There is major buzz with the main stream media about the Hispanic Leadership Network Conference. From NPR to Politico to CNN, and everyone in between, is covering the event which is the second major conference held by Republican leaders in hopes to connect with Latino voters in the last two moths.
CNN’s “Republican conference to Hispanics: your home is with the GOP” highlights the hard work the GOP has ahead of them. In a July 2010 CNN/Opinion Research poll only 32% of Hispanics felt that Republicans agreed with Latinos on the issues they care about. Of the same group, about 57% said Democrats where more inline with Latino issues. In that same poll, 56% of Hispanics said the GOP is doing a bad job of reaching out to African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities.
The CNN article by Shannon Travis quotes both former and current Florida Governors, Jeb Bush and Rick Scott:
“This is not about politics, this is about the conservative cause,” Bush told a small but supportive crowd at the conference kickoff at the swank Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. “And if you look over the horizon over the next 10 to 20 years…without the active involvement of Hispanics, we will not be the governing philosophy of our country.”
Bush stressed that his party’s philosophy centered on limited government, lower taxes, education reform and maintaining U.S. competitive edge – all items, he said, that makes the GOP a natural home for Hispanics.
CNN asked Florida’s current governor if the conference is a tacit admission that Hispanics are either leaving the GOP or turned off by many of its policies:
“The Hispanic community clearly believes in the Republican principles,” Scott replied. “The principle that family is important. The principle that… we all care about, Hispanics care about religion. They care about building businesses. They focus on the same things I’m focused on: limited government, making sure we don’t kill jobs through regulation, through too large a government.”