GOP Hispanic strategists: Tone down the rhetoric on Sotomayor

“In the real world, absolutely this rhetoric matters,” said former Rep. Henry Bonilla of Texas. “And that’s why I think, thus far, the key leadership in Washington has been very cautious and thoughtful in their responses, and I hope that will continue… At the end of the day, people will see [these remarks] for what they are. And realize that this is nothing new coming from various opinionated people on the conservative side. It is nothing different than what comes from the liberal side.”

As for Tancredo specifically, Bonilla called his remarks “outrageous.” Perhaps, he added, it was a good thing because “credibility goes down the drain when you hear something like that.”…

“I think this is going to have a long-term effect,” said Frank Guerra, a GOP strategist who has worked on Rick Perry’s gubernatorial campaign in Texas and Jeb Bush’s in Florida – both heavily Hispanic states. “For the most part in politics, what gets said meets the immediate need but doesn’t address the long-term issues. And some of this dialogue is going to really hurt Republicans in their efforts to attract and keep Hispanic voters… This absolutely matters to the community. This is a watershed moment. It is a first. A Hispanic woman on the Court.”