Sen. Marco Rubio’s approval rating is six points lower with Hispanics than George W. Bush’s, so the Republican Party thinks it is a great idea to put him on all 5 Sunday shows.
The Republican “rebrand” strategy is centered around making Sen. Marco Rubio the face of immigration reform. The problem is that Hispanics aren’t flocking to the Florida Republican. A new poll from NBC News/WSJ/Telemundo found that despite months of efforts to elevate Rubio, the senator’s approval rating with Hispanics is 23%. Twenty five percent of those polled were neutral, 12% had a negative opinion, and 40% didn’t know him. On the surface, these numbers don’t seem all that bad. The fact that Rubio is a relative unknown could provide upside for his approval.
Republicans might be feeling good about Rubio if the same poll didn’t reveal that George W. Bush’s approval rating with Hispanics is six points higher (29%) than Marco Rubio’s (23%). President Obama’s approval rating with Hispanics is almost three times larger than Rubio’s (64%), but not even the president can match potential 2016 candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval rating of 65%.
The GOP is responding to this lukewarm reception for Rubio by putting him on all five of the Sunday news shows tomorrow as their face of immigration reform. Just like they did with women and Sarah Palin, Republicans are acting on the assumption that Hispanic Americans will vote for them if they promote a Hispanic person.
Instead of admitting that the problem is what they stand for, Republicans are trying to once again put a different race/gender/ethnicity on the same failed platform.
Splashing Marco Rubio’s face all over television on Sunday morning isn’t going send Hispanics back to the Republican Party. What these poll numbers reveal is that if immigration reform is passed, Hispanic voters are likely to give the credit to the Democrats that they already support. Attaching Rubio to the Democratic efforts on immigration in a me too kind of way is a strategy that is destined to fail.
Only a party that is operating from a completely race based mindset would think that the elevation of Marco Rubio to Hispanic show pony/gimmick is a good idea.
Republicans are positioning Rubio to be on the 2016 ticket, but what they can’t through their thick skulls is it isn’t the messenger. It’s the message.
The Republican Party is reinforcing the perception of their racism with their cynical elevation of Marco Rubio.