Florida Sen. Marco Rubio agreed Wednesday with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s assertion that the GOP can’t “just trot out a brown face” to solve their problems with Hispanic voters.
“Quite frankly, what’s he saying is true for both parties,” Rubio said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “Policies matter. And look, the Republican party does have a challenge. We can’t just be the anti-illegal immigration party. We have to be the pro-legal immigration party.”
Villaraigosa, the chair of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week, had said that the heavy presence of Hispanic politicians — including Rubio, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Texas Senate nominee Ted Cruz — on the Republican stage in Tampa wouldn’t help the GOP win over Hispanic voters.
“You can’t just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate,” Villaraigosa said at a press conference Tuesday.
Rubio, who was crafting an alternative to the DREAM Act before President Barack Obama and the Department of Homeland Security issued an order stopping the deportation of some young illegal immigrants, dodged a question about how presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney would handle the DREAM Act.
“What [Romney] has said is that if he’s president, there will be a permanent solution to that problem,” Rubio said. “It won’t require the short-term one.”
Asked directly if Romney would rescind the order, Rubio didn’t give a yes-or-no answer.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released last week found Obama leading Romney among Hispanics, 63 percent to 28 percent.
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