Don’t look now but some conservatives, possibly following a Murdoch agenda, have begun touting Puerto Rico governor Luis Fortuño as a possible Republican Vice-Presidential candidate. Yesterday the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal published yet another puff piece on the right-wing governor, which opened with these lines: “He’s young, dynamic, and well-spoken. As a Republican vice-presidential nominee, he could help with Latino voters in 2012.”
The author repeats the Republican mantra about Fortuño standing tall in the face of criticism when he slashed government jobs and imposed austerity on a reeling working class. He cuts him slack on the unpleasant reality that “Puerto Rico’s economy continues to struggle” by saying that “Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Thatcher also had some grim years before their own economies picked up.” He later mentions Fortuño and Sarah Palin in the same sentence. Something about vetting.
On the same day, Ross Douhat, the New York Times‘s token conservative columnist, wrote a column called “Myths of the Hispanic Vote.” Commenting on a Washington Post observation that Democrats fear current front-runner Newt Gingrich’s “ability to…win Hispanic voters,” he cautions against what he calls “a common misconception about the Hispanic vote: Namely, that it contains a large bloc of voters that can be easily woo’d and won by any Republican who takes a liberal line on immigration, picks a Hispanic running mate, and engages in a little Spanish-language outreach.”
That link above is to the aforementioned WSJ puff piece. It’s not unreasonable to wonder if the Republican presidential race is boiling down to a rift between old school, Bush-Rove Republicans and the Tea Party-fueled Murdoch rogues, with Douhat trying to break the Murdoch-Ailes momentum. Didn’t the Bushies invent the whole sympathy with the Hispanic immigrant thing, due to its clan’s own intermarriage messiness? Maddow did a really nice piece the other day explaining the concept of the “Murdoch Primaries.”
So, if Gingrich is now the favorite to win the “Murdoch Primary,” has there already been a decision made on who would be his running mate? Could Fortuño be slippery enough to ditch his previous ties to Bush-Rove and make a bold move into Gingrichlandia? Makes you wonder how serious he is about that second term as Governor of Puerto Rico.