RNC chairman urges Hispanic publishers to give party a chance | NevadaAppeal.com

RNC chairman urges Hispanic publishers to give party a chance

ANGIE WAGNER, Associated Press Writer

LAS VEGAS – Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson told a group of Hispanic publishers Thursday that they are the ”cornerstone” of their communities and urged them to give the GOP a chance.

”We are committed as a party to developing a partnership with Latinos like we’ve never done before,” Jim Nicholson told the National Association of Hispanic Publications in what amounted to a campaign speech for George W. Bush.

”We have to earn more of the vote of Latinos,” he said. ”It’s good politics. It’s also the right thing to do.”

About 275 representatives from Hispanic publications in the United States and Mexico are attending the annual convention this week.

”I think you’re really the cornerstone of your communities,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson talked mostly about education and how the Republican party and presidential candidate Bush want to raise standards in schools. He said it is important that families have the choice to send their children to any school they choose and that failure not be tolerated.

”I believe the biggest civil rights issue facing us in the 21st century is education,” he said.

He touted Bush’s results with schools in Texas, saying the governor has improved test scores among Hispanic children dramatically.

”The other party is stuck in the status quo of education. They talk about more money, more rules, more bureaucrats,” Nicholson said. ”It hasn’t worked, but they’re still trying. Our children can’t wait any longer for the Democrats to redouble their efforts.

”So I ask you, give Gov. Bush and the Republicans four years. Give us a chance to change the schools,” he said.

While Nicholson answered most of the publishers’ questions on health care, Social Security and bilingual education, he was somewhat evasive when asked about the party’s position on immigration reform and amnesty laws.

He said Republicans are a ”pro-immigrant party.”

”The only question he really didn’t answer is when we’re talking about amnesty,” said Douglas Rodriguez, marketing director for the El Mundo newspaper in Austin, Texas. ”That was a weak point. Latinos are always asking that.”

Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew is scheduled to address the group Friday.