Up | February 02, 2013
>>> in november with 71% of the latino vote, a 44-point advantage over mitt romney , everyone quickly realized republicans simply have to get a larger share of the latino vote in the future if they ever want to win a presidential election again. not only are latinos increasing in population, but they're increasingly voting democratic, and that's largely because the republican base is so hostile towards immigration and so unclear about the country's future, that they allow their presidential nominee to talk like this.
>> almost half the jobs in texas were created for illegal aliens . instate tuition for illegal aliens . sanctuary cities , giving tuition breaks to the kids of illegal aliens . four years of college, almost $100,000 discount if you're an illegal alien . you can't have any illegals working on our property. i'm running for office for pete's sake. i can't have illegals.
>> after romney's failure, republicans pivoted almost immediately to immigration reform . but giting immigration reform through congress is an extremely difficult task, thanks largely to vociferous production of that same core of republican base voters to whom romney pandered. now enter senator marco rubio , the appointed republican spokesperson for immigration and a member of the so-called gang of eight. rubio presents himself as the only way out of the corner in which the conservative movement and the republican party have painted themselves. through his unique history, background, linguistic influency and republican base, he offers them a way out of this hole. he has been on conservative and radio tv show hosts who in the past have been against policy proposals to which he is now advocating.
>> the it the most thoughtful proposal i have heard, and you explained it better than anybody.
>> tehe's a problem solver. he's a conservative, and he's right. we have defactor amnesty , and you could set a light bulb off.
>> here's a guy who does not fear talk radio . he embraced it.
>> from party elites and much of the conservative media machine, the republican party has the exact same base it had a year ago when mitt romney was throwing the word illegals around like a verbal grenade. one of the most fascinating questions of 2013 is is whether rubio can sell the republican base on more or less the same comprehensive immigration proposal that precipitated an all out revolt just six years ago. joining me editor of the daily caller news foundation. back of the table, laura from united we dream network. jim, i am fascinated by the internal dynamics here. i actually think -- there's this political question . there's two questions on the table. one is will the base of the republican party allow this? can they be sold on this? will they view this as ini'm mim iccal to their principles? or is this suicide to bring 11 million or 12 million new voters who might vote 75-25 against you. and the national review wrote this article about the fantasy of latinos being a republican constituency. if we're to take hispanics at their word, conservative attributes toward illegal immigration are a minor reason for their voting preferences. they're disproportionately low in income and receive government support. they look like many other democratic constituencies. the idea that amnesty is going to put latinos squarely in the gop tent is a fantasy. your thoughts, jim.
>> immigration has become the classic heads i win, tails you lose policy for republicans. immigration has been framed as a referendum as to whether you accept the role of latinos in american society , and republicans are viewed as having placed themselves on the wrong side of the question. i don't think that would change if you were to vote against legislation. we do have some experience with this type of legislation in the past when what was openly described as an amnesty passed in 1986 and the post- amnesty cohort was more democratic in its voting preferences than the hispanic americans prior to that. it didn't really benefit the republicans.
>> this is just important. can we show this line graphic again? i think you're making an effort from a descriptive level, an important political case. in 1984 mondale beat reagan among latinos 24%. in 1988 , after the amnesty , dukakis beats george h.w. bush by 39%. so the swing towards democrats was plus 15% in between the two elections in which the amnesty program happened.
>> which was signed by a republican president and had strong support from republicans in congress. pat buchanan supported that particular amnesty . why would legislation signed by a democratic president really earn the undying loyalty of these voters to the republican party ?
>> look, the hispanic population is not modelled on that. you can't say we're going to pass a bill and they're all going to come along. we're very diverse. i come from a rural community, and rural people in my state are conservative. you have second, third, fourth, fifth, 12th generation hispanics living in this country, and they're all very, very different. . most of the young hispanics live in san antonio who are third and fourth generation only speak english, they don't speak spanish. if you find hispanics third and fourth generatijegeneration earning over $40,000 a year. i'm talking about texas. look at italian americans who are catholic and follow many of the same cultural traditions that hispanics do. you can say that many of them are conservative and republican. it's going to take some time. it's not going to happen with one vote. however, immigration on the classes are the prism by which my community, the hispanic community, as diverse as it is, sees the republican party . if you're told you're not welcome, your people carry diseases.
>> or some other stereotypes, you're going to be offended, and you're going to respond the other way.
>> rush limbaugh is talking about how cubans are light skinned and hard working and mexicans are dark and not as hard working .
>> the difference between the cuban american community and the mexican community are very different. our historical paths are very different.
>> immigration , obviously.
>> s that the point.
>> let me ask you. when you were a democrat and became a republican, what year did you do that?
>> 2010 .
>> you did that in 2010 after -- you're saying this is a threshold issue after the sensen-brenner that would have criticized undocumented workers in this country, after the huge revolt against mccain-kennedy. after john mccain had to run away from the bill that had his own name on it because of what the demands made by the republican base. after that, you decided to become a republican. i want to find out right after this