Recently, I was invited by CBS to be part of a Google Hang out to talk about the growing Hispanic vote. The two part interview was a lively discussion with a diverse set of characters working in and out of the world of politics.

The hangout was hosted by CBS News’ John Dickerson. He tried to organize our lively group which included Gabriela Domenzain of the Obama Campaign; Executive Director of the Hispanic Leadership Network Jennifer Sevilla Korn; Founder of LatinoRebels.com, Julio Ricardo Varela; Esai Morales, Actor and Co-Founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts; America’s Voice Executive Director Frank Sharry and myself.

Watch the video below for see the conversation. A segment of the Google+ Hangout will be shown on CBS News Sunday morning show, Face the Nation.

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Watch this interview on FOX’s Happening Now as Alicia Menendez and discuss the importance of the Hispanic Vote.

From Fox News Latino:

Director of the Republican National Committee Hispanic Outreach campaign, Bettina Inclan, and Senior Editor of Politic365.com, Alicia Menendez, debate the Latino Vote 2012.

Inclan and Menendez debate whether Mitt Romney is right about the “doomsday scenario” the Republican party could face if current polls are right about Latino voter attitudes toward the GOP.

Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2012/04/19/latino-vote-2012-bettina-inclan-vs-alicia-menendez/#ixzz2MckrqAPb

I’m proud to announce I have joined the Republican National Committee as their Director of Hispanic Outreach.

In a conference call earlier today, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus mapped out the GOP’s expanded Latino inclusion efforts which will include a strong community engagement focus, working directly with local Latino leaders to spread the Republican message,  and an effective GOTV effort to connect with Hispanic voters.  Special focus will be placed on key battleground states like Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina and Nevada with large Hispanic populations. The program includes a strong bilingual communications push and a social media presence. The Chairman explained that in my new capacity, I’ll be working closely with RNC staff on the ground to ensure they are successfully involving the Latino community at all levels of the Party.

Read the press release below and some news articles. (For ESPAÑOL). If you missed the conference call announcing the enhanced Latino strategy,  listen to the the full audio here and read the highlights here.

RNC Hispanic Outreach to Capitalize on Obama’s Failed Leadership

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus has announced the next phase of the RNC’s national Latino engagement effort:

“The expanded multifaceted approach to connect with the Hispanic community will include both digital outreach, traditional voter identification, and get out the vote efforts,” said RNC Chairman Priebus. “Aimed at connecting with the fastest growing demographic, the RNC will place staff on the ground across the country to coordinate the GOP’s Hispanic effort as part of a program to make sure Barack Obama is a one-term president. Latinos play an integral role in our communities and the Republican Party believes it is essential to involve Latinos at every level of our Party’s efforts in 2012.”

To organize the national effort and oversee state-level staff working with local Latino communities, the RNC has named Bettina Inclán as the Director of Hispanic Outreach. Bettina is the former Executive Director of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and has served on numerous campaigns at the national, state and local level. Most recently, Bettina worked on statewide campaigns in both California and Florida. She was part of the team that elected Rick Scott Governor of Florida, who secured over 50 percent of the Hispanic vote in his successful run in 2010.

To kick-off the effort, the RNC has launched a Twitter account @RNCLatinos and a Tumblr blog at RNCLatinos.tumblr.com. The social media sites will include the latest bilingual content, research and videos from the RNC and provide an opportunity for the community to share their thoughts. The Twitter account and Tumblr blog will join the existing bilingual website for Latinos.

“With the unemployment rate for the Latino community at eleven percent, over two points higher than the national average, Latinos across the country are frustrated with Obama’s failed economic policies. Their dissatisfaction with the president creates an opening for the Republican Party’s message of economic security and conservative values to resonate with Latinos,” said RNC Co-Chairman Sharon Day.

A mobile text campaign has also been launched asking Latino voters to text “ÚNETE” (Unite) to 91919 (Data & Msg rates may apply) and join the RNC’s mobile army.

As the 2012 election cycle continues, the RNC will unfold additional pieces of its Hispanic outreach program.

Some news clips from around the country:

Miami Herald: RNC announces new Hispanic outreach director, Bettina Inclan

…“This election is going to be about the economy, about jobs,” she said. As for the candidates, she said, “they’ll be engaging directly with the Latino community. I’m positive they’ll be excited.”

Republicans praised the choice. So did Democrat Florida Democrat Kyra Jennings, who said on Twitter: “Congrats to @BettinaInclan – and us Dems should take note! RT @MarcACaputo Bettina Inclan named as RNC’s director of Latino outreach.”

The Hill: GOP Makes Play For Hispanic Support

Orlando Sentinel: RNC announces more Hispanic outreach

Roll Call: RNC Names Hispanic Outreach Director

AP: Republicans to expand Latino outreach

Univision: Republicans unveil Latino outreach plans

Fox News Latino: The Race for the Latino Vote Kicks Into High Gear in Florida

Washington Post:  The Fix

All eyes are on New Hampshire, the first in the nation Presidential Primary for the 2012 election. New Hampshire’s Latino voting population is small – only 1.9% of Granite State residents are eligible Hispanic voters.

Of the 37,000 Hispanics that call New Hampshire home, about half, 19,000 are eligible to vote. Here is the state breakdown: 73% Native-born, 37% Foreign-born, 35% Younger than 18 according the Pew Hispanic Center.

The GOP candidates are focused on engaging all potential voters, including Latinos. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, held an event on Sunday at Don Quijote’s Mexican Restaurant in Manchester aimed at engaging Hispanic voters. He brought along his daughter, who is fluent in Spanish, to the event according to Fox News Latino. 

Polls show that Hispanic are disappointed with President Barack Obama and his economic policies. Latino unemployment is at 11%, two points higher than the national average. Like many Americans, Hispanics are disillusioned with Obama’s failed promises and looking for an alternative in 2012. The RNC released a new video reminding New Hampshire voters of the promises the President made in the Granite state during his 2008 primary.

 

Seven years ago Newt Gingrich hired Sylvia Garcia to head his efforts to connect with members of the Hispanic Community. Since then Garcia has been instrumental in helping the former Speaker of the House with various projects including setting up a Spanish site of Newt.org in 2005, translating two of his books and DVD on Pope John Paul II, host a Hispanic conference and launch a popular conservative web site for Latinos called TheAmericano.com.

Now Gingrich, who learned to speak Spanish, is hoping to capitalize his long-standing relationship with the Latino community into votes for his presidential bid.

The Daily Caller writes “Gingrich campaign works to translate Hispanic ties into votes,” and examines Gingrich’s campaign efforts to court Latino voters.

“…Gingrich, Garcia said, has been having regular round table discussion with Hispanic business and religious leaders at least since 2006, and that the campaign has a Spanish-language campaign website, NewtPresidente, along with a Spanish language Facebook page and Twitter feeds. His religious conversion is also often highlighted when reaching out to Catholic and Evangelical Hispanics.

“Hispanic inclusion is front-and-center in this campaign,” Garcia said. “It’s always been front-and-center in messaging for Newt, and the communication to the Hispanic community has always been important to him.”

“I think that’s really where he can differentiate himself from the other candidates,” she continued.

Garcia also hopes Hispanic voters can make a difference for Newt in the upcoming primaries.

“I think one of the biggest mistakes Republican campaigns have made in the past has been to ignore the Latino vote for the primaries,” she said, adding that it’s a good way to earn their trust and build a “sincere relationship” before the general election.

“Newt’s position on immigration and Latino issues is important, and it’s unique, and we think it’s important to talk [about],” Carli Dimino, Gingrich’s New Hampshire inclusion director, told TheDC in the campaign’s bustling Granite State headquarters in Manchester…”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/16/gingrich-campaign-works-to-translate-hispanic-ties-into-votes/#ixzz1gzdKclxf