa reform and greater opportunity for employment and education.
“I think what’s happened is there’s not the perception of empathy coming from the Republican party,” Paul stated. He went on to say that the Republicans need to show the Hispanic population that the Republican party cares about the issues that are important to them and that they understand where they are coming from and that the lack of empathy on behalf of the GOP has hurt their reputation with minority voters as a whole.
Last year, Paul voted against a bi-partisan immigration reform initiative because he claimed that it made it illegal to change your occupation, further stating that around 40 percent of people whom come to the United States to work have lost their documentation proving their ability to work in the United States legally. However, Paul is confident that if the House and Senate work together and Republicans and Democrats meet in the middle that an actual reform bill could be passed by next year.
The Obama administration, however has come under fire by Latino groups stating that there have been more deportations under his watch than any other president in American history.
Paul, seen as a contender for the GOP nomination in 2016, stressed that no matter what the Republicans do, the Hispanic voter will not listen to them until the get past the issue of deportation. Paul commented that the Hispanic voters will never listen to what the GOP has to say if they don’t.
Some criticize Paul’s comments as a ploy to gain a large percent of the Hispanic vote for his own political aspirations in 2016 and that neither the GOP or the Democrats have done anything substantial beyond election year politics to gain the confidence of the Hispanic population.
The Executive Director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principals pointed out that the GOP hasn’t been very consistent in keeping promises made to Latino voters and that Republicans shouldn’t pander to the Latino vote like the left.
Paul has pointed out that the lack of consistency really hurts the Republicans efforts to gain more Hispanic voters. He went on the say that the GOP can not win until it becomes more diverse and inclusive, until it, “Looks like America,”
By Nathaniel Pownell
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