HLF Represented at First Ever Debate of Candidates for GOP Party Chair

Today was the first time ever that candidates for the position of Chairman of the Republican National Committee held a public debate. the event was carried live on CSPAN2 and online.  Over 600 guests attended in person at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

The event host, Americans for Tax Reform, invited Hispanic Leadership Fund President Mario H. Lopez to ask a question of the candidates, and he was one of only four total questioners for the 90-minute debate.

Lopez’s question, as prepared for delivery:

It is estimated that in roughly 30 years, the U.S. will be a majority-minority country.  50,000 Hispanics turn 18 every month and by 2050, one in three Americans will be of Hispanic decent.  After significant gains with Hispanic voters–for example President Bush earning 40-44% of the vote in 2004, harsh rhetoric from some Republicans and a general lack of a real, sustained commitment were large factors in dropping the GOP’s share of the Hispanic vote to 31% in 2008 and 27% in 2006.

Given the demographic changes facing the country, do you agree with the notion that the Republican Party cannot be a governing majority ever again without expanding the base by bringing more Hispanics and other minorities into its ranks?  If so, how do you plan to integrate these efforts into all aspects of party operations?

All six declared candidates for Chairman were participants: Mike Duncan, Chairman, Republican National Committee; Saul Anuzis, Chairman, Republican Party of Michigan; Ken Blackwell, former Secretary of State, Ohio; Katon Dawson, Chairman, Republican Party of South Carolina; Chip Saltsman, Former Chairman, Republican Party of Tennessee; and Michael Steele, Chairman, GOPAC.