If you are wondering who Susana Martinez is, you probably are not the only one.
She is being called “the boldest, savviest” vice presidential pickcould make. The 53-year-old Martinez is the governor of New Mexico and took office in January of 2011. She is the first female governor of New Mexico and the first female Hispanic governor in the United States. She was the Assistant District Attorney for the 3rd Judicial District, serving Dona Ana County, New Mexico from 1986 to 1992, and she served 14 years as District Attorney from 1997 until she was elected governor.
The political buzz for Martinez is building: the Washington Post recently ranked her fifth on its veepstakes list, and GOP strategists such as Mark McKinnon are only beginning to chatter about how “she checks so many boxes Republicans need.” Andrew Romano in the Daily Beast says, “If candidates like Romney continue to rely on white, working-class, largely Southern men for most of their support—Democrats are also gaining ground in the burgeoning Sun Belt and Mountain West regions—they will find it harder and harder to compete.”
Martinez could be the connection Mitt Romney needs. How many of the “boxes” does she fill for the Republicans and how does she compare to Kelly Ayotte, Nikki Haley,and ?
Abortion and Stem Cell Research: Pro-life and opposed to elective abortion
Budget and Economy
Corporations: Exempt small business from gross receipts tax. (Jan 2012)
Energy and Oil
Foreign Policy: Trade relationship with Mexico creates jobs & trade corridor. (Nov 2011)
Secure border; deny licenses & tuition to illegals. (Nov 2010)
Has been critical of Romney’s immigration stance on “self deportation.”
She believes Arizona-style laws like SB1070 are not needed.
Proposes encouraging small businesses to hire unemployed workers by covering part of their salaries for the first six months through the unemployment fund. This will help the state by getting people off the unemployment rolls; it will help small businesses by making it easier for them to grow.
Social Security and Tax Reform:
No stance on Social Security.
Martinez believes a long-term solution for budget woes is economic growth. We increase revenue by helping small businesses create new jobs--not by government creating new taxes. In her view, New Mexicans are not under-taxed. The government has simply over-spent.
Government reform for New Mexico
Immigration Reform is Martinez strength
In an interview with Andrew Romano, Martinez relates a plan for comprehensive immigration. “Republicans want to be tough and say, ‘Illegals, you’re gone.’ But the answer is a lot more complex than that.” Martinez envisions an approach “with multiple levels” that include increased border security; deportation for criminals; a guest-worker program for people who want “to go freely back and forth across the border to work”; a DREAM Act-style pathway to citizenship, through the military or college, for children brought here illegally by their parents; and a visa (coupled with a “penalty” or a “tagback”) that allows the rest of the illegal population to remain in the U.S. while they follow standard naturalization procedures.
Romano notes that Martinez “also opposes a standalone DREAM Act, arguing that politicians can’t fix (immigration) by saying, ‘Here’s the DREAM Act and we’re done. It has to be part of a larger plan.’ ”
Martinez has been critical of Romney's support for a policy of "self-deportation," whereby conditions in the U.S. would be made so uncomfortable for undocumented immigrants that they would voluntarily leave the country.
"Self-deport? What the heck does that mean?" Martinez said in a Monday interview with Newsweek. "I have no doubt Hispanics have been alienated during this campaign. But now there's an opportunity for Gov. Romney to have a sincere conversation about what we can do and why."
Martinez also called on Republicans to step up their support for comprehensive immigration reform, in part to highlight that Presidenthasn't been able to advance the issue, despite making a 2008 campaign promise to do so.
"I absolutely advocate for comprehensive immigration reform," Martinez said.
Martinez’ support of comprehensive immigration reform and her position regarding Arizona style laws like SB1070 put her in good standing with the Latino population, even though she does not support Dream Act which she believes should be part of larger more inclusive reform.
She is fiscally conservative favoring cuts in government spending and balancing the budget without raising taxes. Her appeal to moderates and Latinos is obvious based on social issues, except abortion, and her strength is definitely the Latino vote. Her match-up would be against someone like Rice who has the most experience of prominent female Republicans at the national level and foreign policy, but Martinez definitely has voter appeal for moderates and Independents, which Romney needs in order to capture the blue states.
For the Republicans to compete now and in the future, they need to start appealing to women, Latinos, and the Western states. The Grand Ole’ Party needs to become less of an Eastern elite Mitt Romney party and more of a working class Susana Martinez party.
The next articles will be on Meg Whitman and Condoleezza Rice
Previous articles on possible female running mates for Mitt Romney:
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