Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman set to work courting support among Latinos last week after a brutal GOP primary battle that forced her to take a loud and hard stance against immigration issues.
The centerpiece of her recent efforts is a series of TV and radio ads, released to coincide with the Mexico/France World Cup match, in which she touts her opposition to the Arizona immigration law.
Some pundits have taken a skeptical stance on Whitman's newest immigration narrative, though others, like Politico's Ben Smith, note that Whitman was clearly uncomfortable with the rightward swing her campaign took on immigration issues to counter the attacks of former GOP challenger Steve Poizner.
Her line on immigration during the campaign's closing weeks was especially harsh, which may have been enough to push some prospective Latino voters away.
You can look up dozens of Whitman's statements on immigration using our new website, Politics Verbatim, which we just launched today. Here are a few of the highlights:
• At a rally in Elk Grove earlier this month, Whitman said, according to the Elk Grove Citizen: “If America can put a man on the Moon, why can we not secure the borders of the United States?”
• Last month, she told Politico: "'You haven't seen an ad from me with the border fence. That has been Steve's campaign. My campaign has been around jobs and spending and education.' Actually, the reporter reminded Whitman, her campaign ads do feature a shot of the fence – a potent image used by lots of Republican ads this year to show they are ready to crack down on illegal immigrants. 'I don't think so,' Whitman replied."
• She has voiced her opposition to the Arizona immigration law a number of times, though she has also said repeatedly that she sympathized with voters there: "I understand the frustrations that Arizonans have with the abject failure of the federal government to secure the border of the United States," Whitman said. "However, if such a law came to me as governor of California, I would oppose it. And the reason is I think I have a better plan to solve this most urgent problem." She said cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants is essential to any solution.
Whitman's recent Spanish-language ad can be viewed here: