Sunday, December 09, 2007

Hispanic Advocates Spot Pander Bears In GOP Univision Debate

McCain should get points for consistency in Florida and Iowa on immigration

[Commentary] DENISON -- At one point in tonight's Republican presidential debate on Univision, Lorena Lopez, editor of the influential western Iowa Spanish-language newspaper, La Prensa, looked at a mixed-race audience sitting in a Denison, Iowa, living room and said, "What?"

That "what" was Lopez's reaction to a string of what she believed to be almost offensive posturing and invocations of the American immigrant tradition by the Republican candidates, some of whom she has seen up close in front of largely white audiences in western Iowa.

"I think they are posing because it's not Anglo people they want to convince," Lopez said. "Honestly I think they are just playing the place and the time."

So are Hispanic voters buying a debate The New York Times later characterized as being full of "gauzy paeans to legal immigration and the values of immigrant voters?"

"I don't think so," Lopez said. "I think especially Hispanic people they know it was Republicans who don't support immigration reforms."

What's more, Lopez said, Hispanics will remember that most Republican White House hopefuls balked at an earlier Univision debate in Florida -- making tonight's appearances something akin to attendance at an ex-brother-in-law's funeral: grit your teeth and just be seen.

Read the rest of the story at Iowa

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