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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/17/art.whitman.smile.jpg caption="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. Bob Phelps

    Liar. After promising to do the same thing in California, she's actually got the nerve to state opposition to the AZ. law. This woman is all about buying votes. Integrity is not a part of her agenda.

    June 17, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Eric in CA

    "opposed Proposition 187." ?????? She did not vote in 1994 so how could she have been opposed to it? She really is showing her true colors. She making it easier to chose the lesser of the evils in CA!

    June 17, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. Jim El Paso Tx

    Damn...she's like a Democrat! Courting the mexican vote cause there's a zillion of them running around out there:(

    June 17, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Rani McBride

    Oh no, Palin witll have to withdraw her support. (Tee, Hee)

    June 17, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
1 2 3 4