Strategist Ford O'Connell: Republicans Must Woo Hispanics

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 08:15 PM

By Sean Piccoli

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Supporting in-state college tuition for Florida's undocumented immigrants is "politically smart" for Gov. Rick Scott as he tries to hang onto his job against challenger Charlie Crist, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Newsmax TV on Wednesday.

"He's got to tap into the 23 percent of Floridians who are Hispanic, and this is a way to open the door," O'Connell told "America's Forum" host John Bachman and Newsmax contributor Francesca Page.

"It is a little early to say" whether Scott's embrace of a position that plays well with Hispanic voters will, in turn, help Republican presidential candidates in 2016, O'Connell says. But he said that what is "a pragmatic policy" for one state could serve as a model for a GOP White House run.

"The only question is do you actually make the right outreach?" O'Connell said. "And at the end of the day, if Republicans want to win the White House in 2016, they're going to need Hispanics in the tent."

Story continues below video.

O'Connell, author of "Hail Mary: The 10-Step Playbook for Republican Recovery," suggested the GOP will need to soften, or broaden, its conservative pitch to counter the built-in advantages enjoyed by, for example, the Democrats' highest-profile potential nominee: Hillary Clinton.

The would-be GOP contender best suited to the job? O'Connell said right now it's New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"The most talented Republican politician when it comes to stump speaking and connecting with people, unfortunately, is still Chris Christie of New Jersey," he said. "He has the innate ability to bring the very people in the tent — unmarried women, Hispanics, minorities — that you need if you want to win a presidential election."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky are potential 2016 nominees who are reaching out to new constituencies, said O'Connell. But none so far has demonstrated Christie's talent for making people feel welcome in the party.

"I understand that sometimes he comes off a little rough, but at the end of the day he's able to connect with people on a level that they understand," O'Connell said of Christie. "Remember, 'compassionate' does not mean the same thing in every single region of the country."

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Rep. Erik Paulsen: Obamacare About to Hit Every American

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:41 PM

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen says that every American is about to feel the effects of Obamacare when tax season hits in 2 . . .

FALN Victim's Son: Return 2 Cop Killers Living in Cuba to US

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:45 PM

Two cop killers brazenly living in Cuba must be returned to the United States now that new diplomatic relations have bee . . .

Gordon Chang: NKorea Didn't Act Alone in Cyberattack

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 16:58 PM

North Korea did not act alone in its devastating cyberattack on Sony Pictures, as President Barack Obama asserted on Fri . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved