GOP hopefuls copout on Hispanic forum

We haven’t the time to speak to our little brown brothers

It was billed, in part, as a forum for the 2012 Republican presidential field to speak directly to Hispanics — a replica of the vaunted Conservative Political Action Conference, but tailored to the fastest-growing slice of the electorate.

Yet, when former Gov. Jeb Bush, former Sen. Norm Coleman and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez open the first Hispanic Leadership Network conference next month in Miami, the only potential presidential candidate confirmed to attend — so far — is Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney declined the invite. So did South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels and Texas Gov Rick Perry.

Newt Gingrich is “amenable” to attending but hasn’t committed yet, his spokesman said.

And others in the group, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, didn’t respond to inquiries from POLITICO.

A poor showing could raise doubts about the commitment of Republicans to court Hispanics, one of the open-ended questions of the 2012 presidential cycle.

Jim Landry, spokesman for the American Action Network, which created the Hispanic group, said the organizers extended invites to the entire presidential field, but it was never the main reason for holding the conference…

Yet another “grassroots” organization created, bought and paid for by Republican corporate Anglos. Ready to assume the mantle of “spontaneous” conservative resurgence, an Hispanic Tea Party. Hogwash!

Although it is worth a chuckle or two to follow the ill-logic of neocon Republicans, e.g., we didn’t need Hispanics [or Blacks or women] to takeover the House in 2010. We get to gerrymander state voting districts before 2012; so, we’ll control more state legislatures before 2012. So what if we piss off Hispanic voters by screwing them out of representation?

Republicans have no concern about grassroots resentment over bigots who ignore the needs and desires of minority populations. Lip service ain’t gonna cut it on the battlefield of the next presidential election in 2012. Or 2016 for that matter.

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