There’s no question that Hispanics are among the most coveted voting blocs for November’s election. Numerically, they’re the fastest growing minority group in the U.S. population. Major media regularly monitor their presidential preferences.
Be glad you aren’t Sentinel HC, the wingnut subsidiary of Penguin. Today it’s publishing Marco Rubio’s new memoir, An American Son. That makes it just about the worst possible time for Romney aides to confirm that Rubio is not being vetted (and therefore is unlikely to be considered) for the vice-presidential slot. A whole lot of copies of Rubio’s book are thereby consigned to the remainder bin.
Now that Mitt Romney is officially the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and we have some distance from the primaries that decided it all, it’s time to consider the lessons. Otherwise, poor memories, shaky analysis and self-serving spin will combine to congeal a conventional “wisdom” that is anything but. As someone who obsessively chronicled every twist and turn of this very odd nomination contest for TNR, here are my five top takeaways: 1. Mitt Romney is a very lucky man.
[guest post by Eliza Gray] Tomorrow, when Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney appear together at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it will be sure to stir up speculation about the possibility that the Florida Senator will wind up as Romney’s VP nominee. In my estimation, that’s a red herring: In my new piece on Rubio and his friendship with U.S. Congressman David Rivera—who was recently named one of the most corrupt members of Congress—I question whether Rubio could possibly pass vetting for a VP nomination.
On April 19, Republican Senator Marco Rubio appeared at a policy breakfast in Washington. The ostensible topic was his proposal for a Republican alternative to the DREAM Act, but it wasn’t long before the conversation drifted to vice presidential talk. Since the start of the Republican primary, Rubio has been named at the top of nearly every short list of likely running mates—and for good reason. He is young, charismatic, and popular with both the Tea Party and the GOP establishment. He has a reputation for being serious about policy.
If Marco Rubio is chosen as Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential candidate, as many have speculated, we’ll soon learn a lot more about the Florida Senator and young Republican superstar. But we’re also likely to continue hearing about another part of Rubio’s past: whether his family are Cuban exiles or not.
Of all the issues on which Mitt Romney will be tempted to execute an “Etch-a-Sketch” moment as he heads into the general election, immigration is the most pressing. Remember, on immigration Romney didn’t just rely on his super PAC to slur his opponents; he identified himself robustly with the nativist strain in the GOP. This worked out fine in the primaries: It helped him snuff the existential threat of Rick Perry’s candidacy, and provided additional fodder for his team’s crucial attack on Newt Gingrich after the South Carolina primary.
Last week was a pretty good one for Mitt Romney. He moved ahead of Rick Santorum in the polls in Wisconsin. His lead in national polls of Republicans increased as well. And he continued to get prominent endorsements from star conservatives like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan, indicating a party moving in his direction. But despite all this encouraging news, there was a cloud on Romney’s horizon: his terrible approval ratings. How terrible?
We’re talking a whole lot less about the Republican primaries than we were a week or two ago, which my former colleague Chris Cillizza attributes to the endorsements of Mitt Romney by Marco Rubio and others, which Chris suggests have effectively ended the GOP race: In just the last 9 days — since Romney won the Illinois primary — he has been endorsed by former Florida governor Jeb Bush and former President George H.W.
Given that Mitt Romney is ostensibly the “establishment candidate” of his party, it’s surprising to see just how much of the Republican establishment has refrained from endorsing him. And that reticence is now starting to take its toll: There’s little doubt that if Republican elites more consistently rallied around Mitt, he could probably be spared an even longer, more dragged-out primary.