I know that Marco Rubio is the popular pre-primary choice for a Republican running mate, but I have always wondered if the freshman senator from Florida is anything more than a blind GOP stab at identity politics. Rubio is the son of Cuban exiles which doesn’t automatically make him social or cultural kin to Mexican-Americans in the Southwest or Puerto Ricans and Carribeans in the Northeast. Plus, anyone who is referred to as the “Crown Prince” of the Tea-party movement is going to have some explainin’ to do to Latino voters in a general election.
Compounding these issues, the senator has gotten into a tiff with the powerful Spanish language Univision network after the news channel ran a story about his brother-in-law’s drug conviction in the late 80’s. Rubio’s team claims that Univision tried to use the story to blackmail him. Supposedly, if he agreed to an interview with the station they would have sat on or even softened the story.
Marco wasn’t having any part of that, and now refuses to appear on the channel. All those guys who think that he might be their VP in 2012, Romney, Perry and (*ahem*) John Huntsman have agreed to boycott the station in solidarity. I don’t know how successful you can be as a Republican candidate for president (or V.P.) in courting the Latino vote if you refuse to even appear on Univision, but the GOP has never been all that good at identity politics for anyone except for White people; remember this?
This article originally appeared on Politic365.com.