To GOP: Better communicate conservative values

Monday, November 12, 2012
 | 
Russ Jones, Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

Despite the 2012 election results, a conservative Hispanic activist and commentator doesn't think the Republican Party should move to the left to appeal to any demographic -- especially Hispanic voters.

Many commentators attributed the GOP's defeat to the fact that the demographics of the nation have changed and that Republican policies do not appeal to the growing Hispanic population. Obama carried 71 percent of the Hispanic vote and 73 percent of the Asian vote. Mitt Romney claimed most of the white vote, which is 72 percent of the electorate. But it was not enough.

Ortega, Israel (Heritage)Israel Ortega serves as The Heritage Foundation's chief spokesman to the Spanish language news media and as editor of Heritage's sister website, Libertad.org. Despite the reality of last week's presidential election, he insists that conservatives need to be bold in communicating their message to the Hispanic community.

"The ideas and the principles that we're describing and trying to share are not going to change, and they shouldn't change," Ortega contends.

"If we turn our back now on our principles, then it's a recipe for disaster. What needs to happen, though, is we do need to engage; we do need to communicate these ideas and not be afraid of going into places where it feels as if we're not welcomed."

"But this is far from over," The Heritage Foundation spokesman asserts. "The Republicans held onto the House. There are Americans out there who still believe in limited government."

For the most part, Ortega says Hispanics support pro-family issues. So the GOP needs to communicate that message, he argues.

"By and large, the Hispanic demographic is still fairly socially conservative. I think that there is an opportunity there for conservatives to really use that connection of a family-oriented demographic, a strong work ethic, the ideas of self-reliance and ideas that we know of as conservative," he concludes.

But he adds that Republicans cannot wait until six months before the next election to do so.

Learn to 'fight smarter'

Penny Nance, president and CEO of Concerned Women PAC, couldn't agree more, suggesting conservative candidates need to be trained how to better communicate about issues like abortion and same-gender "marriage."

Post-election analysis has many advocacy groups and political action committees (PACs) reevaluating how to reach a growing secular population. Such groups spent millions of dollars trying to get their preferred candidates elected. Exit polling shows the Republican Party failed to connect with Hispanics and women as well as communicating social issues clearly.

Nance

Nance speaks to the life issue, for example. "The Hispanic community that the Republicans were not engaged with -- to their demise -- is overwhelming pro-life," she points out. "So to blame this on the pro-life principles [and] on social conservatives is just incorrect and un-factual .... We've just got to fight smarter."

The family advocate also says conservative candidates must improve how they communicate about issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, noting Missouri Republican Todd Akin's damaging statement about "legitimate rape."

"Candidates that we'd endorse will have to undergo some media training ... from us on the issue so that they can speak about the harder parts of the life issue with the proper amount of care and the right amount of concern," she offers. "We've got some work to do, but we've learned some serious lessons."

Nance contends with proper adjustments, conservatives can rebound in House and Senate races in two years.

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