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Can Whitman draw Latinos to the GOP?

August 5, 2010 |  8:07 am


TalkBackLAContinuing her aggressive courtship of Latino voters, GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman opened a campaign office in East Los Angeles and announced new Spanish-language advertisements aimed at this vital voter group. But her words were interrupted by a raucous crowd of protesters outside.

"There has not been a Republican candidate for governor that has had an office in East L.A. for 30 years. So we are going to fight for every vote," she said as protesters picketed, chanted and banged drums outside the strip-mall venue.

After the event, Whitman headed to the conservative "John and Ken" show on KFI-AM (640). The hosts for weeks have been hammering the candidate for pivoting on illegal immigration.

The interview was combative and tense. Whitman danced around many of their questions, such as why geography and size make Arizona's crackdown on illegal immigration unworkable in California, or why she is running ads about Latino children but not those of other ethnicities.

Read Times political writer Seema Mehta's full story about Whitman's Latino strategy here. Can the strategy -- and Whitman's balancing act -- work? Share your views below.

Photo: Meg Whitman greets Jose Arevalo and other supporters at the opening of her East Los Angeles office. The Republican gubernatorial candidate is aggressively courting the important Latino vote. Credit: Katie Falkenberg / For The Times