For Republican Candidates, It’s White Evangelicals 13 and Latinos 1

Remember that Republican Party autopsy after the 2012 election? One of their six big take-aways was that GOP candidates needed to do a better job of reaching out to Latinos if they ever wanted to win back the White House.

Well…that’s not happening.

An obvious place to start would be the nation’s annual “Latino political convention” here this week in Las Vegas, where more than 1,200 Hispanic leaders have gathered for, among other things, a presidential candidates forum.

Yet out of the GOP’s 16 declared or likely presidential candidates, only one — retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson — showed.

The absence of the others — including former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who made outreach to Latino voters a central theme of his Miami campaign launch Monday — illustrates the gulf between the GOP’s urgent need to present a more welcoming face to Hispanics and how far those running to be the party’s standard-bearer are willing to go to do so.

Of course all the no-shows cited “scheduling problems” as the reason they couldn’t attend the presidential candidate forum at the 32nd annual NALEO convention. And yet, low and behold, 13 of them were available to attend the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to the Majority” conference this weekend in Washington, D.C. Funny that.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what would hurt these candidates more…to diss the Latino community by not showing up at the NALEO convention, or to go and spout their nativist nonsense.

On the other hand, it doesn’t look like any one of them has the white evangelical vote nailed down. So we’re treated to the spectacle of 13 of them parading around for that crowd.

Excuse me, but so far this is looking an awful lot like the hot mess the 2012 Republican primary turned out to be – only worse.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .