The Republican National Committee’s top Hispanic strategist has quit.
Ruth Guerra had been the RNC’s national director of Hispanic media. It was her job to be the face of the GOP with Latino voters, and help build a bridge into the fastest growing voting demographic in the country.
But she was uncomfortable to represent Donald Trump.
So she resigned to take a job with a Super PAC dedicated to getting GOP congressional candidates elected in November.
Guerra’s resignation gives us a rare glimpse into the chaos that’s happening within the RNC.
Following the election results in 2012, stunned Republicans huddled behind closed doors in Washington to conduct an autopsy on why Mitt Romney had lost in all the key battleground states. The dismal decline of support from Latino voters led Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus to authorize a $10 million outreach program.
Zoraida Fonalledas, an RNC member from Puerto Rico, concluded: “If Hispanic Americans hear the GOP doesn’t want them in the U.S.A. they won’t pay attention to our next sentence. It doesn’t matter what we say about education, jobs or the economy. If Hispanics think we don’t want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”
Following an analysis of the results, Priebus went public with the 100 page report. Among the highlights:
- Republicans needed “extensive outreach to women, African-American, Asian, Hispanic and gay voters.”
- The GOP needed to support “comprehensive immigration reform.”
- Republicans needed a “softer tone and broader outreach.”
The establishment promised “big changes” for 2016.
That was before Donald Trump.
The billionaire reality TV host has made a calculated decision to target Hispanics in an effort to increase white voter turnout. So much for the GOP having a softer tone and broader outreach.
In the past week alone Trump has targeted Indiana-born federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel for being “Mexican,” and Susana Martinez, the only female Hispanic GOP governor in the country.
Guerra is being replaced at the RNC by Helen Aguirre Ferré, a former advisor on Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign who has blasted Trump for months.
Ferré has complained that Trump doesn’t represent the “values of the Republican Party.” She has tweeted that Hispanic Republicans are “caught in 2016 meat grinder” because of Trump, and wondered if Trump surrogates Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Jeff Sessions “now regret supporting Trump or do the means justify the end?” She has complained that Trump is terrible for women.
And now Ferré will be in the position of representing Trump to Hispanics this fall.
This turmoil is taking place just a month after two high ranking African American’s resigned from the RNC.
A Washington Post analysis concluded today: “Donald Trump is doing to the national GOP brand in 2016 what Proposition 187 did to California Republicans in 1994. He continues to inflict lasting, perhaps irreparable, damage to the party’s image among Hispanics. It is not hyperbole to say that Trumpism could relegate the party of Abraham Lincoln to long-term minority status.”
One thing is certain: Outreach is not going to be a key word for the Republican Party in 2016.