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Villaraigosa: Republicans 'can't just trot out a brown face'

 

Updated, 1:30 p.m. - TAMPA, Fla. -- Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said that Republicans "can't just trot out a brown face" to make inroads with the Latino community, an increasingly important growing bloc.

As the GOP prepares to showcase some of its rising Hispanic stars during the next two days of its national convention, the Democratic mayor dismissed Republican overtures toward Latinos as insincere.

"You can't just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate," Villaraigosa said at a press conference here organized by the Democratic National Committee.

Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., joins The Daily Rundown to talk about the convention and diversity in the GOP.

"People are going to vote just like Anglos do, just like African-Americans do, and virtually every demographic group. They vote for people based on what they say, what they've done, and what they're going to do," he later added.

Among the Latinos speaking in Tuesday's Republican National Convention programming are Rep. Francisco Canseco, R-Texas. Sher Valenzuela, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor of Delaware, Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and Texas GOP Senate nominee Ted Cruz.

But, other staunch opponents of illegal immigration -- like Iowa Rep. Steve King, who's speaking as well on Tuesday -- will also be among the featured voices in the day's program.

"I don't think it's going to do much for him, frankly," Villaraigosa said of the GOP's overall message.

The Los Angeles mayor predicted that President Barack Obama would win "close to 70 percent" of the Latino vote in his re-election effort; Romney advisers have set a goal in the upper-30th percentile in targeting Hispanic voters.

Latino voters are of particular importance in swing states like Colorado, Florida and Virginia -- a sign of shifting demographics that Republicans have worried would put them at a long-term political disadvantage unless they were to become more welcoming of Latinos.

Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney, said in response to today's Democratic bracketing event: "Today, as we learn that more than a quarter of Democrats believe President Obama does not have a clear plan for creating jobs, his surrogates in Tampa continued to launch false and baseless attacks against Governor Romney.  The facts speak for themselves – with 23 million Americans struggling for work, nearly one in six Americans living in poverty, and median incomes declining, the Obama campaign cannot defend a record of broken promises and failed policies.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a plan to strengthen the middle class by creating jobs and turning around our economy."