Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: "I Don't Know How Anyone of Hispanic Heritage Could Be a Republican"
Reid is in a tight race for re-election to his Nevada Senate seat. He has finally pulled ahead of Tea Party-backed Sharon Angle in most polls in recent weeks (thanks in no small part to the fact that Angle herself is a master foot-in-mouther), and he's been hitting the campaign trail hard.
He made the comment "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, OK?" to a group of Hispanic supporters Tuesday. He followed up with "Do I need to say more?" Asked for clarification, he just said, "Republicans."
We might agree with Reid if he had said, "I don't know how anyone could be a Republican," but singling out Hispanics shows a stunning lack of knowledge for the diverse population.
Miami is pretty much the Hispanic Republican mecca. Though comparing the Democratic party to the governments of socialist dictators such as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez is like comparing a common yard lizard to a 30-ton flaming-red dragon, it is understandable how exiles could be wary of certain Democratic platform features. There's also still that string of Cubans who are pissed at Democratic President John F. Kennedy for botching that whole Bay of Pigs thing.
There's also the matter that many Hispanic Americans are Catholic and might vote Republican for moral issues.
Obviously, there are myriad more reasons why Hispanics might vote Republican, even if there are just as many or more reasons why they shouldn't. But for Harry Reid to suggest he doesn't understand why Hispanics vote Republican means he really doesn't understand Hispanic voters at all, and is sort of pompous in his suggestion that all Hispanics should vote Democrat. If Reid and other Democratic leaders want to cement Hispanic support for their party, it might do them well to understand why certain voters support the GOP and then decide what their party can do to make themselves more attractive to those voters.