Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush says the Republican Party must begin to mobilize now if they hope to win enough Hispanic votes in the key battleground states to win the presidency in 2012.
Writing in theWashington Post Wednesday night,
Bush lays out an agenda to secure Hispanic backing on key issues like entrepreneurship, family values, education and immigration reform. In each case, Bush points out, the GOP has a significant edge over the Democrats as the party of ideas.
“Republicans have a winning message and record as the party of the entrepreneur. We are the party of the family business, and the family business is the economic heart of Hispanic communities,” Bush writes.
“We should press for an overhaul of our education system. Republicans have the field to themselves on this issue. Teachers unions and education bureaucrats have blocked Democrats from serious reform — it will happen only with Republican political leadership.
“But we have to move beyond simplistic plans to ‘get rid of the Department of Education’ and focus on substantive, broad-based reform that includes school choice, robust accountability for underperforming schools and the elimination of social promotion, in which kids are passed along without mastering grade-level skills," writes Bush, who is not endorsing a candidate in the Florida Primary next week. "Such improvements, it was noted in 2009, plus efforts to embrace digital learning, helped Hispanic students in Florida lead the nation among their peers. And Hispanic voters, who often feel their children are trapped in failing schools, notice.
“Finally, we need to think of immigration reform as an economic issue, not just a border security issue. Numerous polls show that Hispanics agree with Republicans on the necessity of a secure border and enforceable and fair immigration laws to reduce illegal immigration and strengthen legal immigration.”
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