The National Republican Committee announced Monday the hiring of Hispanic directors in seven states that are key to its national strategy, which party leaders told Efe is aimed at wooing Latino voters after the 2012 defeat.
The RNC announced the hiring of state and local directors in California, Florida, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia.
Taking lessons from the electoral playbook of George W. Bush in 2004, the RNC’s goal is to have a permanent presence in the Hispanic neighborhoods and events, and to do that they are planning to hire more Hispanic personnel in 11 other states.
“As part of the RNC’s effort to build a permanent ground operation, the RNC will work in partnership with state parties to ensure a year-round presence in Latino neighborhoods,” committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a communique.
The work of this team “will be to begin a dialogue with the local Hispanic chambers of commerce, the churches and the local Hispanic leaders,” Jennifer Korn, the assistant policy director and national director for the RNC Hispanic initiative, told Efe.
The effort also seeks to identify and support the Republican Party’s Hispanic candidates in local and state contests, she said.
Ed Gillespie, the president of the Republican Party’s state leadership committee, told Efe that his party “has a strong message that resonates with Hispanic voters, and what we intend to do is (to enable) that message to be heard more loudly.”
Gillespie acknowledged that the “self-deportation” message of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was damaging in 2012 but he said that Republicans are seeking to improve their message and policy to achieve a “more rational immigration system.”
“Competition is good and I don’t think that Hispanics are interested in having one (Democratic) party that takes their vote for granted and another that doesn’t work hard enough to get it,” he said.
Latinos made up 10 percent of the U.S. electorate in 2012.
George W. Bush won the 2004 election with 44 percent of the Latino vote while in 2012, Romney obtained just 27 percent, compared with the 71 percent garnered by President Barack Obama.