Simon's statement on Mel Martinez

Be sure to read the statement below from Simon about Florida Senator Mel Martinez being tapped to Chair the RNC.


"The appointment of Mel Martinez as the new head of the Republican Party is an indication of how worried the Republicans are about their standing with Latino voters across the country.

After years of gains with Latinos, the fastest growing part of the American electorate, the Republicans saw a significant drop in their standing in 2006. In 2004 President Bush received at least 40 percent of the Latino vote. In this midterm it fell to 30 percent, a significant and dangerous drop.

While Latinos had the same reasons to vote against Republicans in 2006 as the rest of America, there is no question that many Latinos have grown disenchanted with the Republican Party because of what they felt was the Republican-led anti-Latino tone of the immigration debate.

If they were truly serious about rehabilitating their standing with Latinos, one area they should think about is working with Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid to take quick action on passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform next year.

Appointing Mel Martinez may help Republicans communicate their message to the Spanish-speaking electorate. But it will take a change in policy not a change in personnel to win back a community that has grown terribly disenchanted with the President and his party."