A couple weeks ago, I reported that the chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus and Sharron Angle (R-NV) spokesperson, Tibi Ellis, criticized her own candidate’s immigration ads on Spanish-language radio. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Ellis told 1060 AM Spanish radio host Edwin Saldarriaga “I condemned this type of propaganda, no matter who is running them, where they blame Mexicans as the only problem and where they attack them as the only source of illegal immigration.”
Yesterday, Ellis told progressive radio host Mario Solis Marich that the Las Vegas Sun misrepresented her remarks. In an attempt to set the record straight, Ellis began to tepidly back away from her criticisms of Angle’s ads and defend the conservative movement:
HOST: Are you okay with Sharron Angle’s ads that have been condemned nationwide as anti-immigrant?
ELLIS: I am okay with Sharron Angle’s ads that condemn anti-illegal immigration, yes.
HOST: So you’re okay with those ads?
ELLIS: No no no! Your question is about the anti-illegal immigration ads, yes, because I am an anti-illegal immigration policy person. I am not okay with having only the face of a Mexican immigrant as the representation of illegal immigration because illegal immigration has many colors. […]
HOST: So you’re okay with Sharron Angle’s ads, we established that. Okay, so now we can move on. You’re set, okay? [Silence] […] Does the anti-immigrant movement in this country — is it based within the conservative movement?
ELLIS: I disagree with that.
Ellis may not be aware of the fact that Angle told a group of Latino students that they have been “misinterpreting” her commercials. “I’m not sure that those are Latinos in that commercial. What it is, is a fence and there are people coming across that fence. What we know is that our northern border is where the terrorists came through,” she said.
Ellis also accused Angle’s opponent, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) of “scapegoating” Latinos by using an image of a Latina to represent the undocumented students that Reid is trying to help via his support of the DREAM Act. Solis Marich explained to Ellis that there’s a difference between pandering and scapegoating and that while Reid may be guilty of pandering to Latinos, he can’t be accused of scapegoating them. In fact, the two words are logical opposites in politics.
When asked about the controversial ads telling Latinos not to vote which almost aired in Nevada, Ellis denied they had any connection to the conservative movement. Instead, she tried to argue that they were funded by the Latino Coalition, which she described as a bi-partisan organization. However, the Latino Coalition explicitly condemned the ads.
Curiously, Solis Marich opened the segment explaining that Ellis had agreed to go on his show to talk about politics, but changed her mind at the last minute and would not be appearing. Apparently, Ellis was under the impression that his show was in Spanish and shortly after finding out it was actually in English, she sent Solis Marich’s producer an email saying that it was her birthday and she no longer wanted to participate. Apparently, she had a change of heart and ended up calling in anyway. You can listen to the full interview here.
Reposted with permission from The Wonk Room