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Tags: 2016 | GOP | candidates | race | ethnicity | hispanics | blacks

Politico: Ethnicity, Race Won't Be GOP Trump Card

Friday, 26 December 2014 11:33 AM EST

Four potential Republican presidential candidates are not planning to play the race card in the 2016 campaign and use their ethnicity to win votes, Politico reports.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has vowed that he will not be running as "the Hispanic guy," while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio likes to point out that he’s an "American of Hispanic descent."

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has never described himself as an Indian-American, and African-American Ben Carson is unlikely to play up his race to gain black voters, according to the political news website.

Although the presumed candidates are set to make the GOP presidential field the most diverse it’s ever been, they plan to avoid "identify politics" and instead focus on broader issues, such as jobs, hard work and setting goals to obtain the American dream.

But they are also not going to ignore their background and heritage while facing such other possible candidates as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Politico reported.

"When I ran for the Senate, I didn’t run as, 'Vote for the Hispanic guy.' I ran as the strongest conservative in the race," Cruz said. "Now, is the fact that my father came as an immigrant from Cuba, penniless, seeking the American dream, an integral part of who I am? Absolutely."

"A point I made repeatedly on the campaign trail was, my entire life, my father has been my hero, but what I find most remarkable about his story is how commonplace it is," Cruz said when asked to preview his message.

"Every one of us is the child of those seeking freedom. That’s what ties us together as Americans."

But he also told Politico, "If Republicans are perceived as the Democratic caricature tries to paint us — as rich, out-of-touch kleptocrats — we lose, and we lose in the Hispanic community.

"If we are instead perceived as, and actually fighting for, working men and women … people struggling to climb the economic ladder but filled with hopes and dreams to achieve the American dream, that’s how we win nationally but also how we win in the Hispanic community."

Rubio, like Cruz the son of hard-working Cuban immigrants, also says he will not be promoting himself as the "first Hispanic-American candidate."

"I’m proud of my culture, I’m proud of my heritage, I’m proud of where I come from," Rubio told Politico.

"One of the great things about America is it allows you to keep all of those things, influence our society, but ultimately we’re united by this common strain. We’re united by what I think is a common aspiration: That is, ensure everyone has an equal opportunity for a better life."

Jindal, who changed his name from Piyush to Bobby as a child and later converted to Catholicism, told Politico that he’s dead set "against the idea of hyphenated Americans," and stressed the importance of striving for success over ethnicity.

"My parents immigrated to this country some 40 years ago looking for two things — freedom and opportunity," he told Politico. "You know where they found it? Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is considered naive these days to talk about America as the great melting pot. But the fact is, that is the right construct.

"It’s not our skin color or ethnic heritage that binds us together. It’s our shared desire for freedom, for colorblind justice and for opportunity for everyone — regardless of our race, the income level of our family or the circumstances of our birth."

In Carson’s case, strategists close to the outspoken conservative said that although he may emphasize how he worked his way out of poverty to become a famed neurosurgeon, he will not be playing up his race despite suggestions that he could draw blacks to the GOP by simply reaching out to them for their votes.

"I’m trying to think if he’s ever mentioned that he’s black," said Vernon Robinson, campaign director for the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. "He doesn’t talk about race."

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Four potential Republican presidential candidates are not planning to play the race card in the 2016 campaign and use their ethnicity to win votes, Politico reports.
2016, GOP, candidates, race, ethnicity, hispanics, blacks
Friday, 26 December 2014 11:33 AM
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