Sen. Ted Cruz “finds himself in a strange position as he sees himself eclipsed both by Senator Marco Rubio, also a Cuban-American, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a fluent Spanish-speaker married to a Mexican-American, as early favorites among Hispanic Republicans who could play an increasingly influential role in the nomination process. … To Latinos, Cruz often feels more like an afterthought. And while that’s largely attributed to his hard-right stance on immigration reform, prominent Hispanic conservatives offered insight as to why his problems with Latinos run deeper. Rubio, they said, has embraced his ethnic identity in a way that Cruz, who speaks little Spanish, has not or will not.
Back in the Bush era, GOP Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi lost his job as Senate majority leader after he remarked that the United States “wouldn’t have had all these problems” with African Americans if only S.C. Sen. Strom Thurmond had been elected president when Thurmond ran on the segregationist Dixiecrat Party ticket in 1948.
But Thurmond, who had turned 100 years old at the time Lott made that career-killing remark — had long ago swung decidedly to the left on civil rights, in part because he needed African-American votes to get elected and possibly because at least one of his children was black.