Geronimo Cruz, a retired factory worker living in Mora County, worries aloud that "blacks are for blacks," and that in the White House, Obama would care for his racial brethren in the inner cities before looking out for the white and Hispanic rural lands. He cites hip-hop videos as proof that confident, aloof African Americans are more interested in a good time than hard work. He, like many others, refers to Obama as "El Negrito," a diminutive that can be affectionate when referring to one's grandfather, as in "abuelito," or condescending when referring to the potential President of the United States.
"The Republican brand has been tarnished as result of the immigration debate and the extreme rhetoric that came out of that debate. We think McCain remains an advocate of a comprehensive approach, but his standing has been undermined by those within his own party and the tough immigration plank in the 2008 Republican platform."
Why McCain? The Latinas for McCain cite moral values. He is antiabortion and for "the sanctity of marriage."
"Immigration, the war, the economy, Katrina," she says. "We just need a change. . . . He not only captured me in his actions but also captured my heart." She doubts McCain's continued commitment to immigration reform, and says she has never forgotten Obama addressing a huge march for immigrant rights in Chicago in 2006.... Values matter, too. Sanctity of marriage? Olivas asks which candidate left his first wife and broke up his family. Abortion is tough. She balances it with immigration reform, which she sees as a moral issue, as well. "Yes, we're not for abortion, but immigration is a deal-breaker," she says.
Photo: Barack Obama Speaks At The La Raza Conference SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 13: L, Isabel and Francisco Flores wait outside before hearing Presumptive Demcoratic presidential nominee Barack Obama at the National Council of La Raza Annual Meeting on July 13, 2008 in San Diego, California. The NCLR is the largest Hispanic Civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States and works to opportunities for Hispanic Americans.(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)McCain Is Faltering Among Hispanic Voters