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February 26, 2015

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The GOP’s subtle message behind Sandoval’s speech



Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval addresses delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012.

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TAMPA, Fla. — When Brian Sandoval spoke to the Republican National Convention, he used his personal American story to make a pitch for the country to vote for Mitt Romney.

But it’s what he didn’t say about himself that may have been his loudest message at the convention.

Sandoval is in many ways the Republicans’ best answer to the two voting blocs where the Democrats feel they have the upper hand on the issues: women and Hispanics.

Democrats have long been charging that Republicans aren’t sympathetic to Hispanic voters because of the party’s opposition to immigration reforms like the Dream Act, a measure that would put undocumented immigrants with long tenure in this country on a pathway to citizenship.

They’ve also charged Republicans with waging a “war on women” over reproductive rights, a claim that was punctuated 10 days ago when Republican Rep. Todd Akin, who is running for the Senate in Missouri, questioned the necessity of abortion because he believed women were hard-wired to “shut that whole thing down” and avoid pregnancy in the case of rape.

Republican leaders cut off Akin’s campaign funding and publicly called for him to drop out of the race after his statements but still have sustained hits from Democrats who accuse the GOP of sharing the bulk of Akin’s views, even if they condemn his comment.

Enter Sandoval, the pro-choice Republican.

“He is a wonderful person to speak for the Republican Party to show how we are not …” said rural delegate Chairman Wes Rice, pausing as he struggled to search for the right word to describe Akin.

“Keep it clean,” RNC committeewoman Heidi Smith of Nevada warned him, smiling.

“Let’s make it positive,” Nevada delegate Kim Bacchus jumped in. “We’re a huge, inclusive party. A litmus test for abortion is what the Democrats do, not what we do.”

Abortion has, however, been widely discussed on the campaign trail, especially at the presidential level. Romney, now the Republican presidential nominee, made a quick “evolution” to bring his views, formerly pro-choice, into line with the party’s pro-life platform.

Sandoval doesn’t discuss his position on abortion much. But his pro-life stance appeared to keep him off the short list for vice president, a position for which his name was tossed about earlier this election season.

Part of what put his name in circulation for consideration in the first place was his Hispanic heritage.

“We have two Hispanic governors in this country, and both of them are Republicans,” said David Gibbs, an alternate delegate and former chair of the Clark County Republican Party.

Republicans have been determined to pull a greater share of the Hispanic vote than they’ve enjoyed in the past few election cycles. On paper, Sandoval wouldn’t seem to be the man to help them do it — he couldn’t pull a majority of Hispanics in 2010, even though he trounced his opponent, Rory Reid, by 20 points.

But Nevada Republicans consider that outcome a fluke and say Sandoval is still one of their best guys to carry the party’s message to Hispanic voters.

“In 2010, Harry Reid was running. The busloads of casino workers were told who to vote for. If they wanted to keep their jobs, they voted for Harry Reid. But Hispanic voters’ values align much more closely with Gov. Sandoval’s than they do with Sen. Reid’s,” Bacchus said, referring to the Nevada senator who won about 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2010, a turnout he credited largely to his support for the Dream Act.

“These people understand the value of work, of owning your own business, of having a job of getting ahead,” Bacchus continued. “Our Hispanic population’s stories are similar to the Marco Rubio story and that of Gov. Sandoval’s.”

During his own campaign, Sandoval was often reticent to discuss his Hispanic heritage. During his speech before the Republican National Convention, he shrugged off that reticence.

“I have seen Hispanic business owners and families from backgrounds not unlike my own struggle in this economy,” Sandoval said, before delivering his closing argument for the Romney-Ryan ticket. “From personal experience, I can tell you what will help states like Nevada and families like mine: Elect the team that understands how to get America working again.”

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  1. You know what..I am pro-life to the core, but the second part of the question is, I am pro-choice for you. You make the right decision.

    Do you ever wonder why polls show between 45% and 52% of people are pro-life, but when put on a ballot, the pro-choice wins by above 70%? I am not in this boat alone..quit reading into his speech.

  2. "'In 2010, Harry Reid was running. The busloads of casino workers were told who to vote for. If they wanted to keep their jobs, they voted for Harry Reid.'"

    Enjoyed the article, Karoun, but I gotta weigh in on this guy Bacchus and this blatantly false comment he said above.

    He thinks he can just re-write recent Nevada political history by saying that?

    What he said was not only incorrect, but it was stupid. There were no busloads of casino workers all told who to vote for in that key Senate race here in Nevada.

    What Bacchus failed to mention is the unmitigated fact that Senator Reid's opponent was over the top with her verified and veiled hatred of the Latino Americans. Sharron Angle did everything in her power to fearmonger by slamming and attacking the entire Latino American vote here in Nevada.

    She grouped all valid Latino voters in with illegal immigrants, with no distinction at all, all in order to curry the Caucasian vote here in Nevada.

    One specific ad Sharron Angle had on television was despicable. It showed supposedly Mexicans standing in America in front of a fence, wearing bandanas, flashing gang signs, with a serious I'm gonna kill you and rape everything in sight look on their face. The inference was simply that you white people need to be afraid, very afraid, because Senator Reid wants us in America to kill you. BLATANT SCAREMONGERING.

    And look what that got them? Sharron Angle was trounced by just about 22 percent. This stupid tactic was hogwash. And it totally enraged and mobilized the Latino American voters here in Nevada to vote for Senator Reid. And they did. OVERWHELMINGLY.

    But here comes this Tea/Republican shill Bacchus and he has his own interpretation of political history. And it's only self-serving. To suit the needs of his dumb narrow-minded ultra-conservative political party.

    We Nevadans don't buy this Bacchus line of Tea/Republican Party propaganda.

    I'm so sick and tired of Tea/Republicans who believe to their very soul that if they can't promote their candidate properly by facts, they make up stuff, then repeat it over and over and over and over again, and, if that don't work, SHOUT IT OUT LOUDER AND LOUDER! Then if that don't work make up television ads, newspaper ads, billboard, internet, flyers, fly it off of banners behind slow moving aircraft, JUST THROW IT OUT THERE! Don't matter if it's true or not. The agenda is more important than facts.

    Really dumb. I see through it. And others here see through it too. But go ahead, Bacchus, keep it up. It's only going to work against the Tea/Republicans in the end.

  3. Sandoval's a token prop, used to portray a party as diverse when it's actually lily white. Sandoval and his governing philosophy have failed, proving that low taxes and small government don't produce a conservative panacea.

    Sandoval's policies has given Nevada a 12% unemployment rate. This guy should be held as an example of how NOT to govern a state.

  4. I am pro life: I favor rational treatment of those of us already here, legally. We must stop the attacks on self-reliant adults and start supporting them--we are the ones that make the economy function. And LVS, why such anti-conservative and anti-Republican tone to each and every bit of media coverage?????

  5. My short comment on Gov. Sandoval. Watched his so called speach and far as I am concerned he threw a few knives into the back of the Pres. Really what does that solve. Sandoval may be a "nice guy", but far as I am concerned he is no aggressor for the state of Nevada. I really don't know what he has done to "create jobs" for Nevada. He states that he will create 50,000 jobs in 2014, my question is, why not now, or is this election talk again. He seems to blow a lot of smoke U know where.
    This one party knocking the other is really getting sickening, I mean these politicians are sick and act like a bunch of kids. Anyway, Sandoval you do not impress me and I really don't know what you do for Nevada?.

  6. Roberta wrote another obtuse post with this gem:
    "We must stop the attacks on self-reliant adults..."

    There is no such thing as self reliance. Roberta wrote that statement on a machine made possible by the combined efforts of many people and communicated (if you want to call it that) to the rest of us over a system built and supported by untold others.

  7. Mr. Sandoval has yet to improve conditions for Nevadans. His status according to media is improving, how and why is not readily noticeable to people who continue to struggle in our current economy. Being of Spanish heritage make Gov. Sandoval popular?

    Gov. Sandoval is business as per usual here in Nevada, as our state is giving Illinois and Louisiana a good run in an effort to be number 1 in state government corruption?

    Gov. Sandoval continues the Nevada time honored practice of see no, here no, investigate no timely formal safety/false record violations in Nevada's mining industry diverting complaints to Nevada's premier corrupt Dept. of Business and Industry and not forwarding on to the new mining oversight committee, a sign that points to a in-the-pocket-of-NV-mining-industry-politician who's smile and Spanish heritage is somehow supposed to make-up for a lack of integrity?

    When will Nevada have a governor who cares more for his fellow Nevadans than for his career advancement, a man of the people for the people?

  8. Let's face it. Sandoval was paraded out there to the national stage as a figurine to set there for everyone to look at. As if to say, oh, look, you people say we're racists, but hey, no, we got something that says otherwise, look, here's a Governor from Nevada, he's a Latino American, see how acommodating we are, look at how much nice guys we are, we love everyone, even though we don't. We're not so bad after all, huh?

    Very transparent. They don't go for substance. They go for sound bytes.

    Sandoval was used. RNC grabbed him, polished him a bit, thrust a camera/microphone in his face, say a few words, Governor, pose, no, not like that, turn this way, turn that way, thrust your chin out like you're going to kick someone's butt, say something, but not that much, don't mess it up, stay on script, don't mention you still work for Jones Vargas and run interference for Nevada mining interests and their ability to pay the least amount of taxes, all in order so they can take the fruit of their mining not only outside of Nevada, but outside of the United States also, okay, great, good job, you didn't stutter once, you didn't flub anything, now go away, go back to Nevada and into relative obscurity.

    Just like Andy Warhol says, that was yer fifteen minutes. It's over. Bye bye, Sandoval.

  9. Sandoval in a "HINO". He has no empathy or cognizance of the life of "for real" Hispanics living in this state, or country. I posted quite awhile ago that Sandoval is nothing but a political hack and opportunist, who will do anything to attain higher political office. His "speech" at the 'Bagger convention is conclusive evidence of this. He can't wait to bail on the state of Nevada, and attempt to be elected to higher (ie; Federal political office), and leave the citizens of Nevada tossed under the bus. He is all about himself, and his ambitions; NOT FOR NEVADAN'S.

  10. Re NorNev: "with amazing values". Really? Let me tell you what his values REALLY ARE; POLITICAL ADVANCEMENT AT ALL COSTS. HE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU, ME OR ANYONE ELSE WHO CAN'T ADVANCE HIS POLITICAL "AGENDA", which is to continue to feed off of the PUBLIC TEAT, at taxpayer's expense. Just another political parasite, who could CARE LESS ABOUT YOU OR ME.