A national Republican group, Cafe Con Leche Republicans, has issued a plea to Governor Rick Perry to quit his bid for the Presidential nomination. The request comes in great part from Perry’s association with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona.
Cafe Con Leche Republicans is a national organization of Republicans whose mission is to make America and particularly the GOP, more welcoming to “New Immigrants” through political activism, “in-reach” and education within the Republican Party, and lobbying government to adopt more immigrant friendly policies.
Today they issued the following statement:
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has received the endorsement of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Arpaio is already campaigning for Rick Perry.
Before this endorsement, Perry’s campaign was already flailing with support levels in single digits. The latest Gallup poll shows Perry in fifth place with just eight percent of likely Republican voters supporting Perry. We believe the Arpaio endorsement is a colossal blunder from which Rick Perry will never recover, and we call on Rick Perry to leave the presidential race.
Joe Arpaio is widely detested among Hispanics, and news stories about racial profiling, prisoner abuse, etc. are staples in the Hispanic media. For example, a pregnant immigrant was forced to give birth in shackles, and Arpaio is notorious for racial profiling and for his neighborhood sweeps of Hispanic neighborhoods. Most experts believe that the successful GOP nominee will need Hispanic support in the 40% range, as received by George Bush in 2004. Hispanics are now 16% of the U.S. population.
Obama has already stated: “We may just run clips of the Republican debates verbatim. We won’t even comment on them, we’ll just run those in a loop on Univision and Telemundo, and people can make up their own minds.” With Rick Perry and Joe Arpaio planning to campaign together, Arpaio’s negative image among Hispanics will become Rick Perry’s negative image as well.
Obama received 67% of the Hispanic vote in the 2008 election. Despite Obama’s record as the “deporter-in-chief” who has utterly failed to honor his campaign promises on immigration reform, we foresee support for Obama at 2008 levels or better if the eventual GOP nominee is perceived as hostile towards immigrants. If Rick Perry were somehow able to revive his campaign and win the nomination, in the general election Obama need only tie Perry to Arpaio to insure continued Hispanic support.
Arpaio’s support in the GOP primaries may not even help Perry. Despite the perception that Republicans strongly support enforcement only solutions espoused by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in reality Republicans are deeply divided over immigration strategy with a slight majority supporting reform. According to a recent PEW Research poll, a majority of Republicans “favor providing a way for illegal immigrants in the U.S. to gain citizenship, if they pass background checks, pay fines and have jobs.” Among three predominately GOP ideological groupings, “staunch conservatives” split 49%/49% on immigration reform, while “main street republicans” favor reform 58%/39%, and “Libertarians” favor reform 66%/32%.
A recent Univisión sponsored poll found that not only are Latinos alienated by anti-immigrant rhetoric, so are Americans in general. By hitching his star to Joe Arpaio, Rick Perry has effectively torpedoed his campaign, and we respectfully ask Rick Perry to exit the race as he cannot win against Obama. We believe it is critical that the GOP nominee be a credible candidate, not only among Republicans but the general electorate, in order to defeat Obama in the general election.