David Frum

11.07.12

The Latino Vote in 2012

Starting today, you'll hear a lot of Republican leaders and consultants arguing that the GOP needs to rethink its stance on immigration. I heard my CNN colleague Alex Castellanos saying so last night; apparently Jeb Bush has a book to that effect publishing soon.

So let's be very clear:

Any idea that the immigration issue - and the immigration issue alone - would enable Republicans to staple a good chunk of the Latino vote to the conservative coalition - without changing anything else - is a dangerous self-deception.

It's necessary of course to refrain from insulting Latinos, or, for that matter, anybody. But the crying need in the GOP is for a more middle-class orientation to politics, one that addresses concerns like healthcare as well as debts and deficits. But the ideas that dominated the past four years won't become more attractive if all conservatives do is translate them into Spanish.