Did the fear of Republicans dominate Latinos this past election?

Carlos Gutierrez suggested that it’s time for the party to transform

WASHINGTON.- The former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, suggested this past weekend that the Republican Party must reform after losing the presidential race of 2012 in part because of the "fear of Latinos."

"The perspective that I got is that Latinos were afraid.They were afraid of the Republican Party, and I think that fear is what caused us the defeat," Gutierrez said on the television program CNN.

That fear, Gutierrez continued, was the product of the image of "xenophobic" and anti-immigrant rhetoric of some Republican leaders, when the GOP should instead "welcome immigrants."

The defeat of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the polls last Tuesday, has led to an intense debate within the Republican Party on his message and electoral strategy towards minorities.

President Barack Obama won the election thanks to the massive support from a broad coalition of African American voters, Latinos, Asians, and young men and women.

Obama won with 71% of the Latino vote compared to the 27% that Romney got, which is less than the 31% that Republican presidential candidate John McCain obtained in 2008, and 44% obtained by President George W. Bush in 2004.

Only in Florida which is a key state in the race and once considered a Republican stronghold, Obama won with 42% of the Latino vote compared to 39% for Romney.

Gutierrez, who was an adviser to Romney said that this is a "extraordinary" man, but "made some mistakes".

However, Gutierrez who was the U.S Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush also put part of the blame on the Republican primary process that, in his view, forces candidates to curry favor with the party's most conservative wing.

"We have this incredibly ridiculous primary process, which the far-right party controlled the primary process," complained Gutierrez.

In the same program other Republican leaders insisted that the Republican Party should not abandon their conservative principles, which they also said are shared with Latino voters.

"They must know that we are in favor of immigration," said Republican lawmaker Cathy McMorris.

"We have to bring our values and vision to every demographic group," she added.

Activist Gary Bauer, one of several GOP pre-presidential candidates, considered that American voters "are not demanding a second liberal party," referring to the Democrats.

Meanwhile, the former governor of Utah and also Republican pre-presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman, emphasized that it is not about the need for the country take a turn to the right or left, but instead look for "solutions to problems that remain unresolved for now" by the lack of bipartisan.

Some U.S. media speculate that Huntsman could occupy a presidential cabinet post, which could possibly be the U.S. Department of State as President Barack Obama makes up his team for his second term.

In this second term Obama will face a number of challenges in the domestic and international fronts, including economic recovery in the short term, and congressional approval of comprehensive immigration reform, which is one of his promises to the Latino community since 2008.


Translation : Omar.Martinez@sandiegored.com


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