Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced that Bettina Inclan will head up its new Hispanic outreach coordinator just as President Obama’s poll numbers with Latinos has dwindled.
But Republicans also have their challenges in attracting the Hispanic vote. Polls show Hispanics largely back the pro-immigrant DREAM Act, which the Republican candidates for president oppose. Frontrunner Mitt Romney called it a “handout.”
Inclan, though, suggested the DREAM Act will take a back seat to the most important issue: The economy.
Republicans praised the choice. So did Democrat Florida Democrat Kyra Jennings, who said on Twitter: "Congrats to @BettinaInclan - and us Dems should take note! RT @MarcACaputo Bettina Inclan named as RNC's director of Latino outreach."
Priebus said the president mislead Hispanic voters. He pointed out that Democrats had clear majorities in Congress early in Obama’s term. And the DREAM Act was never passed.
“The president sold the Hispanic community... a bill of goods,” Priebus said.
"For all the hype and all the hyperbole from the Democratic National Committee and the president, he's losing in the Hispanic community," Priebus said in a conference call, citing a decline in President's approval ratings in the Gallup Poll from a high of 85 percent to a low of 46 percent.
Priebus noted that the unemployment rate among Hispanics is 11 percent, higher than the national average, under Obama.
“It's the fastest growing demographic in the United States of America. It's crucial we include Latinos at every level,” he said. “We are absolutely dedicated to engaging the Latino community.”
Inclan said the Latino outreach is nothing new and that the RNC would reach out even more to Hispanics through social media.
“I’ve been involved in this issue for 10 years from Florida to California,” she said. “We want to do things even better.”
She pointed out the first Hispanic governor in Nevada is Republican as was the most-recent US Senator, Marco Rubio.
“The stars now of the Hispanic political community are Republican,” Priebus added.
Inclan's bio: Bettina Inclán is a communications and political strategist working with top political candidates nationwide, including recent prominent roles in Governor races in California and Florida where she helped Florda Governor Rick Scott win the majority of Hispanic vote. During her time on Capitol Hill she worked with Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and served as Communications Director for Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) when he was Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee within Republican Leadership within the U.S. House of Representatives. For over a decade she has worked on Latino issues, including serving as National Executive Director of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly.