November 18th, 2010
10:07 PM ET
12 years ago

New face of GOP: Diversity

SAN DIEGO, California (CNN) – At the annual conference of the Republican Governors Association, a diverse new group of governors announced they will redefine the image and message of the Grand Old Party.

"They're all kind of Americans, they're all kind of races, creeds, colors, religions, who understand that a free market economy, smaller government, lower taxes, less spending, rational regulation – that's the way to grow the economy," Mississippi governor and potential 2012 presidential candidate Haley Barbour told CNN. "They all are united by what they believe in, and they're the right policies."

This year voters elected the first Hispanic woman governor, in New Mexico; an Indian-American female governor, in South Carolina; and a Hispanic man to lead Nevada - all of whom spoke at a panel entitled "The New Face of the GOP," which opened the RGA meeting in California.

The candidates themselves – many of whom were backed by the Tea Party – tend to broaden the issues and cite more generally their anti-establishment, outsider status. The implicit message is that the party of one-time "good old boys" is gaining steam with the common man.

"I don't think it's so much about white male or white female or anything in between," said Gov.-elect Nikki Haley, an Indian-American woman who will run South Carolina's statehouse. "It is very much about real people running -those that haven't come from political hierarchy, those that aren't from wealthy means, those that haven't wished to do this all their life. It's real true business people that know what it's like to hurt."

Susana Martinez, governor-elect of New Mexico, said she hasn't seen the governor's mansion she will occupy for the next four years, and she doesn't even know exactly where it is. The charismatic politician told CNN her constituents have bigger things to think about than the stewardship of a Latina.

"What's going to be more important is actually delivering the results that I'm committed to," Martinez told CNN. "I'm proud of who I am, I'm proud that I'm female, I'm educated, I'm Hispanic, but at the same time I have to always remember that I have a path to pave here, and I have results to deliver to the New Mexicans."

soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. dwayne

    Republicans just did away with christmas for 10s 0f 1000s of poor children when saying NO to unemployment extension. Who are these republicans? - Tax cut for billionaires will keep food on their table and increase deficit.

    November 18, 2010 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    ... and the GOP will seat the first female American President. Sorry Hillary, but at least you got to be First Lady!

    November 18, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  3. bobby

    A handful of candidates makes the GOP diverse?

    November 18, 2010 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    "This year voters elected the first Hispanic woman governor, in New Mexico; an Indian-American female governor, in South Carolina; and a Hispanic man to lead Nevada..."

    WOW – two Hispanics and ONE American-Indian!!! The Democrats did that over the past 20 years!!! Why is it still an issue – RACE? Also, being DIVERSE does NOT only mean you have different races in your party. Your VALUES and acceptance of others who think differently than you on some issues is KEY also!!!

    Leave RACE out of this – We are all Americans – Let's get used to that!!! If I like what I see in the American Indian or the two Hispanics – then I will LIKE them – if I don’t, it does not matter, they will still be Hispanics and American-Indians!

    November 18, 2010 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. bluemeat

    1 black guy and a couple of gay repunklicans makes them diverse? ha

    November 18, 2010 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  6. Aaron

    So, the Repubs are now composed of like .000001% people of color...and not in service positions? They are making strides.

    November 18, 2010 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Tokens for the most part I am sure; most people believe and listen to Limbaugh, Hannity and Ann "I'm really a self hating liberal" Coulter for their Republican ideals. They don't look to the party; they look to talking heads that generally support the party.

    November 18, 2010 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  8. George of the jungle

    so lets get rid of steele and replace him with a mexican. Whoooa get real still mostly the white fat old man party of don't do what i do but what i say christian bible thumpers they have always been with an ocasional pretty but dumb woman thrown in the mix. Who can believe in a party that has to parade every ethnic member in front of the media to show how diversified they are. WE democrats have always been made up average people what ever race or religion they are. We have always advocated for equality for all. So stop with the stupid New face idea. Any diversity and you repos get all quivery like you have done something big. You want diversity repeal dadt. See how that works for you?

    November 18, 2010 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  9. Joe in Vegas

    You should have thought about this 'before' you let the tea-baggers take over your party, because they DO NOT feel this way about "diversity"... and besides, haven't we heard this from the "GOP" before? Well, whatever because you're about 45 years too late and maybe two people in U.S. will buy this hogwash. Nice try.

    November 18, 2010 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  10. ToGetherWeStand

    Yeah right!!!!

    November 18, 2010 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  11. John

    The timeless GOP playbook. Install 2-3 people in relatively high ranking positions, then posture yourself and pretend that your party supports minorities and that your main constituency consists of more than token people.

    November 18, 2010 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  12. Damien

    more smoke and mirrors propoganda. nobody will believe this.

    November 19, 2010 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  13. Sgt. Joe

    Yes, they are about as diverse as a field of corn; what a joke! They have this thing about claiming they are a certain way and trying to sell it as fact. Sorry thing is, so many take their bait. They claim "lower the deficit" yet their party has consistently been the one that always drives it up, not the Dems. They can't even site what cuts they would make to spending; yet they keep blaming the Dems for spending. I'm so sick of the GOP.

    November 19, 2010 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  14. Jim de Tejas

    "all kind of races, creeds, colors, religions" "who are united by what they believe in, and they're the right policies". The dude obviously doesn't understand what the word "creed" means.

    November 19, 2010 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  15. Anonymous

    And despite those few, it's still a Group (of) Outdated Politicans,

    November 19, 2010 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  16. Dale

    GOP "diversity" ... that made me snork my orange juice.... πŸ˜€

    November 19, 2010 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    Good! Good!
    More and more members of my party are thinking the way I do about who may come to dinner.
    And Gov. Barbour sounds more presidential as we learn more about him. My first impression of electing a Mississippi govenor as president was that it would be intended as a Bubba-slap at Democrats, but Bubba is not who Barbour is.

    November 19, 2010 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  18. Chris

    The GOP's idea of diversity is to have 99% white christian neo-conservatives and 1 % other (no muslims, of course).

    November 19, 2010 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  19. hobart

    What diversity? Orwellian Newspeak? Being dragged to the right by its xenophobic, racist, misogynist so-called "base" is the very antithesis of diversity.

    November 19, 2010 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  20. John

    Because when I think of diversity, I think of Haley Barbour.

    November 19, 2010 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  21. Clwyd

    So let's see some diversity instead of the same old NO, No and more No's! Now the Party of No is threatening to wait instead of agreeing to the Russian-US Nuke Treaty which threatens to ruin our relations with that country. will the Party of No ever think about what is good for America rather than what is good for their party????

    November 19, 2010 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    GOP and diverse do not belong in the same sentence.

    November 19, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  23. JoeT

    Well, not that the Democratic party is an optimal cross-section of America, but the GOP is simply much less so, unless America is actually a combination of big corporations, religious culture warriors, and bigots.

    November 19, 2010 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. Michael

    In other words, funnel all the wealth of this great nation into the private bank accounts of those who are already so wealthy they don't know what to do woth themselves. Meanwhile the rest of us can hope enough trickles down to keep us alive with some modicum of dignity (even though the prospects of that happening have been dwindling for 30 years).
    If you vote Republican you are either rich and greedy, or a sucker who is stupid enough to sell out your children and grandchildren for the price of a few catchphrases and religious power words.

    November 19, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. jim

    They just voted down the unemployment extension. I have an idea, why don't we just kill all the unemployed. That will solve the problem. The government is killing the middle class anyway, so what difference does it make???

    November 19, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |