Meg Whitman says GOP needs to grow up on immigration

Speaking a George Bush Institute conference in Dallas, California’s recent losing GOP candidate for governor Meg Whitman said the GOP has it all wrong on immigration–or at least has the language wrong.

She told blogger Ruben Navarette, Jr., who writes at, that demonizing Latinos is not the way to go if Republicans want to lead on the issue.

“My view is that the immigration discussion, the rhetoric the Republican Party uses, is not helpful; it’s not helpful in a state with the Latino population we have,” Whitman said during a brief interview following a speech at a George W. Bush Institute conference on the economy. “We as a party are going to have to make some changes, how we think about immigration, and how we talk about immigration.”

Somos Republican founder DeeDee Garcia Blase applauded Whitman’s attempt to tone down the rhetoric, but said anti-immigrant stances from Latino Republican groups such as the Latino National Republican Coalition and the Republican National Hispanic Assembly also send the wrong message.

“Embracing these laws are not the true pulse and sentiment of our overall Latino community,” Garcia Blase said. “The GOP must stop going to Latino Republican tokens who will tell them what they want to hear.”

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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