Huffpost Latino Voices

Latino RNC Speakers: How The 2012 Numbers Compare To Previous Republican Conventions

Posted: Updated:

Though the 2012 Republican National Convention drew to a close Thursday night, the battle for Latino voters is far from over. While Mitt Romney's attempts to woo Latino voters have left much to be desired, the Latino lineup of RNC speakers illustrates the GOP is certainly trying.

Despite scheduling changes after the convention was cut a day short by Hurricane Isaac, Latino politicians remained prominent, holding key evening speaking slots. At least 10 Latino speakers took the stage during the convention -- yes, we're including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Romney's Spanish-speaking son Craig -- but the total count is not much higher than the number of Latino pols that spoke at the 2008 RNC.

The difference lies not in the sheer number, but in the choice of speaker and time slot. In 2008, nine Latinos, including Sen. Mel Martinez and former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin, spoke during the four-day convention, but none were offered primetime speaking slots. In 2004, seven Latinos spoke on behalf of the party, but the GOP stacked the deck by including two Hispanic musicians, Daniel Rodriguez and Jaci Velasquez, and Latino businesswoman Carmen Bermúdez, who led the pledge of allegiance.

Similarly in 2000, speeches by Latino politicians or community members were limited as half of the Latinos invited on stage either sang or led the pledge of allegiance.

While the GOP has a tradition of diversifying its stage presence during RNC, this year's primetime lineup of Luce Vela Fortuño, wife of Puetro Rican Gov. Luis Fortuño, on Tuesday, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Wednesday and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday was unprecedented. Not only did the GOP hand out primetime speaking spots to prominent Latinos, but it did so every single day of the convention. If that's not a ploy to gather Latino voters, then we don't know what is.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- likely the most outspoken critic of the GOP's use of Latinos on stage -- called the move "window dressing" on Tuesday, telling reporters the party "can't just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname" and expect Latinos to vote Republican.

Mitt Romney may be trailing nearly 40 percentage points behind President Obama in Latino support, according to recent polls, but he could still make up the difference -- possibly by turning to the advisors that led President George W. Bush to win 35 percent of the Latino vote in 2000 and 40 percent in 2004.

Check out the gallery below to see all the Latino speakers at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Latino 2012 RNC Speakers
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Around the Web

MSNBC Accused of Cutting Black & Hispanic Republicans From ...

Latino Politicians Remain Prominent Even As Republican ...

Republican Convention: Carlos Gutierrez Talks ... - Fox News Latino

RNC Announces More Latino Speakers for Convention - Politic 365

Review of Republican National Convention Speakers - C-SPAN

Republican Convention: Latino Delegates, the Few, Say GOP Reflects Values

Republican Convention: Carlos Gutierrez Talks Economy, the Romneys & Latinos

Marco Rubio Speech At 2012 Republican Convention: America Is About 'New ...

Transcript of former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush's RNC speech

Marco Rubio speech thrills RNC on final night

Republican National Convention: Fox News Latino Reporter's Notebook

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results