Candidates targeting Hispanic voters
President Barack Obama and GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, are both reaching out to Hispanic voters. It's a group whose influence at the polls is growing, especially in Southern Nevada.Photo: Video by ktnv.com
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - President Barack Obama and GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, are both reaching out to Hispanic voters. It's a group whose influence at the polls is growing, especially in Southern Nevada.
"You want to know how I know that free, big government doesn't work?" Florida Senator Marco Rubio asked the crowd. "Because people come here to this country to get away from that stuff."
Rubio was back in Southern Nevada Tuesday rallying Republicans at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa & Casino. He's helping Romney garner Hispanic votes.
"What we're trying to do is reach-out, and talk to as many people as possible," Rubio said in a one-on-one, sit-down interview with Channel 13.
Rubio grew up in North Las Vegas. His parents worked in local casinos. He's of Cuban descent, and is considered a rising star in the Republican party.
Rubio's visit, comes right after Romney's camp opened a campaign office in a predominantly Hispanic area of East Las Vegas.
"The Hispanic community is tremendously entrepreneurial, which means they own a lot of businesses that have been suffering under the weight of all the President's regulations, and Obama Care," Rubio says.
Rubio points to statistics that show unemployment is higher among Hispanics, than it is among the rest of the population.
"A lot of people think that immigration is this biggest issue for Latinos," says Hispanic voter, Aleyda Hernandez. "Not necessarily. More often than not, it's the economy that is most important to us. Without a good economy, we don't have jobs. That has a huge trickle effect, as we've seen."
Democratic State Senator Ruben Kihuen agrees that the Hispanic vote is based on much more than immigration reform.
"Creating jobs is the number one issue, and education is number two," he says. "Hispanics want their kids to be well-educated. They also want access to health care. Without health care, you don't have anything."
Kihuen, who was born in Mexico, spoke at President Obama's rally this past Sunday.
"Obama held an event in the heart of the Latino community, at a soccer field in East Las Vegas," Kihuen says. "He also brought in the popular Mexican rock band, Mana, which is known worldwide. He was making a point, to show his commitment to the Hispanic community. A group, whose vote, will determine the election here in the state of Nevada."