Dead Air for Perry

photo by: Bob Daemmrich

In an interesting twist to what had been a post-session, pre-presidential run period of  crowds chanting “Run, Rick, Run!” everywhere he has shown up, probably reminiscent of the Governor’s A&M yell leader years, Rick Perry was subtly called to task for anti-immigrant efforts during both the regular and special session of the 82nd legislature, then shunned by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, and left standing as dead air fell upon the room before someone stepped in to introduce the Governor as he addressed the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).  Not a good sign from the hispanic community for someone who is considering a run for the presidency.  The San Antonio Current posted this update in thier QueQue blog.

Castro punks Perry

Fresh from his renewed push to dismantle so-called sanctuary cities at the Texas Lege, Governor Rick Perry addressed the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials to a subdued hostility last week. Harassed and derided by protesters on the street, Perry also took heat from none other than Mayor Julián Castro inside before reaching the podium. Referencing Perry’s effort to, not once but twice, push controversial immigration measures through the Lege, Castro said, “We’ve seen in the State of Texas the call for Arizona-type legislation. We have seen, in this legislative session, easily the most anti-Latino agenda in more than a generation, pursued without shame.” Castro left the stage without even introducing the governor. After an awkward five-minute pause, Republican convert and South Texas state Rep. Aaron Peña took to the mic, introducing Perry by praising him as a tax-cutting, experienced leader.

Protesters outside Perry’s speech scoffed at his presence at the NALEO luncheon, saying it was nothing more than a move to gauge support among Latinos while pondering a White House bid. “It’s insulting for us,” said Diana Lopez, an organizer with Southwest Workers Union. “He wants to run for president, that’s why he’s here. He wants to be seen with these people.” If Perry hopes to sway Hispanics, his San Antonio reception suggests he’s got a lot of work ahead of him. New projections from NALEO released last week estimate at least 12.2 million Latinos will turn out in the next presidential election, an increase of 26 percent from 2008. And Latinos in Texas, NALEO says, are likely to account for over 20 percent of the Latino vote.

If this is the response he got from hispanic leaders here in Texas, will the rest of the Latino’s in the U.S. soon be chanting “Run, Rick, Run – back home to Texas” if he pursues his candidacy for president?

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