After failing to turn out the base as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential pick in the 2012 elections, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) told the Des Moines Register in Iowa that he thinks the GOP should focus on going into minority communities to seek votes.
“Go into inner cities, go into minority communities,” Ryan said in an interview with the state paper. “Go into communities that have not seen or heard from Republicans in a long time.” Ryan was in Iowa on Saturday for a fundraiser and birthday event for the state’s GOP Gov. Terry Branstad.
Ryan and Romney lost the presidential election last year by failing to turn out the GOP base. As Byron York pointed out in the Washington Examiner in May of this year, six months after the election, the GOP duo would have needed to get 73 percent of the Hispanic vote to have won the election by solely focusing on Hispanics–when Republicans have not, at any point in history, been able to even break 45 percent of the Hispanic vote. George W. Bush got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, the highest a Republican has ever gotten in a nationwide election.
“In 2012, President Obama famously won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote to Mitt Romney’s 27 percent,” York wrote. “If all other factors remained the same, how large a percentage of the Hispanic vote would Romney have had to win to capture the White House? What if Romney had won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, the high-water mark for Republicans achieved by George W. Bush in 2004? As it turns out, if Romney had hit that Bush mark, he still would have lost, with 240 electoral votes to 298 for Obama.”
York presented several other “unrealistic” scenarios, such as Romney and Ryan winning 50 percent or 70 percent of the Hispanic vote–only to show that the numbers prove if they were somehow miraculously able to pull off such a feat, they still would have lost the election. York noted that Romney and Ryan would have needed 73 percent of the Hispanic vote to beat Obama–if all the other numbers, such as the low GOP base turnout, stayed the same.
“The most serious of those problems was that Romney was not able to connect with white voters who were so turned off by the campaign that they abandoned the GOP and in many cases stayed away from the polls altogether,” York wrote. “Recent reports suggest as many as 5 million white voters simply stayed home on Election Day. If they had voted at the same rate they did in 2004, even with the demographic changes since then, Romney would have won. Likewise, the white vote is so large that an improvement of 4 points — going from 60 percent to 64 percent of those whites who did vote — would have won the race for Romney.”
Nonetheless, Ryan still believes somehow that pushing certain policies like amnesty that pander to the left will somehow win the GOP minority votes. Ryan is currently in the process of writing a bill that would legalize the status of America’s at least 11 million illegal aliens.
As part of his interview with the Des Moines Register, Ryan praised New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election as evidence that the GOP can win minority communities in blue states.
“Absolutely,” Ryan answered when asked by the local paper if lessons can be learned from Christie’s re-election in New Jersey. “It shows that we have to go and campaign in non-traditional areas, non-traditional neighborhoods, and by showing up not just a few months before the election, but by being in these communities all year round, that will make a difference.”
“What Chris’s victory shows is that conservatives can win blue states if we focus on being inclusive and campaigning in every facet of this country, we can open up the electoral map, far more than where it has been,” Ryan added.
As part of the interview, Ryan pushed harder than he has in a long time in public for amnesty as well. Ryan said, in the words of the Des Moines paper, that pushing for amnesty for illegal aliens is “crucial.”
“When we get to it [amnesty], it’s not extremely clear,” Ryan said. “But there are many of us who still would like to see it happen in a step-by-step process before the end of the year. But if that doesn’t occur, we’ll still keep moving for it because, again, the status quo is unacceptable.”
Ryan is at odds with the entire rest of the House GOP leadership–and the GOP base–when it comes to immigration legislation. House Minority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has publicly promised there will be no immigration legislation voted on in the House of Representatives for the rest of 2013, something Ryan does not agree with as evidenced by this interview he did with the Des Moines paper. McCarthy, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), House Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and scores of other Republicans and conservatives have publicly come out in opposition to ever going to a conference committee with the Senate “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. Ryan is on record as being supportive of a conference committee, and refused to join the rest of House Republicans save for a few outliers who also support amnesty in denouncing any effort to save the Senate bill via conference after Speaker Boehner publicly promised last week there would never be a conference.
Ryan has taken a beating in polls for his support for amnesty. Ryan and Senate Gang of Eight GOP frontman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)–who has since expressed regret for supporting the Senate bill and publicly opposed conference committee in a Breitbart News exclusive–combined for less than 10 percent of the total support from GOP base voters in the straw poll at the recent Values Voter Summit. Those GOP base voters are the same people who York noted did not show up to vote for Romney and Ryan at the polls last November–the real reason the GOP lost its shot to unseat incumbent President Barack Obama in November 2012.