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Mitch Perry Report for 5.27.15 — Immigration and the GOP

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

If you’ve paid close attention to the content of much of the GOP presidential candidates’ (and soon-to-be candidates’) rhetoric this year, you hear a whole lot of Barack Obama bashing — mostly about his foreign policy moves, which they all say have made the world a more dangerous place.

On immigration, they all read from the same script as well.  The first words from nearly all of them is “border security.” Even Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham, who are notably more progressive on the issue than the rest of their brethren, invoke those words as a starting point. And they all denounce President Obama’s executive actions taken on immigration after last fall’s congressional elections as being unconstitutional and alienating Republicans from wanting to work with him on the issue.

But while their tough words delight the average GOP primary voter, the general election question is completely in doubt when it comes to winning over more Latino voters than Mitt Romney did in 2012.

GOP pollster Whit Ayres has said that the Republican nominee “is going to need to be somewhere in the mid-40s, or better, among Hispanic voters” to win the 2016 election.

Is there any candidate other than Jeb Bush who could achieve that at this point? Certainly Ayres’ own candidate, Marco Rubio, is hardly in a position to seize that demographic, despite his Cuban-American background. The Florida senator denies that he ran away from his own comprehensive immigration reform, but looked wobbly when challenged on the issue by Fox News’ Chris Wallace last week, who essentially said he had failed to lead on the issue.

With a federal appeals court denying the Obama administration’s request to lift a hold on the president’s executive actions on immigration yesterday, expect to hear less about how we can actually fix the problem of identifying the roughly 11-12 million undocumented people in the United States, and more about how Obama is out of control when it comes to executive power.

In other news..

Anti-GMO activists invaded U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor’s West Tampa District office yesterday, hoping to persuade her to oppose legislation that would prevent individual states from imposing laws requiring mandatory GMO labeling laws.

The term “progressive” has become extremely popular over the past decades, because it hasn’t carried the negative connotations of being “liberal.” But a new Gallup poll shows more Americans than ever are proudly calling themselves socially liberal, at least.

Rick Kriseman is growing weary of St. Petersburg City Council members kvetching about the deal he worked out with the Tampa Bay Rays to allow them to break their lease. He tells Florida Politics they should provide the financial amount they think the Rays should cough up in order to speak to officials in Tampa.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia says he’s building up the infrastructure within his organization to win the state for the GOP nominee for president next year.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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