Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 | 7:03 p.m.
The Republican National Committee and conservative Hispanic groups are skewering Sen. Harry Reid for comments he made to POLITICO’s Glenn Thrush about U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
The article detailed moves by Rubio to block the appointment of Mari Carmen Aponte as ambassador to El Salvador in hopes of convincing the U.S. State Department to take stronger stances with Nicaragua and Cuba.
Thrush then quotes Reid criticizing Rubio’s two votes against Aponte before he agreed to back the appointment:
"He’s struck out twice. I mean, he says he’s for her now, but he (voted) against her twice," Reid, D-Nev., told POLITICO.
"In Nevada, this woman (Aponte) is seen by the Puerto Rican community, the Hispanic community, as really somebody who is an up-and-rising star. I just think it’s a mistake for someone who is supposedly representing Hispanic issues to do what (Rubio) has done," added Reid, who said Rubio hasn’t delivered the votes on Aponte that he promised.
Thrush then followed up the article with a reaction piece with comments from Hispanic conservatives who said Reid’s reference to "Hispanic issues" was a “smear," "condescending" and "racial identity politics."
From Thrush’s follow-up piece:
"Only a day after Jim Messina’s insensitive chimichanga comment, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid makes an inflammatory remark regarding one of the Republican’s rising stars Senator Marco Rubio from Florida," RNC spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi told Univision. "By implying that Senator Rubio represents 'Hispanic issues,' Senator Reid is creating an unnecessary separation between the Hispanic community and the general population. Hispanics in the United States care about the same issues as everyone else such as job creation, the economy, education, and healthcare."
And a reaction from Reid’s camp:
Jose Parra, of Reid office, sent over the following pushback: "From supporting Arizona's law legalizing the racial profiling of Latinos, to opposing the DREAM Act, to attacking Justice Sonia Sotomayor and voting against Ambassador Aponte twice, Sen. Rubio's record speaks for itself."