RNC Chair: GOP has been “lousy” at outreach to Latinos

"But that’s going to change," promised Reince Priebus

Topics: Reince Priebus, Immigration Reform, RNC, Republicans, Latinos,

RNC Chair Reince Priebus acknowledged that Republicans have been “lousy” at reaching out to Latino voters, telling a group of Latino elected officials that that’s “going to change.”

“I’ll be honest here. In the past two years, we’ve done a pretty lousy job of connecting in the Latino community,” Priebus said, speaking at an event in Chicago for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Chicago Tribune reports. “We’ve missed out on opportunities to build better relationships. But that’s going to change.”

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“I didn’t come here to convert you,” he added. “I hope that it’s clear that we want to earn your trust and your vote.”

Though Priebus pointed to Sen. Marco Rubio’s successful push to get immigration reform through the Senate, House Republicans have said they won’t take up the full Senate measure, but will instead try to pass the legislation piecemeal. As Salon’s Alex Pareene writes, this approach is pushed by conservative House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte, who “opposes citizenship for those currently here without visas, and he’s already passed a bill officially making undocumented immigration an actual federal crime. His ‘reform’ looks like this: giving all manner of law enforcement in the United States the power and authority to enforce immigration law against people who are now properly felons.”

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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