The Republican National Committee (RNC) has flubbed part of its effort to reach out to Latino voters by publishing a stock photo of Asian children on its RNCLatinos.com website, according to Think Progress. The image was a stock photo from the popular internet image archive Shutterstock.
With Republican lawmakers pushing stringent anti-immigration laws in Arizona, Alabama, Georgia and other states, the GOP has seen its fortunes decline precipitously among Latino voters in recent years. The party has been attempting different methods of wooing Latinos, from Spanish language radio ad buys to appearances on the Spanish language Univision television network.
As often as not, these efforts fall flat, victims of Republicans’ consistent tone-deafness on matters of race. When Rick Santorum campaigned in Puerto Rico earlier this year, he dangled statehood for the island as a prize, but warned its citizens that first they would have to make English their “official language.” Mitt Romney discussed illegal immigration and urged people in this country illegally to “self-deport.”
In May of this year, the RNC unveiled its 2012 Latino outreach program, but when reporters asked coordinator Bettina Inclan about the GOP candidate’s position on immigration, she replied that she didn’t know and that she’d have to get back to them. Her almost comical unpreparedness for that most obvious question stood unsurpassed in its cluelessness until yesterday, when the Republican Party’s Latino outreach website ran a Shutterstock photo of a group of Asian children on its homepage.
Think Progress said, “The stock photo found on Shutterstock is listed with tags including ‘asia, asian, cheeks, children, cool… interracial, japanese… thailand, together, trendy.’ But the words ‘hispanic’ or ‘latino’ are nowhere on the page.”
When the error was pointed out to the RNC, they took down the image. A GOP spokesperson told Think Progress, “(A)n outside vendor developed the site and it is being corrected immediately.”
President Obama announced today that he will be offering an immunity program to some immigrant workers, ending deportment and granting work permits.
UPDATE: The RNC has taken the RNCLatinos website down, according to Talking Points Memo. Currently the URL redirects to the main RNC site.
(image via Shutterstock)