Republican National Convention: Fox News Latino Reporter's Notebook

Fox News Latino is combing the floor of the convention, the streets of Tampa and the inner reaches of the Internet this week to find interesting stories and snippets from the Republican National Convention:


Brewer Said What?

Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer has proclaimed her support for the election of ... Barack Obama?

Clearly just a verbal slip, says her spokesman. The governor's skirmishes with the Obama administration over the issue of illegal immigration are well-known. At one point she was captured on camera pointing an angry finger at the president as they talked on an airport tarmac.

Brewer's surprising comment came in an MSNBC interview Wednesday at the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., as she renewed her call for improved security on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Brewer said she was hopeful Obama would be elected in November so he could help come up with a solution. She didn't correct herself, nor was she prompted to.

Brewer spokesman Matthew Benson said Thursday that the governor isn't the first person to misspeak amid the chaos of a crowded room.

For the record: Brewer continues to endorse Republican Mitt Romney for president.

The Associated Press


Jeb Bush Highlights Gains of Latino Students During RNC Speech

It's well documented that former Florida governor is a major supporter of education. But if you weren't sure about that before his RNC speech, you are now. The brother of George W. Bush and son of George H.W. Bush spent the majority of his speech addressing the issue of education and highlighting his work while governor - as well as Mitt Romney's work during his tenure in office as governor of Massachusetts - to bring up education levels.

"Among Latino students, the gains were so big, they required a new metric. Right now, Florida's fourth grade Hispanic students read as well or better than the average of all students in 21 states and the District of Columbia," Bush said of the education gains during his time in office.

Former Secretary of State Calls for "Compassionate" Immigration Policy

During her speech Wednesday night at the convention, Condoleeza Rice, the former Secretary of State, said Republicans needed to champion a more "compassionate" immigration policy.

"We must continue to welcome the world's most ambitious people to be a part of us," she said. "In that way, we stay young and optimistic and determined.  We need immigration laws that protect our borders; meet our economic needs, and yet show that we are a compassionate people."

Dominican Designer Turns Romney Red Hot 

There’s been much chatter about Ann Romney’s heartfelt, impassioned speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night.

But let’s discuss the real important topic that night: her dress.

Turns out the bright red, ruffled dress the First Lady hopeful was wearing was designed by famed Dominican-born designer Oscar de la Renta. De la Renta’s numbers have been worn by many first ladies, from Laura Bush to Hillary Clinton, though the famed fashionista drew scorn after he criticized Michelle Obama for opting for a British designer rather than an American one at a state dinner last year. He later apologized.

While Mrs. Romney’s speech drew rather rave reviews, her dress was also praised in fashion circles.

“We’ll leave it to the political pundits to determine whether Romney succeeded in humanizing her husband and appealing to the all-important woman voter,” a Fashionista writer told The New York Times. “But it’s hard to deny that she looked great and delivered her speech well – she was comfortable in that dress.”

A fashion writer for the Financial Times estimated the dress costs from $2,090 to $2,490.

Ann Romney to Star in Modern Family

Will Ann Romney be joining Sofía Vergara and the rest of the “Modern Family” Cast?

After Mrs. Romney told The Insider how much she enjoys the show, Steve Levitan, the creator of “Modern Family,” said he would bring her in return for a request of his own, Entertainment magazine US Weekly is reports.

“Thrilled Ann Romney says ModFam is her favorite show," Levitan tweeted."We'll offer her the role of officiant at Mitch & Cam's wedding. As soon as it's legal."

No word on whether Mrs. Romney, whose husband opposes gay marriage, would take him up on the offer.

Read more on the story here.


Action in Tampa is Not Only in the Convention Hall...But Also on the Streets

Inside of the Tampa Bay Times Forum it's been a celebration of all things Republican: Red, white and blue banners, stirring speeches to rally the faithful, and plenty of country music.

On the streets of Tampa, it's been another matter.

Over 3,000 police officers are on the streets. Helicopters fly almost constantly overhead and packs of police cruise by on bicycles. Fast boats whiz by the region's three bridges, looking for unseen threats. Tall chain-link fences shield the pretty parks along the Hillsborough River from view.

The police presence, which is meant as much to control protestors as it is to ward of any terrorist related activity, has not kept protestors off the streets. On Wednesday afternoon, a group of demonstrators hit the streets to protest against the so-called police state surrounding the convention. Chanting "I sag my pants, I rock my hoodie" and "TPD keep your hands off me!" the demonstrators marched out of the "Romneyville" camp just after 4:30 p.m. and headed west on Main Street — away from downtown as Tampa bike police looked on.

The action will continue tomorrow as the group 1Miami will hold a march during Mitt Romney's speech to protest the GOP candidates economic plan.

“We’re going to start a march from Bain-owned stores because they foreshadow the economy Romney wants to create,” said Eric Brakken, director of1Miami, according to the Miami Herald. “He always gloats about how successful his business career was with Bain, but the truth is he and his billionaire buddies created minimum wage jobs while simultaneously killing good jobs or outsourcing them. This is not the economic recovery Americans have in mind!”

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story. 

Tips for Votes!

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio predicted his home state will go toward Mitt Romney in November.

And not just because the state is energized over hosting the Republican National Convention.

"The folks that have been visiting this week have done great, leaving great tips," the junior senator said Wednesday. "That's going to help, too. They're real good tippers."

The Associated Press

GOP: USA! Chants had Nothing to Do with Puerto Rico

The USA! USA! USA! chants that echoed throughout the convention floor as Puerto Rican Committeewoman Zoraida Fonalledas was on stage Monday were a result of Ron Paul supporters protesting the "Credentials Report" and  had nothing to do with Puerto Rico, a Republican National Committee spokesperson told Fox News Latino.

The convention floor was chaotic at around 4 p.m. when Fonalledas came out onto the stage, and the chants caused for a bit of an awkward moment.

The GOP claims the shouts had nothing to do with the Puerto Rican politician.

“During today's Republican Convention Committee Reports, the Ron Paul followers exercised their right to free speech and protested the report by the Committee on Credentials.  The Report by the Chairwoman of the Permanent Organization Committee followed.  The protesters continued their boisterous protest of the Credentials Report which spilled over to the rest of the proceedings.  To be clear, the attempt to disrupt the proceedings had to do with the report, not the Puerto Rico National Committeewoman. Puerto Rico and its delegation play a very important role in this Convention, and are an integral partner in the National Committee.”

Bryan Llenas


Jeb Bush: First Latino Governor of Florida?

"[I]f Bill Clinton is the first black president, I’m definitely the first Cuban at least or Latino governor of the State of Florida." That's what former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said during a panel discussion held by the Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN) on Tuesday, referring to Toni Morrison's comment that Bill Clinton was “our first black president." During his talk, Bush explained that a good deal of his public policy push for the Hispanic community came after meeting his wife in Mexico. "After I met her, I got interested in Latin America for some odd reason and got a degree in Latin American studies and my whole life became more orientated toward this,” Bush said.

Rubio Heckled During Speech to Delegates

Florida Senator Marco Rubio probably didn't expect this. Speaking to a group of Florida delegates outside of Tampa, Rubio most likely assumed he would be talking in front of a safe, home crowd.

That is until a bearded, middle-aged man with a tattoo on his neck stood up and shouted "Hey Rubio!" the Miami Herald reported. What followed was a brief tirade (that included terms like "whoring" and "raping") that accused the GOP of catering to big business while taking money from the working class. Two men with wires in their ears quickly escorted the man out the door and Rubio tried to continue speaking, but was once again interrupted. This time it was by a woman who said "Hey Rubio! Corporations need to pay their fair share!"

All in all, four protesters interrupted Rubio. Outside the hall, five protesters, who represented a group called "Stand Up Florida" were sitting on the curb, where several Pinellas County sheriff's deputies were writing down their names and issuing trespassing citations.

It was a fun day for Rubio on the Gulf Coast.

Puerto Rico's Zoraida Fonalledas Greeted with Chants of 'USA, USA....

A visibly upset Zoraida Fonalledas, Chairwomen of the Committee on Permanent Organization, was greeted by chants of "USA, USA, USA" when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus introduced her to the convention crowd.

The chants kept coming until Priebus stepped back up to the podium and told the delegates to let Fonalledas take care of her business.

Just a little bit awkward.

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Slams Republican Efforts to Court Latinos

The Democratic mayor of Los Angeles says Republican efforts to use Latino speakers at the GOP national convention to win over Latino voters won't work.

Antonio Villaraigosa told reporters Tuesday that the GOP "can't just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname" and expect Latinos to vote Republican. He called that window dressing.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval was dismissive of the mayor's comments and said people will say things off the cuff.

Villaraigosa said a party's policies are more important. He said the GOP platform calls for the self-deportation of 11 million people. The Republican platform supports tougher policies to staunch illegal immigration.

Villaraigosa is in Tampa as part of a Democratic effort to highlight their views during the GOP gathering.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press. 

Marco Rubio & Jeb Bush Miss RNC's Nuestra Noche Party

Despite promises on the invitation that both the Florida senator and the former governor would make appearances at the RNC's Nuestra Noche, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush were nowhere to be seen.

As threats of the now Hurricane Isaac began to help the exodus from the party at around 10:30 Monday night, Tagg Romney and other Romney family members along with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez all pledged to do "everything they could do to get Mitt Romney elected," the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Earlier in the evening, the room was filled with more than 5,000 tickets circulating, but with light cocktails and a puzzling video of Latinos speaking about the American Dream the party quickly fizzled out.

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