Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Can Marco Rubio's State of the Union rebuttal sway Latinos to the GOP?

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Tuesday night, the President will deliver his State of the Union address. Delivering the Republican response will be Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. At least one Latino activist is not impressed.

Senator Rubio says he’ll talk about how limited government and free enterprise helped make his “family’s dream come true” in the U.S. The son of Cuban immigrants will offer his rebuttal to the President’s speech in both English and Spanish. Rubio is pushing a Senate immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship.

Hector Sanchez, chairman of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, says he’s seen Rubio evolve on immigration. But to win the hearts and minds of Latino voters, the rest of the GOP needs to drop what Sanchez calls its “anti immigrant messaging.” He says what they're doing has a "direct repercussion" on Latino communities and they need to "move away from that."

Sanchez cites a rise in hate crimes against Latinos. He says the Republicans know they can't take back the White House until it can win 30 percent of the Latino vote.

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