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Politics

Christie Hurt Rubio, But Couldn't Help Himself

SAN DIEGO -- The "Revenant"-style mauling that Marco Rubio endured from Chris Christie in the GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire was predictable and avoidable but also helpful.

Not to Rubio, of course. He took a hit. For weeks leading up to the primary in the Granite State, the Florida senator was considered by many analysts to be a ...Read more

Rubio is No Bubble Boy

SAN DIEGO -- I hate to burst Chris Christie's bubble, but he's wrong about Marco Rubio having a soft and cushy path to this point. The Florida senator has walked through one minefield after another since arriving in the national spotlight.

Last week, Christie attacked Rubio as "the boy in the bubble," insisting that the candidate who finished a...Read more

Iowa Exposes Trump's Brand Problem

SAN DIEGO -- How do you say "poetic justice" in Spanish?

You got me. The nativists who nest in both parties are wrong that Latinos aren't learning English. More often, by the third generation, we've lost Spanish.

This part needs no translation: Donald Trump, who launched his presidential bid nearly eight months ago with a Mexican-bashing ...Read more

The Hispanic Chamber's Improper Endorsement

SAN DIEGO -- Have you ever heard of a national organization endorsing someone for vice president? Let alone doing so before voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other early states cast a single ballot for the top job?

Me neither. We're in uncharted territory now that the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce -- which has, at ...Read more

Does Racial Diversity at the Oscars Really Matter?

SAN DIEGO -- #OscarsSoWhite. #TrueButSoWhat?

Now that our society has dealt with the trivial matters -- Latino kids being shortchanged by public schools, and African-American families being poisoned by drinking water in Michigan, and people of color having to contend with police violence, unemployment, mass incarceration, decaying ...Read more

The Supreme Court Joins the Immigration Circus

SAN DIEGO -- The immigration debate is a three-ring circus. So it's no surprise the third branch is getting into the act.

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments related to President Obama's executive actions concerning the selective enforcement of immigration laws. The justices will consider a request by the administration to lift lower...Read more

Trump Has a Particular Ire for Minority Commentators

SAN DIEGO -- Donald Trump often talks about how he wants to return America to what it used to be.

A big part of it is about taking the country back to a time when people of color knew their place, when they were seen but not heard, and when one could insult them with impunity.

Trump is never at a loss for words. And yet, while he goes around ...Read more

Ben Carson Caught Being Human

SAN DIEGO -- Do you know the difference between the "worst" student and the "dumbest"?

If so, you've got a leg up on the media, Democratic activists and other critics of Ben Carson. This self-righteous bunch recently pounced on the GOP presidential candidate for casual remarks he made to elementary school students in Iowa. Some on the left -- ...Read more

In Politics, the Shameless Succeed

SAN DIEGO -- The rhetorical standoff between Donald Trump and Bill and Hillary Clinton reveals what you really need to succeed in politics.

Not only can this one attribute help get you elected president. It could make it possible for you to be regarded as one of the great political savants of our time. Someday, folks might even call you a "...Read more

The Media Must Resolve To Do Better in 2016

SAN DIEGO -- The media are a mess. Their New Year's resolution should be to clean up their act.

This is hardly breaking news. I hear the indictment all the time. I might be giving a speech where I blast away at politicians. And, during the Q&A session, someone will often flip the script and lament what has become of my profession.

...Read more

Obama's Deportation Game

SAN DIEGO -- In a revealing exchange with Jerry Seinfeld in the comic's Web series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," President Obama -- who Seinfeld explains has fired off enough one-liners to appear on the show -- compares politics to football.

Sometimes you move the ball inches at a time, Obama says. Occasionally, you score points. You get...Read more

Clinton's Pandering Insults 'Abuelas'

SAN DIEGO -- If Hillary Clinton plans to mislead, malign and manipulate her way back into the White House, I'd appreciate it if she'd leave my grandmothers out of it.

For Latinos, our abuelas are sacred, and we'd rather not see them turned into political props. The Democratic front-runner and her campaign recently made a condescending ...Read more

Why is The Middle Ground So Hard to Find?

EDITORS -- Ruben Navarrette Jr. is taking a one-column vacation. His next column will move Tuesday, Dec. 29, for release Wednesday, Dec. 30. If you've previously requested a substitute column for Navarrette, you will receive the same one. To request a new replacement, send an email to writers.group@washpost.com or call 800.879.9794, ext. 1.

SAN...Read more

Cruz Talks Himself Into a Knot on Immigration

SAN DIEGO -- Ted Cruz used to be known for straight talk. But on immigration, all we hear from the Texas senator is doublespeak.

Gracias, Marco Rubio. It took the Florida senator to open up a national dialogue over whether Cruz -- despite his bluster against "amnesty" -- at one point actually supported legislation that would have given legal ...Read more

An Immigration Debate Driven by Fear

SAN DIEGO -- What in the world is happening along the U.S.-Mexico border? Have illegal immigrants stopped coming? Or are they still crossing -- and in record numbers?

Perhaps the answer depends on the country of origin. It could be that the number of employment-seeking Mexican immigrant men is on the wane, while the number of refugees from ...Read more

Dangerously Distracted by The Donald

SAN DIEGO -- As someone who has pummeled Donald Trump for what he said about Mexicans, I won't defend him over what he said about Muslims.

But I'm also not interested in piling on someone who sticks his neck out and suggests a way to deal with a crisis -- that radical Islamic terrorism has come to America. Political correctness distracts ...Read more

After San Bernardino, America Shrugs

SAN DIEGO -- After the terrorist attacks in Paris, I lamented that Americans were not a serious people even though these are -- all over the world -- very serious times.

You could almost give our countrymen the benefit of the doubt because the atrocity occurred so far away. A sentiment you heard often was that Americans ought to let the French ...Read more

Terrorism Too Close to Home

SAN DIEGO -- People move to California to escape the harsh winters. But this week, we learned that living here doesn't mean you escape the harsh reality of international terrorism.

In Southern California, Wednesday was just like any other day -- until it wasn't. At about 11:30 a.m., I was having lunch about a mile from my children's school when...Read more

An Unserious Sountry in Serious Times

SAN DIEGO -- Americans have short memories. For many, the recent terrorist attacks on Paris may have already slipped their minds as they focus on shopping, decorating and baking.

We interrupt this holiday season for an urgent message: These are serious times that call for serious leaders. But serious leaders are elected by serious people. And ...Read more

Congressional Hispanics' Hollow Advocacy

SAN DIEGO -- Hear ye, hear ye. Let it henceforth be known that the honorable members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus do not sanction the word "illegals." They prefer the term "undocumented."

For my part, I never use "illegals" as a noun, and I often use "undocumented." Not because it's politically correct, but, because in the context of ...Read more

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