June 17th, 2010
02:58 PM ET
8 years ago

GOP's Whitman courts Latinos, re-states opposition to AZ law

California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman released two Spanish-language television ads opposing Arizona's tough new immigration law.

California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman released two Spanish-language television ads opposing Arizona's tough new immigration law.

Washington (CNN) - The Republican who wants to be the next governor of California has a message for the state's Latinos: "Meg Whitman es una candidata diferente."

Translation: "Meg Whitman is a different kind of candidate."

The former eBay CEO released two Spanish-language television ads as part of a calculated courting of the state's 13.5 million+ Hispanics.

"She is the Republican who opposes the Arizona law…" an announcer says in one of the ads.

Many Latinos have vented anger at Arizona's passing of the nation's toughest immigration law. It requires law enforcement agents to "determine the immigration status" of anyone under "reasonable suspicion" of being an illegal alien. Essentially, the law provides police with the power and responsibility that is normally accorded only to federal immigration authorities.

Arizona's law was pressed by state Republicans and signed by GOP Gov. Jan Brewer. Polls show the law has garnered strong support in some quarters.

But Republicans could face trouble at the ballot box following a national outcry from Latinos.

It's likely that Whitman wants to inoculate her candidacy from any possible anger aimed at the GOP.

"She respects our community," one of the ads say.

In the same spot, an announcer also mentions how Whitman "opposed Proposition 187." The controversial measure, passed through voter referendum in 1994, intended to deny state services to thousands of illegal immigrants. It was later found unconstitutional.

Whitman's two television ads, which also tout her intentions for jobs and education, will air across California. The campaign says they will run during the World Cup games on Univision, Telemundo and Telefutura.

Whitman is locked in a battle with state attorney general Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate.

CNN contacted Brown's campaign but did not receive comment.

The Democratic Governor's Association is responding.

In a statement, Communications Director Emily DeRose said: "After Meg Whitman spent the closing weeks of her primary convincing the right wing that she was hard line enough to be their nominee, she has changed her tune. And her ad traffic. No more [former GOP pres. candidate] Mitt Romney and [former GOP California Gov.] Pete Wilson vouching for her conservative credentials."

DeRose added that Whitman's GOP primary battle with conservative State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, "forced her to alienate much of the Latino community."

In their primary race, Poizner accused Whitman of supporting "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, a charge Whitman denied.

Amid the battle for conservative votes, Whitman's campaign said the candidate would be tough on illegal immigration.

Filed under: California • Immigration • Meg Whitman
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Don of Iowa

    Queen Meg looks so rediculous trying to backpedal her way out of her ignorant and arrogant Republican stance, next she will be trying to tell us all she is really a Democrat, if people in California elect this moronic excuse for a Senator there will be little doubt in any of our minds that all intelligent people left California in the last 5 years,

    June 17, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. jimbo

    she is just pandering for votes

    June 17, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Shane from NC

    Fortunately for Californians I think this is her genuine position.

    Unfortunately for Whitman, no one will trust her now for flip-flopping.

    June 17, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. Larry

    Meg Whitman is a terrific Republic politician.

    As ex-CEO of Ebay she already knows how to sell people crap they don't even want.

    June 17, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. Chipster

    Watch out, Whitman. You'll lose your Tea Party hall pass if you keep this up.

    June 17, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Pragmatic

    Walking a very thin line – balancing the interests of the Latinos – and yet tough on illegal immigration ... how is the business community going to vote if she does away with all their cheap labor and starts enforcing laws against companies that hire illegal immigrants?

    June 17, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. Dean

    If she opposes Arizona's law then she opposes the laws of our federal government since they are the same. It is just that Arizona has decided to put some sort of enforcement with the federal law.

    June 17, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  8. Meg Whitman es una candidata diferente

    I hope that is not spanish for "I am a jelly donut"

    June 17, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. lasparky11

    I would not trust her as far as I could throw her. MegaMeg will lie, steal, cheat, she will do whatever it takes to get elected. That includes trying to buy the Governors office. She needs to go crawl back under the rock she came out from under.

    June 17, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    She may say she disagree with the AZ law, but if she were elected, she'll probably try to pass the same kind of legislation. I don't trust republicans as far as I can throw them.

    "Ella esta mintiendo"


    "She is lying."

    June 17, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. me in California

    That is NOT what she is saying in her TV commercials. Flipp flopping lyer. If I were an hispanic I would be very careful.

    June 17, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. JP

    How much lower would Calfornia's deficit be if it didn't educate, medically treat, pay for jail etc, etc. You should adopt Arizona's law not be against it.

    June 17, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Clint, Wa.

    She knows where the votes are.

    June 17, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. AbolishPoliticalParties

    Disgusting. Care to take that knife out of America's back, Meg Whitman? I say if she loves illegal immigrants so much, let's make her one! We can drive her over the border and leave her. I wonder if the Mexican Feds will share her loose view of illegal immigration? I would not expect it.

    June 17, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    Is that right Meg?
    What did you say 2 weeks ago Ms Flip Flop?

    June 17, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. welches, oregon

    any way the wind blow Whitman....what a tool.

    And of course the Hispanics see right thru this farce –

    All repugs are a joke at this point.

    June 17, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Duck Fallas

    Meg Whitman es llena de doo doo.

    June 17, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. harold

    Another Rich "puff".... she is.. seems like she just loves the attention and ask her what is she gonna do about the budget in California?..

    June 17, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. annie s

    How exactly did she oppose Prop 187 when she admits she never even voted before deciding she should be Governor? ANY Latino that votes for ANY Republican is crazy.

    June 17, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Nellie Bly

    Sure, she courts the Hispanics now but she'll sing a different tune if she gets elected. When my Hispanic husband and I were teenagers, he asked how he could tell the difference between a Republican and a Democrat? I told him the Democrat is the candidate that still talks to you the day AFTER the election.

    June 17, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. Choice that matters

    I Dont believe it a singular voice in the prominent Republicans running is speaking out against the bill. Nice. It makes sense that this is a federal issue..not a state issue.

    June 17, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Deb

    Those who stand with the illegals are traitors to America. These are NOT the type of people we should be electing. We need those who will stand up for America, its LEGAL citizens and the rule of law. I hope she loses !!

    June 17, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  23. The Law Is The Law

    Why is everyone against Arizona's law? I think it's great.It's about time someone has the nads to take a stand, enforce the law and not bow down because their afraid it won't be politically correct. Stand by your guns Arizona, no matter what ole rev al sharpton or calderone think about anything,( nobody really cares anyway).Spotlight junkies who think a lot of theirselves and love to hear theirselves talk.

    June 17, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Until she actually gets into office and is suddenly supporting the AZ law once more...

    caveat emptor my latin brethren, caveat emptor

    June 17, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. Ben


    I've been listening to a slew of ads from Ms. Whitman saying, in her own voice, that all illegal immigrants are just that...illegal...and should be put on a boat.

    But then...those ads were in English and not Spanish.

    June 17, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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