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