NASHUA, N.H. -- For 50 years Cuban exiles have dreamed of the day they would elect one of their own to be president of Cuba.
This year they might actually see one elected — to be president of the United States.
Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both sons of Cuban immigrants, head into Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary as two of the Republican Party’s top contenders for the 2016 nomination. That one of them could win marks an exceptional feat for a community only two generations removed from political exile.
“This race could come down to the two of them,” said former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, a Florida Republican backing Jeb Bush for president who was the first Cuban-American in the U.S. Senate. “It’s really remarkable.”
Last week, Cruz became the first Hispanic in history to win the Iowa caucuses. Together, he and Rubio took more than half the vote —nearly 51 percent — in a state not known for its ethnic diversity.
Yet there were few headlines proclaiming Cruz’s win and Rubio’s third-place finish as a victory for Latinos.
“Where is the media on this, right?” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday on Fox News. “I mean, this is a big deal.”
It is. But Cruz and Rubio themselves didn’t play it up. They don’t campaign as trailblazing Hispanics.
Photo credit: Chris Carlson, Associated Press