Republicans Tone It Down for Hispanics

Candidates temper immigration talk, praise family values
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2007 5:47 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, left, shakes hands with fellow Republican presidential hopeful, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, following the Univision...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – GOP presidential hopefuls walked a delicate line at yesterday's bilingual debate in Miami, toning down their tough immigration rhetoric enough to court a Hispanic audience but not so much as to alienate their primary base. Weathering pointed questions, most candidates focused on praising legal immigrants, Hispanic family values and the US military, the Boston Globe reports.

Rudy Giuliani said he wants to "close the back door" of illegal immigration to "preserve the front door" of legal immigration, a sentiment Mitt Romney echoed. Most candidates sidestepped questions about what to do with the 12 million undocumented workers already in the US. Republicans hope the debate will help stem the exodus of Latino voters from their party.