10 years ago
Elsewhere, using Phyllis Schlaffly, I wrote about crass politics and the Hispanic vote. Now, hat tip to Kathryn Jean Lopez over at the Corner (NRO), here is confirmation. Does this just make you sick, or what? Sigh … [the Captain’s head shakes sadly … he wonders how this could be happening in America … and what kind of country he is turning over to his children and grandchildren]
From an April 2, 2006, article in the Los Angeles Times (bold is mine):
During the 2000 election, Bush previewed a campaign video from ad-maker Lionel Sosa that used emotion-laden themes to woo Latinos.
As he watched, Sosa recalled, Bush’s face lighted up. “How much do you need for this?” Bush asked as the two men sat with Rove in the governor’s mansion in Texas, Sosa said.
Sosa replied that it would take $3 million. According to the ad-maker, Bush then turned to Rove, saying: “Give him five.”
Four years later, Sosa produced a variation of that video for the 2004 campaign that was mailed to Latino voters across the country.
The video includes images that would probably rile those who today are calling for the most restrictive immigration laws. At one point, Bush is shown waving a Mexican flag. The footage was shot, Sosa said, during a Mexican Independence Day parade in San Antonio in 1998, when Bush was running for reelection as governor.
The five-minute video, narrated by Bush, opens with an image of him fishing on his property near Crawford, Texas, as he essentially described millions of Americans who populate his home state as the true foreigners in someone else’s native land.
“About 15 years before the Civil War, much of the American West was northern Mexico,” Bush says in the video. “The people who lived there weren’t called Latinos or Hispanics. They were Mexican citizens, until all that land became part of the United States.
“After that, many of them were treated as foreigners in their own land,” Bush adds.
He says the “Latino spirit” was fueled by “strong conservative values” of family, a strong work ethic, faith in God, patriotism and personal responsibility. “These values are my values,” Bush says. “I live by them, and I lead by them.”
As Bush speaks in the video, the background music — a Latin beat — grows louder. The president is pictured waving the Mexican flag, hugging a Latino woman, and then holding a Latino baby.
Political strategists in both parties said the video illustrated how Bush, unlike other Republicans, had forged a personal relationship with Latino voters largely on his ability to convey empathy and invite them into his party.