LAS VEGAS (CBS VEGAS) — Democratic Party strategist and MSNBC political analyst, Karen Finney, said on Tuesday that the “hateful language” and tone of the Republican Party will continue to be an obstacle in their appeal to Latino voters.

Finney said that Republicans found out that the “death knell” of the Republican Party on immigration began in 2005 with the party’s negative tone on the issue.

“We saw in droves the Latino community moving over to the Democratic Party largely because of the tone,” Finney said on MSNBC’s “Now with Alex Wagner” program. “Even Republicans in the Republican Party who were Latino just disgusted with the tone.”

“Those crazy crackers on the right, if they start with their very hateful language, that is going to kill them in the same way that they learned, at their little retreat, ‘let’s not talk about rape,’” Finney concluded.

This comes after a bi-partisan group of eight senators and President Obama have made public statements showing that each side is willing to bypass party lines to pass comprehensive immigration legislation.

“For the first time in many years, Republicans and Democrats seem ready to tackle this problem together,” Obama told a cheering Nevada audience. “There is a genuine desire to get this done soon, and this is very encouraging.”

Shortly after Obama finished speaking, cracks emerged between the White House and the group of eight senators, which put out their proposals one day ahead of the president. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a potential 2016 presidential candidate, faulted Obama for not making a citizenship pathway contingent on tighter border security, a central tenet of the lawmakers’ proposals.

“The president’s speech left the impression that he believes reforming immigration quickly is more important than reforming immigration right,” Rubio said in a statement.

Rubio echoed the president’s sentiment to push immigration reform, but stressed that there is still much work to be done before an agreement can be made.

“This is going to be a challenge,” he told conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh. “If in fact, this bill does not have real triggers in there. In essence, if there is not language in this bill that guarantees that nothing else will happen unless these enforcement mechanisms are in place then I won’t support it.”

Despite possible obstacles to come, the broad agreement between the White House and bipartisan lawmakers in the Senate represents a significant shift in Washington’s willingness to tackle immigration, an issue that has languished for years. Much of that shift is politically motivated, due to the growing influence of Hispanics in presidential and other elections and their overwhelming support for Obama in November.


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