Republicans looking to reach out to Latinos may want to avoid the advice of Ann Coulter.
The conservative pundit penned a column Wednesday in which she lashed out at the “deluge of unskilled immigrants pouring into the country” and portrayed Latinos as a lazy “underclass” looking for a government handout. Coulter titles the piece “America Nears El Tipping Pointo,” presumably to make a virtue of her ignorance of the Spanish language.
In fact, Latinos use less than their fair share of government benefits. According to a study released this year by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
Non-Hispanic whites accounted for 64 percent of the population in 2010 and received 69 percent of the entitlement benefits. In contrast, Hispanics made up 16 percent of the population but received 12 percent of the benefits, less than their proportionate share -- likely because they are a younger population and also because immigrants, including many legal immigrants, are ineligible for various benefits.
Coulter implies in her piece that non-whites are “nitwits who deserve lives of misery and joblessness.” She singles out immigrants from Latin America as particularly “nitwitty,” saying they have too many babies out of wedlock, without citing a published source for the assertion. Nearly half of undocumented-immigrant households -- 45 percent -- consisted of a spouse or cohabiting couple with one or more children, compared to 34 percent of legal immigrants and 21 percent of the U.S. born, according to a 2010 Pew Hispanic Study.
Apparently unaware that Latinos do not depend disproportionately on government benefits, Coulter writes:
That's a lot of government dependents coming down the pike. No amount of "reaching out" to the Hispanic community, effective "messaging" or Reagan's "optimism" is going to turn Mexico's underclass into Republicans … Rather than being more hardworking than American, Hispanics actually work about the same as others, or, in the case of Hispanic women, less.
In fact, Latinos -- especially immigrants -- are more entrepreneurial than the general population. As Cristina Costantini points out in a piece for ABC/Univision, Hispanics created twice as many businesses as the general public since 2000, according to census data.
Mitt Romney won just 27 percent of the Latino vote, the lowest number of a presidential candidate since Bob Dole in 1996. Romney's failure to attract Hispanic voters likely owes to the hardline positions on immigration he took to attract the GOP's right wing, many of whom viewed the former Massachusetts governor as too liberal going into the party primary.
Also on HuffPost:
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
The Cuban-American conservative who's faced <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/01/ted-cruz-latino_n_2051960.html">offensive attacks against his Hispanic background</a> became the first Latino from Texas to hold a U.S. Senate seat.
Richard Carmona (D-Ariz.)
He waged a competitive campaign and mobilized an emerging Latino electorate, but the former surgeon general lost his Senate seat bid by <a href="http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2012/11/richard_carmona_fares_better_t.php">80,000 votes to Republican Jeff Flake.</a>
Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)
Tucson's Raul Grijalva did not face much of a challenge from Republican challenger Gabriela Saucedo Mercer.
Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.)
Obama surrogate Xavier Becerra trounced his opponent, winning some 86 percent of the vote.
Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.)
The former Los Angeles City Councilman will <a href="http://www.voxxi.com/tony-cardenas-california-congressman/">take a seat in Congress</a>.
Grace Flores Napolitano (D-Calif.)
Incumbent Flores Napolitano retained her seat.
Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)
The incumbent held her seat.
Gloria Negrete McLeod (D-Calif.)
<a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/11/gloria-negrete-mcleod-bests-joe-baca-in-congressional-race.html">State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod unseated</a> fellow Democrat Joe Baca.
Joe Baca (D-Calif.)
The incumbent won't have a seat in Congress next year after losing to State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod.
Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)
Sanchez will become a U.S. Representative.
Jose Hernandez (D-Calif.)
Former astronaut <a href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49728894/ns/technology_and_science-space/#.UJrnuOOe8ho">Jose Hernandez came up with 46 percent</a> of the vote -- not enough to defeat his Republican challenger.
Abel Maldonado (R-Calif.)
California's Lt. Gov. Maldonado came up short in his bid to enter Congress.
Juan Vargas (D-Calif.)
The former state senator moved up a notch to the House of Representatives.
Joe Garcia (D-Fl.)
South Florida got a Cuban-American Democrat for U.S. Rep. when Garcia defeated incumbent conservative David Rivera.
David Rivera (R-FL)
Facing a campaign finance scandal, Rivera lost his congressional seat to fellow Cuban-American challenger Joe García.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl.)
The Cuban-American former chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee is back for another term.
Raul Labrador (R-Idaho)
Labrador's still representing Idaho voters in Congress.
Luis Gutierrez (D-Il.)
The immigration reform champion cruised to reelection.
Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.)
The Democratic U.S. Representative cruised to an easy victory.
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.)
Lujan Grisham has become <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Lujan-Grisham-elected-to-Congress-in-Albuquerque-4016276.php">Albuquerque's newest Congresswoman</a>.
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.)
The New Mexico Democrat owes her seat in Congress in part to <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Lujan-Grisham-elected-to-Congress-in-Albuquerque-4016276.php">New Mexico's large Latino population</a>.
Albio Sires (D-N.J.)
The Cuban-American U.S. Rep. retained his seat.
Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)
New Jersey Cuban-American Bob Menendez is still a U.S. senator.
Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.)
The incumbent New York U.S. Rep. kept her seat.
Jose Serrano (D-N.Y.)
The incumbent congressman retained his seat.
Joaquin Castro (D-Tx.)
Joaquin Castro, the brother of Democratic Caucus sensation Julian Castro, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/onpolitics/2012/11/06/joaquin-castro-congress-election-texas/1686933/">won himself a seat</a> in the House of Representatives.
Pete Gallego (D-Tx.)
The San Antonio politician heads to the House of Representatives.
Francisco Canseco (R-Tx.)
Francisco Canseco won't be headed to Washington this year. He was defeated by Democrat Pete Gallego.
Henry Cuellar (D-Tx.)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wa.)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.)
The incumbent retained her seat. <em><strong>CORRECTION:</strong> A previous version of this caption incorrectly stated Ms. Lucille Roybal-Allard's political affiliation and state. She's a California Democrat.</em>