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Why Is Jeb Bush So Quiet During Florida Primary? Immigration.

January 30, 2012

There is a reason.  And a good one, too.

For years I have been fascinated by the lack of regard the Republican Party has for Hispanics, the largest growing segment of the electorate. From immigration bashing to still more immigration bashing the GOP seems not to understand that the political landscape is changing. Over the years I have wondered why so many in the GOP fail to realize that fact, or what it means to their electability in the years to come.

The size of the country’s fastest-growing group has increased 43% since 2000, and more than doubled since 1990, to 50.5 million last year, when Hispanics accounted for nearly one in six U.S. residents and for 23% of people under the age of 18.

Which leads us to the GOP Florida primary.

An unspoken question hovering over the Republican presidential race here is why Mr. Bush, the state’s popular former governor and heir to the nation’s aging political dynasty, has not added his voice to the party establishment’s support for Mr. Romney in his increasingly bitter duel with Newt Gingrich.

Mr. Bush has made clear in television interviews and in conversations with friends that he is troubled by the sharpening tenor of the race, particularly on immigration. He voiced his concern directly to Mr. Romney, two people close to him said, urging him to moderate his oratory and views to avoid a collapse of support among Hispanic voters in the general election.

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