The Slatest

Republican Presidential Candidates All Skipping Largest Latino Advocacy Group’s Convention

John McCain at the National Council of La Raza’s convention in July 2008.

Fred Greaves/Reuters

Here’s an item from the Wall Street Journal that’s surprising given how much of an opening Donald Trump’s ongoing anti-immigrant rhetoric would seem to have given more Latino-friendly Republican presidential candidates:

The nation’s largest Latino advocacy group says it invited every presidential candidate to annual convention next week. Not a single Republican plans to attend, a spokesman said.

Democrats Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, and Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, will appear at a lunch Monday in Kansas City, Mo., before the National Council of La Raza, an advocacy and civil rights organization for Latinos. Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont originally had a conflict but now plans to appear as well, his spokesman said.

While presidential candidates don’t always attend the La Raza conference—neither Romney nor Obama was there in 2012—it’s also far from unprecedented for Republicans to speak to the group. Before Romney, CNN says, every Republican nominee dating back to George H.W. Bush had done so. (On the other hand, none of the early GOP contenders in 2011 or 2007 appeared at those years’ conventions either.)

Ben Carson was the only GOP candidate to appear at a gathering held last month in Las Vegas by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, another influential group.