Manny Miranda, the chairman of the Third Branch Conference and the author of a letter that has asked Senate Republicans to consider a “Democratic filibuster” against Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, just spoke at a Heritage Foundation luncheon for conservative bloggers. One point he hammered home was that questions about Sotomayor’s 2001 “wise Latina” speech and her support for affirmative action could be asked without alienating Hispanic voters as long as the party reached out to Spanish-speaking media on the substance of legal issues. “I want to get to answer the wise Latino man side of it,” joked Miranda, who is Hispanic.
“Hispanic polls, Hispanic surveys, indicate that Hispanics think just like everyone else. We’re not like African-Americans. We think just like everybody else. When I was on the leader’s staff, someone called me once and asked me: ‘What’s Senator Frist’s Hispanic agenda?’ I said, ‘low taxes, better education, more jobs … what are you talking about?’ And that’s how Hispanics are. This is an opportunity to educate them on all of our issues and they will resonate in the way that they resonate with everyone else.”
African-American and Hispanic opinions didn’t actually diverge much in the last court fight: one poll on the confirmation of Samuel Alito found that African-Americans and Hispanics were split 50/50 on whether he should have been put on the court, although a greater number of African-Americans had no opinion. I talked with Miranda after the luncheon about whether he really wasn’t worried about a Hispanic backlash against the GOP if the Supreme Court fight got out of control — he considers it a possible problem, albeit a remote one if Republicans “fill the void” with substance.
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