Yesterday, a group led by Republican strategists and misleadingly named “Latinos for Reform,” attempted to launch an ad campaign that explicitly urges Latino Americans not to vote. In response, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement:
Right-wing Republican groups have again made it clear that they will do the GOP’s dirty work by acting to mislead voters and suppress Democratic turn-out in advance of the November elections. But this latest Republican ad campaign goes well beyond political trickery – it runs directly counter to the democratic spirit that fuels our elections. Both Republicans and Democrats should be encouraging political participation – not trying to dampen electoral turn-out. In our democracy, it is the voice of the people that is supposed to be of paramount importance and there is no more important way for the American people to govern themselves than by casting their vote.
“Unfortunately, Republicans are choosing once again to use tactics designed to convince people not to exercise their right to vote. If the only fact that people know is that Democrats want to encourage people to vote and Republicans want them to stay home – that should tell them all they need to know about which Party will be on the side of the people.
“This type of tactic – a willingness to try to suppress turnout if doing so could bring about Republican victories this fall -- is part of an overall Republican plan to seek victory through obstruction. After all, they’ve opposed President Obama’s efforts to rebuild our economy, reform health care, provide credit and tax relief for the types of small businesses that have become a hallmark of Latino success, and boost economic and educational opportunities for Latinos and other middle-class Americans – all because Republicans have hoped that keeping our country from moving forward could bring about Republican electoral success.
“Before President Obama took office, Democrats in Congress were willing to tackle tough issues to stop the economic debacle caused by Republican economic policies – even if it meant working with the Bush Administration to try to move America forward. Since President Obama took office, Republicans have worked in lockstep to oppose every single Democratic proposal for cleaning up the mess created by failed Republican policies. In so doing, Republicans stood in the way of the legislation that is critically important to Latinos and all Americans: When Democrats proposed the Affordable Care Act, they did so to address high rates of uninsurance and lack of access to preventive care – issues of particular concern in Latino communities It was Republicans who voted against a bill that will help Hispanics get insurance and preventative care that will make for healthier Americans. When Democrats stepped forward in favor of comprehensive immigration reform – and the DREAM Act – not a single Republican stepped forward to offer support in the U.S. Senate. And when Democrats passed legislation to stabilize our economy, cut taxes for 95% of Americans, and support job growth, Republicans refused to join that effort.
“After walking away from their governing duties for 22 months, turning their backs on Latino concerns, and obstructing Democrats at every step of the way, Republicans are bringing their tactics full circle by asking frustrated voters to stay home instead of holding Republicans accountable for their failed policies of the past and inaction of the present.
“Those tactics have no place in our democracy.”