Michael Gerson: Immigration brings out worst in GOP candidates
Republicans have a direct interest in avoiding ugliness. Hispanic political influence is not only increasing but concentrated in competitive states — a key to electoral success in places such as Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. The recent past offers encouragement to the GOP. In the 2004 election, Bush won more than 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. And President Obama has left a political opening. Hispanic unemployment exceeds 11 percent and the administration has consistently discovered legislative priorities higher than immigration reform. On issues of Hispanic concern, Obama's lip service has been deafening.
To gain a respectable level of Hispanic support, Republicans don't need to play a sophisticated game of ethnic politics. They need to offer the realistic hope of job creation and economic mobility. And one more thing. They need to stop targeting the sick and aspiring.
Michael Gerson's email address is email@example.com.
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