NewsNation | December 05, 2012
>>> not only do immigrants help build our economy, they invigorate our soul. as our nation debates the proper course of immigration, i hope we do so with a benevolent spirit and keep in mind the contribution of immigrants.
>> that was, of course, former president george w. bush dropping in to the immigration debate in a rare public appearance yesterday at the federal reserve bank in dallas. he is the latest, of course, to attempt to bring up comprehensive immigration reform for the party, an issue that seriously hurt mitt romney with latino voters. meantime, two possible contenders laid out their vision. paul ryan and mario rubio speaking at the leadership award dinner in washington. both made not so veiled references of mitt romney 's 47% remark.
>> both parties tend to divide americans in to our voters and their voters. let's be really clear. republicans must steer far clear of that trap.
>> there are millions of mario rubios across america today. they're not looking for a handout. all they want is a job that provides for their families.
>> with me now, roger simon for politico and quote a column "when all falls, gop could try democracy." roger, a great pleasure having you on. your reaction to ryan, rubio and former president bringing up issues we didn't hear in that tone of republicans in the election.
>> well, the republican party fell off the demographic cliff in the last election and trying to climb back up and seeing a change of tone. it's not a change for george w. bush . to his credit, he's always been pro-immigration. campaigned on it, even in 2000 . but for the rest of the party, they're coming the realization that the republican party cannot exist nationally as a party of just old white men. nothing wrong with old white men. i happen to be one. but you got to reach beyond that and when your candidate, mitt romney says afterwards, after he loses, well, i lost because my opponent gave stuff to black people and hispanic people and to young people and how can i beat that? well, you can't beat it just by nice words. you got to beat it with a change of policy. demographics aren't destiny. black people , hispanics, women, young people , they'll vote for republicans if republicans speak to them, speak to their aspirations and speak to what they need.
>> well, it's interesting because you said romney lost according to romney because a secret kept from him, a trap was sprung on him at the last moment, black people can vote. hispanic people can vote. young people can vote. i thought about what's happening with the issue of the fiscal cliff and facing and there's a narrative, those critics of the republican party saying it looks like the republicans don't care about the middle class and care about the wealthy 2% so whether it's old white men as you and others have said or the 2% versus the 98%, either narrative is no good looking at race to how much cash you have in your pocket. 2% of a whole lot of 98% are trying to get their kids something nice for christmas and maybe if they're lucky get the kid in college with no debt.
>> you're right, tamron. it is more than race. it is economics. and you're also right that the republican party will condemn itself to be on a national level, to be a party that's going to carry only a few western states , a shrinking number as the hispanic vote increases and a few states of the old south. and it will not carry the rest of the country. for reasons both of ethnicity and race and age and gender and, also, of economics. you can't sell the message that we're going to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires and forget about the middle class and expect to be elected president. mitt romney proved that. but the republican party is now saying, look. there's not going to be a charismatic black candidate on the republican side in 2016 . we don't have to worry. they do have to worry. minorities are in the middle class are very capable of voting for people other than charismatic black candidates. they have not had much choice in the past. the republican party can't sit back and say, well, in 2016 , this will fall in our laps and be okay again. they have to be dynamic and simply change policies to attract more voters.
>> roger simon , thank you very much. what a column you have written. everyone should check it out. thanks, roger.