Sen. Richardson on Why McCain Is Losing the Latino Vote | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Sen. Richardson on Why McCain Is Losing the Latino Vote

Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., was standing in front of the Ford Center, where the debate will start in an hour and a half. I walked up and asked him if Republicans are going to be hurt by the Latino vote. I said the Republican Party did well four years ago with Hispanics and asked if it would be different this time.

"Republicans are going to be hurt with Hispianic voters by the perception that they're anti-immigration," Richardson said.

I pointed out that McCain has a good record with Latinos. "Yeah, McCain has a good record (on immigration), but his party has not. Republicans need 40 percent of the Hispanic vote nationally. President Bush got it, but I don't think McCain is going to get it. He'll be at 35 percent, which will give Obama percentage points in the 60s in states like Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Florida, with high Hispanic populations."

I asked him if this was the doing of the Republican Party in general or just a few loud-mouthed individuals.

"There are very modern Republicans like McCain who took the right position on making sure the border is secure, but also a path to legalization. It was a loud-mouthed few in the House and in the Republican presidential debates that made it very hard for the Republican Party to recoop Latino votes."

Would he have accepted the V.P. spot?

"I'd have seriously considered it, but I'm happy where I am."

--Adam Lynch

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