Snubbing Marco Rubio Doesn't Mean the GOP is Snubbing Hispanics

In light of some of the GOP's other recent decisions, it's hard to find fault with the NRSC's early endorsement of Charlie Crist in the Republican primary for Florida's open senate seat. It may be the smartest move the national party has made in some time, but that doesn't mean people aren't out there picking at lose threads trying to find problems. 

Myriam Marquez didn't waste any time pulling the race card in favor of Crist's nominal Republican challenger Marco Rubio: 

So much for the ''big tent'' the GOP claims to be building to attract Hispanics and blacks after getting pummeled by Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional candidates last year. Only white-haired RINOs need apply for the Washington job, as in Republican in Name Only -- the reference most preferred by GOP conservatives when talking about Crist.

The strategy now?

Tick off South Florida's older Cuban-American voters and other conservative Hispanic Republicans by sticking it to the socially and fiscally conservative Rubio a year and a half before the election.

Meanwhile, Republican fundraiser Ana Navarro shot off this quote to Naked Politics:
"They have paid all this lip service to how desperately Republicans need to build bridges with the Hispanic community and young people, but a 37-year-old Hispanic running for statewide office gets the door slammed in his face,'' Navarro said. "They might as well have put up a sign that said, 'Hispanics need not apply.' If that's what the Republican party is going to do, we better get used to being in the minority for a long time.''

 All of this might make some sort of sense if Rubio's resume looked anything at all like Crist's. It might make sense if he had any sort of experience in state-wide elections. It might make sense if his name recognition wasn't marginal. It might make sense if his entire campaign wasn't built around running to the right of Crist, and shouting off all sorts of uninspired, tired, red meat, red state talking points.
It also might make sense to say that the Republican party is snubbing Hispanics if we didn't currently have a Cuban-American representing Florida in the Senate. Remember Mel? He's still there. 

But none of that's the case, and to imply that the NRSC's early endorsement of Crist is somehow a snub to an entire ethnicity is ridiculous. I'm sure the Republicans would welcome Rubio with open arms in any other race, but the Senate race is big time stuff, and Crist is the big time candidate. 

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Kyle Munzenrieder