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Republicans risk becoming a 'minority party,' former chairman says

Article author: 
David Lauter
Article publisher: 
Los Angeles Times
Article date: 
August 29, 2012
Article category: 
Election News
Article Body: 

The issue of how to reach out to the fast-growing Latino population has become a key dividing line among Republicans ...  Opposition to illegal immigration, in particular, is a fervently held position among many Republican voters, and Romney won the nomination in part by taking a harder line on that issue than some of his rivals, especially Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The GOP risks being “relegated to being a minority party”  for years if it fails to “find a way to make that connection” with Latino voters, former Republican national chairman  Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida warned Wednesday.

The party had a “huge missed opportunity” to resolve its tensions in 2007, when Republican opposition forced President George W. Bush to scrap his effort to push a comprehensive immigration reform bill, said Martinez, who was secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Bush’s Cabinet and then served one term in the Senate.