Most GOP 2012 hopefuls taking a pass on Hispanic Leadership Conference?

posted at 2:15 pm on December 23, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Does the 2012 primary campaign really start in January 2011?  Perhaps not.  Most of the presumed contenders for the Republican presidential nomination have apparently decided to skip the Hispanic Leadership Conference despite its location in Florida, a key state in the early part of the primary schedule.  Of the generally-recognized candidates for the ticket, only outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty has confirmed his appearance next month:

It was billed, in part, as a forum for the 2012 Republican presidential field to speak directly to Hispanics – a replica of the vaunted Conservative Political Action Conference, but tailored to the fastest-growing slice of the electorate.

Yet, when former Gov. Jeb Bush, former Sen. Norm Coleman and former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez open the first Hispanic Leadership Network conference next month in Miami, the only potential presidential candidate confirmed to attend – so far – is Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. …

A poor showing could raise doubts about the commitment of Republicans to court Hispanics, one of the open-ended questions of the 2012 presidential cycle.

It could, but there are some mitigating factors.  The conference is being held at about the same time as the RNC winter meeting, for one thing.  That won’t usually require attendance by candidates, but the organizers within the party will most likely opt for the RNC meeting rather than the first iteration of this conference.  The organizers may want to make this “the CPAC for Hispanic Republicans,” but the actual CPAC is just a couple of weeks later.  The activities in Washington will overshadow Miami, and the organizers of the HLC will probably be attending CPAC anyway.

The general timing may not work well, either.  Unlike the 2008 cycle, when both parties had an open primaries for the first time in decades, the GOP can take its time putting a pre-primary campaign together.  No one will feel rushed into making January announcements; most candidates need time to organize for a national campaign.  Some of those sending regrets also hold political office now, such as Senator John Thune, Governor Mitch Daniels, Governor Rick Perry, and Governor Haley Barbour (who hasn’t confirmed his response either way).  Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin have media jobs that they will want to extend as far as possible before having to take hiatuses after announcing their intent to run.  Pawlenty’s term of office ends this month and he’s been organizing for a while, which means those pressures won’t keep him from outreach efforts like this.

The organizers for HLC perhaps should have rethought their scheduling and picked a date farther into spring, perhaps in April or May for their first-ever conference.  Its close proximity to CPAC alone will mean that potential attendees may have to decide whether to spend money in Miami for a limited event or spend it in DC for CPAC where they can network on a much wider basis.  The GOP definitely needs to organize to make their case to Hispanic voters, but organizers need to keep logistics in mind, too.


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T-Paw steps up again.

rickyricardo on December 23, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Good for them. Leave the divisive racial demagoguery to the Democrats. They’re suited to that sort of thing, pitting one race against the others.

People should be judged on the content of their character not the color of their skin.

Jeb seems to support racially segregated politics. I find that offensive. We are one nation.

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 2:20 PM

only outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty has confirmed his appearance next month:

Ouch, that’s gotta’ hurt.

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Hard to believe the Hispanic conference folks even picked this date to hold their event! Not good planning on their part.

Warner Todd Huston on December 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Obama’s agenda finished so strongly in this congress GOP presidential candidates should be reluctant to challenge him in the next election. Not much hope when so many republicans are sympathetic to democrat ideology. Might be better to just wait until 2016 when Obama can’t run again.

Skandia Recluse on December 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

So Tim Pawlenty endorses racially segregated politics.

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

oopsie on the scheduling of this get together…

WAY to early….

cmsinaz on December 23, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Jeb/Pawlenty, ’12 NEVER!

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 2:23 PM

A poor showing could raise doubts about the commitment of Republicans to court Hispanics, one of the open-ended questions of the 2012 presidential cycle.

And the msm spin begins…

cmsinaz on December 23, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Hmmm…so the GOP always needs to bow to the HLC. I think I’m just going Tea Party, since fiscal issue are the number problem.

Oil Can on December 23, 2010 at 2:26 PM

How does one say the following in Spanish:

1. Oh dear God in Heaven, I am so bored.

2. Carbon dioxide is plant food you numbskull and should not be taxed.

Branch Rickey on December 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Will securing the border be a main topic at the Hispanic Leadership Conference…?

Seven Percent Solution on December 23, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I’m sure they would make time to attend the White Leadership Conference, especially that racist Barbour! /sarc

KS Rex on December 23, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Avoid the minefield or you’ll wind up with you legs blown off like Sharon Angle.

Red Creek on December 23, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Skandia Recluse on December 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

I agree except for the part where you typed words.

Immolate on December 23, 2010 at 2:33 PM

A poor showing could raise doubts about the commitment of Republicans to court Hispanics, one of the open-ended questions of the 2012 presidential cycle.

Hispanics so inclined should vote for the Tea Party because it’s in all of our best interests; America’s best interest. Those looking for free handouts or special treatment already have the Democrat party, (including Jeb and Pawlenty).

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Here’s a thought:

Why don’t Hispanics get themselves on up to CPAC and live and act as individuals – and not as a collective demanding elected officials or wannabes cater to them as a collective? What do Hispanics need from officials that other Americans do not?

Nothing in a Constitutionally-limited government.

Call me simplistic, but the very fact that this event was organized at all tells us what we need to know about Republicans who believe in identity politics.

hrh40 on December 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Pawlenty loses points for pandering.

GOP’ers need to stop enabling destructive identity group politics.

chalons on December 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Personally, I’m getting damned sick and tired of hearing about “the Black vote”, “the Hispanic vote”, “the gay vote”, “the what-ever vote”.

What ever happened to the “American vote”?

GarandFan on December 23, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I wanted to include this, but I couldn’t find it.

Spanish-Language Show Tops Networks in Key Demo

Tower of babel or like France where we have two cultures.

Oil Can on December 23, 2010 at 2:41 PM

How about Republicans reforming the nomination process so we can get a good look at candidates and not have a real decision until, say, MAY/JUN 2012?

This early ‘and if you don’t pick up X, Y and Z you are out’ sort of deal is shortchanging a number of States. There must be something better than the current process…

ajacksonian on December 23, 2010 at 2:44 PM

So, if I’m reading a lot of people at HA right, its okay for the GOP to reach out to the Tea Party, GoProud, Pro-Lifers, Chamber of Commerce, Christians, a bunch of different types of voters, but if the people are brown its pandering and they only want free handouts?

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

What is so absurd is that the plantation owners and their spokesmen, who promote the racial segregation of politics, pretend to occupy the moral high ground.

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 2:46 PM

How does one say in Spanish?

“immigration is privilege, not a Latino civil right.”

McCain, Bush, Pawlenty, anyone…?

kd6rxl on December 23, 2010 at 2:50 PM

T-Paw has been second on my ‘short’ list for 2012.
DISAPPOINTED!

annoyinglittletwerp on December 23, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Come on guys, it’s Miami en Enero! Hola beeches! I’ll go if no one wants to. I’ve always wondered why Palin doesn’t reach directly more to Latinos. She pretty much is Mexican to me.

Apologetic California on December 23, 2010 at 2:56 PM

So, if I’m reading a lot of people at HA right, its okay for the GOP to reach out to the Tea Party, GoProud, Pro-Lifers, Chamber of Commerce, Christians, a bunch of different types of voters, but if the people are brown its pandering and they only want free handouts?

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

None of the groups you list define themselves by color.

DarkCurrent on December 23, 2010 at 2:57 PM

I don’t feel jilted. If the Latinos at the conference begin to whine about this scheduling conflict, they’ll show they’re no better than the NAACP, which needs to be coddled like a spoiled brat.

madmonkphotog on December 23, 2010 at 2:58 PM

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

hear, hear. We need every voter we can get. If Jeb is good enough to not stress very liberal legislation, it should be fine. It’s tough forums like this that can make a candidate and turn around Hispanic perceptions about the GOP.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on December 23, 2010 at 2:58 PM

None of the groups you list define themselves by color.

DarkCurrent on December 23, 2010 at 2:57 PM

You’re right. I wasn’t accurate when I said brown. We come in all colors. Its culture and background.

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Jeb makes Brother George look like “Sheriff Joe” by comparison.

bw222 on December 23, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Just to clarify, I am not advocating that the GOP change its priorities. I am not saying the GOP needs to embrace amnesty or anything.

All I am saying is the GOP should reach out to every segment of voters.

Hi, its nice to meet you. We’re Republicans. This is what we believe. This is why you should join us.

The GOP does this to many groups. Sarah Palin speaks at pro-life events, tea party events etc. Why allow the media and the Dems to define who you are towards these groups? Why not take the initiative?

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010 at 3:05 PM

How about waiting another year before beginning this??

What a waste of time.

gstrickler on December 23, 2010 at 3:10 PM

The only person who equated this event to some kind of presidential primary preview is Politico. This is just another conference. No one has to be there and it’s completely optional. Though now the left-wing media will pick-up the story and say “LOOK, this is NOW a presidential primary event and there are no GOP presidential candidates showing up. They must be racist”.

Apologetic California on December 23, 2010 at 3:14 PM

You’re right. I wasn’t accurate when I said brown. We come in all colors. Its culture and background.

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010 at 3:00 PM

La Raza means “The Race”.

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 3:22 PM

“LOOK, this is NOW a presidential primary event and there are no GOP presidential candidates showing up. They must be racist”.

Apologetic California on December 23, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Yeah, but the lame stream media has been doing that all my life and it hasn’t worked. Even the majority of Democrats appose illegal immigration.

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Tim Pawlenty making moves!

conservador on December 23, 2010 at 3:35 PM

Why allow the media and the Dems to define who you are towards these groups? Why not take the initiative?

Because Republicans would rather defiantly lose than lower themselves to pander….unless that pandering is to white Christian, “values” voters.

rickyricardo on December 23, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Lenocinio!

Kini on December 23, 2010 at 4:13 PM

What ever happened to the “American vote”?

GarandFan on December 23, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Don’t worry, Obama will fix that silly voting thing straight away.

search4truth on December 23, 2010 at 4:14 PM

So, if I’m reading a lot of people at HA right, its okay for the GOP to reach out to the Tea Party, GoProud, Pro-Lifers, Chamber of Commerce, Christians, a bunch of different types of voters, but if the people are brown its pandering and they only want free handouts?

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010

All of the organizations you mention are causes that are generally in keeping with Republican principles. When race-based organizations are set up they are for the most part a collection of people from specific races and cultures, and they separate themselves from the rest of society by race and culture. Republicans generally believe in a color blind society (every person no matter their race or culture they come from are equal under the law).

Why should any Republican seeking office pander to race-based groups?

JonPrichard on December 23, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Jeb will be there and that’s all that counts.

Kissmygrits on December 23, 2010 at 5:05 PM

The Hispanic Leadership Illegal Alien Support Conference

FIFY! ;o)

DannoJyd on December 23, 2010 at 6:00 PM

So Tim Pawlenty endorses racially segregated politics.

FloatingRock on December 23, 2010 at 2:22 PM

It would certainly appear so. Put him at the bottom of the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination race, even below Lindsey Graham. Maybe he can run as the new KKK party candidate.

Luka on December 23, 2010 at 6:03 PM

So, if I’m reading a lot of people at HA right, its okay for the GOP to reach out to the Tea Party, GoProud, Pro-Lifers, Chamber of Commerce, Christians, a bunch of different types of voters, but if the people are brown its pandering and they only want free handouts?

El_Terrible on December 23, 2010 at 2:45 PM

Indeed:

Hispanic Tea Party
Hispanic GoProud
Hispanic Pro-Lifer
Hispanic Christians

See the difference!

TheAlamos on December 24, 2010 at 11:15 PM