8:00pm January 4, 2012

Why a Romney-Rubio Ticket Wouldn’t Be Smart

Barack Obama Continues Campaign Swing Through Florida

With the Romney campaign weaving a narrative of inevitability despite the neck and neck, stunning statistical tie with Rick Santorum in the Iowa caucuses, the talk in some circles is shifting to who might be Governor Romney’s running mate.

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich is predicting that it will be Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post is also suggesting that Senator Rubio would be what Romney needs to cruise to victory in November.

But, there is some evidence suggesting that Rubio really wouldn’t be a good pick strategically – especially if the GOP is looking toward the junior senator from Florida to help pick up some of the Latino vote.

Marco Rubio probably wouldn’t do well with non-Cuban Latinos nationally. In the 2010 campaign for Senate, Rubio did not win the non-Cuban Latino vote in his home state. While Rubio was able to win a whopping 78% of the Cuban Latino vote in Florida in 2010, he was only able to secure 40% of the non-Cuban Latino vote. Cuban Americans constitute a smaller portion of the electorate than do Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans. However, it should be noted that Cuban Americans tend to turn out in higher percentages than other Latinos, with their influence concentrated primarily in South Florida. Romney would need to appeal to Mexican Americans and other Latinos whose populations are growing in the South, Southwest and in the Midwest.

On immigration, one of the issues that the GOP needs help in appealing to Latino voters, Marco Rubio doesn’t distinguish himself much from the aggressive rhetoric of Mitt Romney. Rubio’s opposition to the DREAM Act, which would give undocumented youth a pathway to citizenship if they complete college or military service, is a position that is at odds with most Latino voters.  Just a few days ago, Romney announced that he would veto the DREAM Act as President if the once solidly bipartisan bill passed through Congress.

Rubio recently co-sponsored an E-Verify bill that would require all employers to use a database background check for prospective employees. Latino voters would likely be looking toward a VP candidate on the GOP side who would provide some nuanced perspective to this complex issue especially given President Obama’s own aggressive record on deportations. Nuance isn’t what Rubio would bring to the Romney campaign.

One area where Romney is perceived to be weak amongst the GOP faithful is in religious beliefs. As a Mormon candidate, some evangelicals within the Republican Party have expressed reluctance on supporting his candidacy. Robert Reich’s piece mentioned that Marco Rubio is “an evangelical Christian committed to reducing taxes and shrinking government,” but Rubio’s own religious identification has been the subject of debate, with his campaign in 2010 insisting that he was a Catholic despite affiliations with a non-denominational Florida church. Romney needs to win over the religious right especially given his inconsistent record on issues like abortion. Rubio’s religious fence straddling may leave some of the more devout members of the GOP who have stronger ties to their churches looking for someone who is unapologetically evangelical.

While photogenic, young, and eloquent, Senator Rubio really doesn’t enhance Mitt Romney’s candidacy in a way that would broaden his appeal within the GOP. Rubio’s appeal for now is more regional, and he doesn’t bring the larger Latino electorate with him.

Governor Romney may benefit more from someone who has been consistently conservative on the national scene and who has an appeal with Western and Midwestern voters, especially since President Obama and the Democrats will invest a lot in states like Colorado, Nevada and, possibly even, Arizona.

– DailyGrito

About the Author

Adriana Maestas
Adriana Maestas is the senior contributing editor of Politic365.com.



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  1. Brittanicus

    LEGAL IMMIGRATION—NOT—illegal immigrants? There is a vast difference.

    Now that we have the results from the Iowa Caucuses, we must carefully peruse the issues as seen by the candidates and the ever present innocuous problem of the illegal alien occupation.

    Mitt Romney during a campaign stop in Iowa on New Year’s Eve, the former governor stated that he would veto the so-called DREAM Act if he was president. And as governor of Massachusetts, Romney allowed state troopers to be deputized to help with the enforcement of immigration laws. He also opposed attempts to allow illegal aliens to pay the lower in-state tuition rates at state universities. Although he opposes the DREAM Act, Romney seems open to grant legal residency status to those who serve in the U.S. military.

    Rick Santorum throughout his time as senator, Santorum consistently opposed bills that would grant amnesty or other legalization benefits for illegal aliens. He voted against a bill that would have produced a guest worker program with a path to US citizenship for certain illegal aliens. In addition he voted in opposition to a bill that would allow certain illegal aliens to participate in social security system. Rick Santorum also voted in support of constructing a fence along our Southern border and doesn’t believe in amnesty, although he opposes deporting the millions of illegal aliens already residing in the U.S.

    Ron Paul has a similar attitude towards illegal immigration, that he opposes Amnesty, but does not support deporting the estimated 20 million plus illegal aliens currently squatting in the U.S. Paul introduced a bill that would amend the 14th Amendment to the Constitution so that children born to non-citizens within the U.S. could not attain automatic citizenship.

    Rep. Michele Bachmann, has the best stance on illegal immigration, but sadly she has stepped down as a presidential candidate. Although Bachman has left the race, she will still carry the banner of the TEA PARTY. As Senators and House members are regurgitated so to speak for reelection. We must insist that they will follow the laws passed down to us by our founding fathers? Not the Socialist movement by President Obama and his rat patrol, assaulting the sovereign rights of individual states. Every politician should promise to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which is the promise to tens of millions of TEA PARTY members of freedom and liberty. To restrain a government out of control and shrink it; to rewrite the antique current tax code and replacing it with a fair and equitable tax for all and no special advantages for those in power; open up our abundant oil deposits and tell the environmentalists, ‘to put a sock in it.’

  2. rich

    Obama (D) should dump Biden (D) and choose a better Democrat as his running mate.

    Jon Corzine (D) has tons of executive experience and I understand he's looking for a job,

  3. [...] Marco Rubio, it might have signaled that he was making a more serious play for the Latino vote. But Rubio is still much of a regional candidate and might not have had as much influence out West and in key battle ground states. But right now, [...]

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