A Spanish-only Website. A Twitter account aimed at Latinos. New staff members focused uniquely on building relationships with Hispanics. It’s all part of a new quiet but emphatic effort underway by Republicans in the House of Representatives — including some of the most conservative members of Congress — to try to repair their image with Hispanics.
The campaign, unprecedented for House Republicans. When @GOPEspanol appears on Twitter, said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chairperson of the House Republican Conference.And plans for it are ambitious, said McMorris Rodgers, who embodies the change in philosophy, having come a long way since backing hawkish immigration bills years ago.
It will include launching a Spanish-language website, providing Spanish versions of press releases, establishing ties with Spanish-language media and news organizations that target Latinos in English, meeting with leaders of Latino organizations from around the country and sending GOP members to Latino conferences and events in their home districts, she said.
“It’s a recognition that we, as Republicans, did not do as well as we hoped in the 2012 elections with a number of groups – with young people, with women, and with Hispanics,” said McMorris Rodgers, who is from the state of Washington and was the House GOP liaison to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
The tone of a few [Republicans] has unfortunately been offensive. . .We have to build trust. – Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers “It’s being aware that [Hispanics] are a growing media market, a demographic in the country. We need to be reaching them with our goals, our vision.”
It is a giant sprint for Republicans, who have been jogging gingerly, so to speak, toward policy ideas on immigration and other things — such as using Spanish in high-profile government activities — that they until recently vehemently opposed.
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