Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is at the top of every pundit's short list to be the Republican vice presidential nominee, in the belief that having a Latino in the second spot on the ticket will attract Latino voters who have been fleeing the GOP in recent years.These people want all Latinos to vote as a bloc, which is what black voters currently do. As I explained in a previous post, the day black voters decided to act as one they effectively gave up their political power. So far Latinos haven't made the same mistake, and because so much of their electorate can still be swayed by political arguments, they have retained the power that blacks have lost.
But today at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference in Miami, the Berkeley organization Presente Action is launching a national anti-Rubio campaign during his big moment in the national spotlight, days before Tuesday's critical Florida primary.
Their assertion, backed by recent surveys, is that Rubio's positions on several key issues, immigration in particular, are far from the mainstream of the Latino electorate.
So Presente, a 3-year-old, 250,000-member online hub that aims to be "the Latino MoveOn.org" is aiming its campaign at the senator who is a Tea Party darling. The campaign's name: "No somos Rubios." ("We are not Rubios.")
"Rubio has to decide," said Presente Action co-founder and strategist Roberto Lovato, "if he's a Latino or a Tea Partino."
Latinos would be wise to ignore these groups and make up their own minds about candidates and issues. That's what Marco Rubio has done.