Maddow: Republican Latino outreach going hilariously badly so far

By David Ferguson
Saturday, March 30, 2013 11:22 EDT
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Friday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow looked at recent efforts by the Republican Party to broaden its appeal among Latino voters and found the efforts by the GOP to be somewhat lacking.

“We begin tonight with the Republican Party,” said Maddow, “a party specifically trying to hack its way out of a wilderness of its own making, trying to connect with, trying to re-introduce themselves to a whole swath of the American electorate that thinks the Republican Party is ‘ick.’”

She recounted various efforts by the GOP to soften their tone toward Latinos, including a speech to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wherein the freshman senator likened the Republican Party’s desire to connect to Latinos to Jerry Seinfeld’s decision to date an Asian woman. “Is it racist to like a certain race?”

Paul went on to praise to “romance of Latin culture,” falling into the common stereotype of Latino people being more emotional and passionate than whites. He went on to read the group of assembled business leaders a Pablo Neruda love poem as an example of how wonderfully romantic Latino people are.

She went on to talk about Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) who talked about how his father used to hire “50 or 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes” at harvest time. Young has since apologized for the remarks, saying he meant no disrespect.

“Didn’t anybody ever told you, sir,” Maddow asked, “not to use that word? It never came up before?”

And in North Carolina, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has shut down the state’s office for Latino affairs, and is currently trying to have immigrants’ driver’s licenses branded with a pink line and the phrase “No legal status.”

“This is the thing that the Republican Party is supposedly working on hardest,” said Maddow. “And this is how it’s going so far.”

Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below:

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David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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