Republican Outreach to Latinos, Women May Be Hindered

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 12:39 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Republican efforts to reach out to women and the Latino community may have been hampered by two recent insulting incidents coming from California.

The first was on Sunday when Breitbart.com launched a new California-focused website, Breitbart California, which featured an image of House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi with her head superimposed onto the body of a twerking Miley Cyrus, The Los Angeles Times is reporting.

Pelosi called the image "tasteless" and "undignified." Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said it was "foul, offensive and disrespectful to all women," and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy pulled his column from the website.

On Monday, footage of Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, the Republican tea party candidate for governor, surfaced comparing illegal immigration to the Civil War, which some in the GOP have said could be devastating to the party's Latino outreach efforts.

He made the comments in 2006 when he was leading the Minutemen volunteer border-patrol group, and he has refused to back down from the eight-year-old remarks.

"I am not backing away from the fact that we are in a war," Donnelly said Tuesday.

"It's an embarrassment not only to himself but to the party and the efforts I am involved in at the national level ... to elect Latino Republicans," said Rosario Marin, former U.S. treasurer under President George W. Bush, who is from Huntington Park, Calif. "This ... makes my job that much more difficult."

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was criticized for not doing enough to reach out to the Hispanic community after he only won 27 percent of the Latino vote in 2012.

Since then, the Republican National Committee has vowed to do more to draw Latino voters as well as African-Americans and Asian-Americans to the party.

Adam Mendelsohn, adviser to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said the party should have responded more "aggressively to Donnelly's comments."

"That would be a much more significant step," he said.

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