The Political Roundup 10/18

Governor: Marco Rubio turned his back on Hispanic family

In a debate last Friday, Florida Governor Charlie Christ said Senate Republican candidate Marco Rubio turned his back on his Hispanic family because he did not back immigration reform.

"These are their words, not mine speaker, that you have turned your back on your Hispanic family, and they think that is inexcusable," Crist said, pointing to an article in La Gaceta, a newspaper that caters to the Hispanic community.

Rubio called Crist’s remarks “offensive,” according to the Congressional newspaper, The Hill.

"We're all used to hard-knock politics, but that's quite frankly, governor, offensive and outrageous, for you to talk about me to turn my back on my Hispanic family," Rubio said, according to the website.

The two, plus Democrat Kendrick Meek, sparred on social security and abortion rights.

Martínez Donates Controversial Funds, Clinton Stumps for Opponent

New Mexico gubernatorial hopeful Susana Martínez had a rough week. The Republican nominee announced that she was donating $20,000 in contributions to a rape victims advocacy group because the money came from a man who joked about rape in 1990, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

William Clayton Jr., who made separate donations of $15,000 and $5,000 to the Las Cruces district attorney’s campaign, made the inappropriate rape comments while running for governor in Texas that year, the newspaper reported.

A spokesman for Martínez, who is vying to become the nation’s first Latina governor, said she has been an advocate of rape victims for 20 years.

Meanwhile, former President Bill Clinton, while stumping for Democratic nominee Diane Denish, took a shot at Martínez, the AP reported. He reminded Denish supporters that Martínez was born in El Paso, Texas. And he suggested that Martínez would allow Texas contributors to strip New Mexico of natural resources.

“I feel bad about Texas being short of water,” Clinton said. “But…I don’t feel so bad that I think they should have two governors and New Mexico none.”

Hispanic Catholics Largely Support Democrats, Hispanic Protestants More Split

The Catholic New Agency, a Denver-based group, says Catholic Hispanics still strongly support Democrats but Protestant Hispanics are more divided.

The agency, citing a survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, says 69 percent of Hispanic Catholics support Democrats and only 19 percent support Republicans. But 45 percent of Hispanics Protestants support Democrats, and 41 percent support Republicans.

About 64 percent of Hispanic registered voters are Catholic, while 22 percent are Protestant, according to the Pew Hispanic Center survey.

Latinos in Oregon fight for equality

A group of Latinos in Oregon are mobilizing and trying to develop an action plan on Hispanic issues.

About 100 people met for a summit where Hispanics are putting together an action plan to address issues in their community, according to the Statesman Journal in Salem, Ore. First, the group must figure out what are the community’s most pressing issues, the newspaper says.

Organizers hope to come up with a comprehensive report on the state of Latinos in Oregon, and want to create an institute to address the issues where they find a need. Among the topics already discussed are improved training and accountability for teachers and school administrators, the newspaper says.

Harry Reid Compares President Obama to Miner

MSNBC is reporting that Harry Reid compared President Obama to a trapped Chilean miner in a speech to supporters in Las Vegas Sunday night.

Reid said that when Obama replaced George W. Bush in the White House he found himself in a "a hole so deep that he couldn't see the outside world."

"It was like the Chilean miners, but he, being the man he is, rolled up his sleeves and said 'I am going to get us out of this hole,'"Reid said.