Rick Perry’s Latino problem
Some Texas Latinos might appreciate Gov. Rick Perry's illegal-immigrant tuition stance, but Latinos still largely don't vote for him.
October 12th, 2011
11:25 PM ET

Rick Perry’s Latino problem

Presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry is taking heat from many in his own party for supporting a state policy giving in-state tuition rates to children of illegal immigrants.

But while this position may be seen as favorable for Latinos - a large majority of Texas’ illegal immigrants are Latino, with more than 60 percent of them hailing from Mexico alone, according to the Pew Hispanic Center - it hasn’t gained him much Latino support in his own state.

Almost two-thirds of Latino voters in Texas vote Democratic, and Latinos overwhelmingly vote against Perry, a Republican.

In a GOP presidential debate last month, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney criticized Perry for supporting Texas’ illegal-immigrant tuition policy. Perry responded this way: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state … by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

After the debate, Perry fell from frontrunner status.

Some Texas Latinos came out in support of Perry’s stand in that debate, including state Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio.

“I was happy to hear that,” Villarreal said of Perry’s in-debate response. “I thought, wow, this is the first time I’ve seen Gov. Perry take a position based on principle at a political cost.”

But Villarreal also said Perry’s policy priorities, especially cuts to education, have hurt Latino families in Texas.

“I look at the policy outcomes of the last legislative session, and think this is the exact opposite of what Hispanic families want for them and their children,” Villarreal said.

And many Latino voters apparently feel the same. So what does this mean for Perry and the rest of the GOP? Click the audio player to hear the rest of the story from CNN Radio's John Sepulvado:

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Filed under: Immigration • Politics • Republican Party • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (354 Responses)
  1. JOSE' MARTINEZ

    Tacos es muy muy bueno. y frijoles.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
    • J0nx

      Ed: They do?? that's news to me. Come to manassas park, va. right outside DC and you will think you landed in Nogales.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      Ed's just jealous that he's not intelligent enough to have learned a second language. Ed – si usted piensa que por ser un culo racista que está haciendo su partido ningún favor, que tengo una idea para usted ... usted es un idiota en.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Pat_ten754

      How about learning the language of the country in which you live???

      October 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. lgny

    The heart of the Republicans' Latino problem: Whenever Latino is mentioned, they all turn it into a question of border security - assuming that all Latinos are are (or were) illegals.

    Why should the legal Latino citizens support the Republicans when the party equates them with illegals?!!

    It's political kamikaze - particularly in view of how rapidly Latinos are growing as a part of our population.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Say Whaaat !!!

      Completely agree with you... The word Latino for some of these folks only equates border, immigration, Spanish, etc...

      October 13, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • boehnersux

      Good, sensible post, Thanks!

      October 13, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      WRONG, as usual. We see illegals as what they are, criminals. If a Latino comes her legally, respects our laws and respects us then a Republican will be the first one to shake your hand and welcome you. You should be angry with the illegals that cause the problem.

      October 13, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • a6102658

      ed:. Have you never experienced hunger?...and I do not mean being late for dinner, I experienced Hunger and Poverty, I do understand why Latinos come into this country, but one thing they are not is Criminals, and yes the word Latino and Abortion have something in common, the are used to instill fear by the Republicans, and unfortunately you bought into it.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • anishinabe

      Why is it when it comes to minorities are they referred to as problems?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      The problem is somewhat deeper, it's educational. I'm New York born of Puerto Rican descent, transplanted to Georgia, and I'm regularly called a 'vato'. I was asked for my green card by HR when I started work (I'd spent my last 20 years in Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. commonwealth, like D.C. and Guam); one day my wife, daughters, grandson and I were interrupted in a restaurant during a quiet conversation in Spanish we were having concerning what we would eat, this middle-aged woman walked up to us and shoved some church literature in our faces, going on in broken Spanish about immigrants needing God which she interspersed with loud inquiries of "COMPRENDE, COMPRENDE?" It was not until I acknowledged her politely in my New York English that she left us, giving us an angry look as if we'd played a practical joke on her. Might I add that this place is a Southern GOP stronghold.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Andrew Pearce

    If you are Latino, black, gay or a woman, then voting for the GOP is against your self-interest. They only care about you if you are a major donor (so rich), a corporation or a church because those people help them get elected. So why is it news that a political party that has build a platform by attacking Latinos should find that Latinos won't vote for them?

    October 13, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
    • boehnersux

      So true Andrew!

      October 13, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Wrong again liberal. There are lots of blacks, gays and women in the GOP. But see, they are conservstives which means they have a brain and USE it. That's why you are afraid of them. As for donors check out your boy Obama and all the wonder favors his fat cat donors get. (legal or not) We don't have a problem with Latinos. We have a problem with the criminals that violate our laws and disrespect the American people. Tell you what, go enter China or Russia illegally and see what happens to you. A couple of hikers found out what happens when you enter Iran illegally. Look if you want to support this criminals as the rip off out tax and welfare systems then you pay directly to support them. It is legal Latinos that SHOULD be leadeing the charge against illegals. They give you the bad reputation.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
    • TransitDave

      Wrong, Andy, Plenty of Black, Latino, Gay and Women republicans who don't believe that the worlk owes them a living are proud members of the GOP....Sounds like you have a problem with white men, you racist!

      October 13, 2011 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • alex208

      just like if you are white then voting Dem is against your own interest as well. Not to say that GOP is necessarily pro-white, they have also done many things that harmed white people.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • a6102658

      Ed:. You are a weak minded individual, it is easy for us, rational people to see why you are so confused, you words are a bunch of bumper stickers and oneLiners put together into a sentence, this is what Republicans and Fox News feed to your brain daily, They feed you Fear and then you translate that into Hate., in fact, I know you so well, that I could make a list of 10 things you do not like and will be 100% accurate.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      I'm one of those legal latinos who's worked all his life, paid taxes through the nose and doesn't believe anyone owes him a dime, nor would want anyone to...and I don't know what in the world kind of interests the GOP base could possibly share with me, or how ever they would care to represent me.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Rico

      You are correct my good friend. However, Obama cannot be elected for another term. I love this country; if my vote can make the difference, I'll make sure he does not get my vote in 2012. He did not get my vote in 2008. This is the greatest country on earth and we need to make sure it remains that way. I am not asking the government for hand outs.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • SpotOn Andrew

      Andrew, you have a remarkable grasp of the obvious! I just wish others who post here with prejudices and innuendos would be half as productive, work-wise, as Latinos are in trying to get a real job in this country. They just need the *opportunity* to do so in order to be productive while in this country. That is what the real problem is, the lack of opportunity, instead, we see the enacting of egregious laws that would rather force and push them back into having to Ask For Support in order to feed their families! Face this as a Reality Check - Wake up and smell the coffee already!

      October 13, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • QuiteCorrect InThis

      SpotOn Andrew, you are quite correct. When laws are drawn up and then passed that make it a criminal act to hire illegal aliens, then they in effect, are FORCING those folks to go to the state to ask for some kind of subsidy to put food on the table for their family. That IS indeed the problem but there are none so blind as those who Will Not See! Give them the opportunity to work once they are here and see the burden on the taxpayer diminish as they are hard workers who will be productive and give back to society!

      October 13, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • what an idiot you are

      Who the hell are u to tell the Latino community for whom to vote, are more sophisticated, smarted than you and we have enough common sense to know for whom we are going to vote for.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. longshot

    Didn't he get the memo – "compassionate conservatism" was only a slogan to get George W into office. Appealing to the heart and common sense is secondary to revenge and bigotry.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Interesting.....bigotry...our leading candidate is black but we are bigots. Yes, don't you sound inteligent. Here is a little tidbit you didn't know, because the media won't show it. If you go to mexico, like I did years ago, you should visit a school. In every classroom you will find a big map hanging on the wall. On the map California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, ALL of western and south western United States is show as mexico. It is labeled occupied mexico. They teacher their kids that SW United States belongs to mexico and we stole it from them. That is why they think they have the right to come across the border. They believe it's THIER LAND and we occupy it! They are supported by their Govt who gives them training and supplies to cross the desert. Open your eyes liberal.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  5. cajuntide

    If thats a problem for him they should look at Texas schools where the police can question your kid with out any rights and give them a criminal citation for running in the hall. Then the kid has to go to court and if guilty gets comunity service. If your child gets 3 citations then they go to alternitive school where its like jail. He has more problems than just the latino vote.

    October 13, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • smuzer_02

      i agree

      October 13, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  6. justathought

    When do "hispanics" born and raised in the U.S. cease to be "hispanic"? My background herietage is Irish, but I'm not Irish–I'm American. (And, BTW, while I was in the military, my best buddy was Mexican, (legally in the U.S.) he resented the idea that only U.S. citzens were refered to as American. He would say, "I'm an Ameican too, America is a continent not a country!" He had a point I couldn't argue with.)

    October 13, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      HERE HERE! There is NO hispanic-American no African-American. It's AMERICAN OR GO HOME. I'm also Irish and proud of it. But I'm an American first and formost. I'm also Cherokee, which puts my family here before all of you, but I don't call myself a Native-American. Look all we ask is that you follow the laws and respect us. Is that so much to ask?

      October 13, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
    • silly ed

      yes it is too much to ask, ed. Your contry does not respect the laws of any other nation. You start every war and then condemn the retaliation. Newsflash you are the main polluters and consumers of the world. A little too late to be asking for respect.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Rico

      I am glad you brought that up, justathought. That's the way things are. It hurts when you hear the generalizations but that does not make us less human.

      October 13, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • ThatsHow ItIs

      Kudos to you, justathought! You have hit the nail right on the head, my friend! As an Anglo, I couldn't agree with you more in that this country is a country for ALL, not just one "type" of person some may like or have a preference for.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. hank

    I think that this guy is a Bush

    October 13, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Intelligent

    Ed, everytime you contribute to this thread, you exemplify your unlearned, unintelligent extremist "trailor park" mentality. Fortunately for this country, the "I hate your boy Obama" rhetoric is a minority and to the extreme right. You republicans better think twice if you think you will be able to "Obama" bash your way to the white house.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. Intelligent

    And one other thing, if republicans want to solve the illegal immigration problem in this country, maybe they should consult with the Native Americans. Trust me, they know much about "illegal Immigration"

    October 13, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • BowMan

      Spare me this crap about how the native americans consider us illegal. This happened how many hundreds of years ago, are we going to continue to harp over it? I certainly don't want to walk around with a sense of guilt for the rest of my days because my ancestors chose to settle here. You exist, Mr. Intelligent, because of this conquest.

      October 13, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. jtr

    Hey Ed, your English in that last post aren't so good. I'm thinking you might be one of them illegal criminals too.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. Voiceinthewind

    What is this, a Racist that can't speak Latino? What is Poli-Ticks in America coming to, but then again The Shrub could not even speak English right so I guess this is par for the course for a Republicant. You can't be to smart and be a Republicant at the sme time, believeing the Earth is Flat, there is no Global Warming, there is no Evolution, and Adam and Eve were talking to snakes and eating magic apples. Just goes to show how narrow minded and short sighted you have to be to be a Republicant. Being they have a hard time speaking english I can see how they never evolved and don't believe in evolution. (LOL)

    October 13, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  12. Mike

    Ron Paul is the only candidate worth voting for.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  13. smuzer_02

    all this does is encourage illegal immigration even more. i don't get it. WHAT is ILLEGAL about illegal immigration? it seems to me that you get prizes for coming over: free medical when you're pregnant, free dental when you're pregnant, free medical/dental/education for your children, free food. and the health care system isn't legally allowed to question your citizenship status. does Mexico provide the same services for Americans?

    October 13, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Hellen

      The only thing Mexico provides to the USA is its people, the rich and light skinned racists people in Mexico are glad that all their trash ( dark skinned ) people comes to this country, so they can send money over there and make them richer and more arrogant.

      October 13, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Onecent

    Teabag trolls gone. Now we have freelance trolls.

    October 13, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. interterra

    Can anyone tell me what LEGAL immigration looks like? What does a dirt poor Mexican have to do to immigrate legally to the US?

    October 13, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • No Bueno

      Don't we have enough "dirt poor Mexicans" in this country already? How about Mexico do something for their dirt poor citizens! Is that too much to ask? Geez....

      October 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
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