Democrats are looking to put the kibosh on conservative outreach efforts to Latino voters before they start.
The DNC’s first major ad buy of the season is a Spanish-language ad running in areas with high concentrations of Latino voters around the country. The new spot comes just two days after the Republican National Committee and Karl Rove’s Super PAC, American Crossroads, launched their own ad campaigns aimed at the key Democratic voting bloc in battleground states like Florida and Colorado.
“The RNC is ready to take the fight to the states where President Obama’s economic policies are stifling job creation and putting recovery on hold,” RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement on the ads.
In a conference call with reporters Friday, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz stressed that Democrats would not take Latino voters for granted. She focused her arguments on the economy and health care, saying Democrats would be aggressive in contrasting the House GOP’s plan to end guaranteed Medicare benefits with Democratic laws, like SCHIP expansion and the Affordable Care Act, that help working families secure coverage.
“We have always believed and continue to believe that the Hispanic community is very important politically,” Wasserman-Schultz said. “[Obama] is going to work hard every day, as he has as president, to earn their vote again. This ad is an example where we can lay out for Hispanic voters exactly what this president has accomplished and make sure that they understand he has made their priorities his priorities.”
Latino groups have expressed frustration with Obama’s failure to push through comprehensive immigration reform and less far-reaching measures like the DREAM Act as well as his reluctance to take executive action on other measures, like limiting deportations. In addition, Republicans now boast two rising stars, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, with Hispanic backgrounds. But the GOP has only grown more conservative on immigration policy over the last several years, which could complicate their efforts at outreach.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.