GOP Congressman Mike Coffman Keeps Up Latino Outreach–Long After Re-Election

Elizabeth Llorente, Fox News Latino, April 6, 2015

Congressman Mike Coffman has been studying Spanish for less than two years, but he launches into it with the seeming comfort and ability of a veteran speaker.

The Colorado Republican, who won re-election in 2014 in what was considered the most competitive House race in the country, drew some skepticism when he began taking Spanish and going to Latino neighborhoods and adopting a more moderate view of issues such as comprehensive immigration reform.

His district’s boundaries were redrawn in 2011, after the Census came out a year earlier, and suddenly the predominantly white, Republican area was ethnically diverse–including 20 percent Latino–and was winnable by a Democrat.

That made last year’s mid-term election, as Politico put it, “a proxy war for the national Democratic and Republican parties” in the battle for the growing Latino electorate.

Coffman, 60, does not deny that the need to reach out to Latinos, a community he concedes that he knew very little about, was non-negotiable if he was to remain in Congress.

But what began as a survival tactic, Coffman said, developed into a genuine interest and respect for Latinos and the Spanish language.

Where many politicians drop such outreach and nearly vanish from certain communities once an election is over, Coffman, who won re-election in 2012 and 2014, engages with Latinos and studies the language as if he were still campaigning.

“Es muy importante para la comunidad,” Coffman said in an interview with Fox News Latino where the questions were in English but he often responded in Spanish.

“It’s a sign of respect for the community,” he said, translating his response to why he dove into learning Spanish, a language he continues to study several times a week with his Colombian-born tutor. “It’s been exciting for me to reach out to Hispanics, Asians, African immigrants and learn.”


Coffman says he was taken aback by the chilly reaction he got at first by some Latinos and Asians to whom he made overtures.

“They said to me that Republicans were anti-immigrant,” he said, “that was the Republican Party’s image even among legal immigrants. That surprised me as I was campaigning.”

Coffman and Romanoff made national headlines with their decision to hold an all-Spanish televised debate, a rarity in the country. Univision promoted it weeks ahead of time, something that Coffman says made him more known to Latinos in his district.


The Republican National Committee is holding Coffman up as a model for the kind of engagement Republicans must employ if they are to turn around their image among Latinos.

“At the RNC we’re leading by example, while shining a spotlight on leaders who go the extra mile,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told a large audience at an annual U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce summit in Washington D.C. last month.

“Like Congressman Mike Coffman in Colorado. He was first elected to Colorado’s sixth district in 2008. When that district was redrawn after 2010, he found he had an even larger Spanish-speaking constituency,” Priebus said. “For Congressman Coffman, communicating with these constituents was important. He wanted to do his part. So he took intensive Spanish courses, and in the last election, he even participated in a Spanish language debate on Univision. And he’s still continuing his classes.”


He is working with colleagues such as Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a Florida Republican, on measures that would give some immigrants a chance to legalize their status if they meet strict criteria.

“We need to come up with a version of the DREAM Act that is acceptable to both parties,” he said.

“We need a system where people can go back and forth, bring them out of the shadows, let them work here,” he said. “We need to get something done on immigration reform, something that is aligned with our economic needs, and we need to be compassionate about keeping families together. It’s important going into 2016.”


Bob Martinez, a former Colorado Republican Party chairman who often pushed for his party to be open-minded on immigration, defended Coffman’s altered views.

“I think it’s good. I’m hoping a lot of Republican politicians realize how damaging to the party [the issue has] been,” Martinez said to Politico. “Mike Coffman has made a 180-degree evolution on this issue. . . . I think it’s fantastic.”

Had Coffman not changed, Martinez added, “I think it would have put him in jeopardy.”


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  • Luca

    “It’s been exciting for me to reach out to Hispanics, Asians, African immigrants and learn.”

    Use the right phrase, it’s not ‘reaching out”, it’s called ‘pandering,’ Mike.

    • SentryattheGate

      Hispandering! Who are these Hispandering politicians kidding! We keep pandering to them and pretty soon, ONLY Hispanics will be elected! I heard that for years now, some California politicians change their last name to a Latino one, knowing they have no chance of being elected w/o one!

    • Samuel Hathaway

      His Spanish grammar is pretty cheap to. The word “PARA” in his sentence should be “POR”. And answering a question in Spanish that was asked in English is downright embarrassing. He needs to be an ambassador or something in a Latin American country to chirp all the Spanish he wants to.

      • Earl P. Holt III

        How about Venezuela…?

      • Alden

        Many of the Hispanic immigrants speak very bad Spanish the Spanish version of Ebonics

  • Coffman replaced Tom Tancredo in CO-6.

    • LHathaway

      Ouch. Tancredo was the nations number one anti-immigration congressman.

  • Why would anyone who is sincere have a respect for a “community” that is filled with incest, child rape, drunkenness, drunk driving, hit and run drivers, illegitimacy, illiteracy, stupidity, petty criminals, drug use, loud salsa music, noisy leaf blowers, mamacitas poured into their jeans while standing in high platform shoes, Mexibabble, disease, including the plague, animal cruelty, and whatever else I’ve forgotten to include.

    This politician disrepects me and my community by pandering to these low IQ squat monsters. The heck with him.

    • Samuel Hathaway

      He’s bored and wants to put some zest and some OOMPH in his otherwise dull life pouring over and dealing with real legislation. It’s kind of like spring breakers going to Panama City Beach, FL, partying it up and then finding out they have STDs that perhaps will last a lifetime.

    • ElComadreja

      They have a hell of a lot in common with blacks don’t they?

  • Chip Carver

    Makes you wonder what kind of bribery – or threats – go on behind the scenes.

  • LHathaway

    Keep families together in their country of origin.

  • superlloyd

    Another GOP traitor gone native. Following Je Bush’s lead. He will fall between a rock and a hard place.

    • Lexonaut

      “Another GOP traitor gone native.”


      For some reason I’m reminded of the following musician joke, which I will here shorten to keep down the torture level …

      A white man goes on safari in darkest Africa. He is taken prisoner by natives, who, as part of the preparation for cooking and eating him, proceed to play jungle drums non-stop for several minutes … hours … days … weeks.

      The white man eventually breaks. “Make the drums stop” he cries out. “Make the drums stop.”

      A native replies “Bwana, trust me, you no want drums to stop … because after drums comes bass solo.”

      I can tell that one because I used to play bass.

      • ElComadreja

        Good one. I first heard it years ago. Do you know what they call people that like to hang out with musicians? Drummers.

        • Lexonaut

          That’s great! I’ll mention it to a record producer friend of mine.

          I read an interview with Ringo Starr about 25 years ago. He mentioned an incident in which he was invited to sit in on stage with thus-and-such group. “I couldn’t possibly” he replied. “Those are real musicians up there.”

        • Lexonaut

          I want to add this …

          In the late 50s and early 60s I played semi-pro rhythm guitar in NYC, and a little lead. i was the best I knew, and the best any of my friends knew, but I wasn’t as good as the session guys I was hearing on the radio.

          The father of my high school friend Jimmy Hernandez was maitre d’ at New York’s premier jazz supper club. Jimmy played sax and he was very good (just as Bill Clinton is very good). One Friday morning Jimmy said to me “Hey Mike, I’m going to be sitting in after hours with Modern Jazz Quartet tonight. Come join us, and bring your guitar.”

          I explained to Jimmy that I really couldn’t, and that while I only wanted to play with musicians who were better than me, those guys were so far ahead of me that it would be embarrassing for everyone.

  • how about this

    “Es muy importante para la comunidad,” Coffman said in an interview with Fox News Latino where the questions were in English but he often responded in Spanish.

    “It’s a sign of respect for the community,” he said, translating his response to why he dove into learning Spanish…”

    Alright, first of all, I am not a cunning linguist but I am quite sure “es muy importante” does not translate to “it’s a sign of respect.”

    Also this phrase “anti-immigrant” is really childish. Let’s say I am Greek. If I show up to someone’s house uninvited and ask for their wallet and their wife and they say no, does that make them anti-Greek? If I ask a girl out and she says no, does that make her a feminist?

    • Alexandra1973

      When I took Spanish, from 7th grade on up, it was voluntary.

      On the plus side, now I can tell them to pack up and go home!

      • Samuel Hathaway

        Hagan las maletas y vuelvan a su patria….. ja! ja! ja! ja!!!

      • Alden

        You probably speak better Spanish than most of the immigrants Plus you can read it which most of them can’t.

    • bilderbuster

      It’s a sign of disrespect to White Americans.

      • Xerxes22

        It’s like when they put Spanish language ads on a English language station. It’s offensive, a sign of disrespect and it turns people off from buying their products.

      • newscomments70

        That is completely irrelevant to them. It’s all about numbers and profits. Their business plan is to coddle hispanics and throw whites under the bus. Even liberals know that this plan is ludicrous. No hispanic would ever vote for a white, conservative male. The only excpetion to this rule would be a one time vote to ensure amnesty, as they did with George Bush.

      • nordicman

        When Hispanics or their bleeding heart white counterparts speak to me in Spanish, I respond with words in German or Italian or Swedish or Russian. just to show them how absurd it is.

        • bilderbuster

          There are tourists from everywhere where I live but I can usually tell them apart from the invaders. When an invader asks something my response is “Me no peekee pannee” as in “Me no speak Spanish”.

    • Lexonaut

      ” … I am not a cunning linguist …”


      Maybe not but you’re a pretty fair punster. If a certain Jim Goad were here he might ask you if you are a vagitarian.

  • Guest

    Keeping true to the fact that they can’t only do what liberals do 10 years later republicans are now also abandoning whites

    • Alden

      Eisenhower and Nixon did as much damage to Whites
      Look at their record
      Appointing Warren and other liberals to the Supreme Court sending the army to Central high in Little Rock ordering the state department to hire blacks as diplomats and send them overseas back in 1957 creating the Hispanic race by executive order in 1970 turning the mission of the EEOC from “don’t discriminate against qualified blacks” to no Whites need apply appointing a hard left anti White as first head of the EEOC

      The republicans are as much our enemy as democrats
      I know southern republicans are still pro White but in most of the country they are detrimental to Whites

      • The big singular exception in Eisenhower’s case: Operation Wetback.

        • Alden

          I know all about operation wetback but operation wetback lasted only about 15 years And they were swarming into the southwest 10 years later

          Remember it was during the Eisenhower administration that Puerto Ricans as bad as Mexicans invaded the north east cities

          Here is the truth about operation wetback Eisenhower did it at the request of the Mexican government which made the request because of pressure by the Mexican farm industry

          So many Mexican farm workers were working in America mostly California

          There was a serious labor shortage in Mexico Crops were not planted and or rotted in the fields because the workers were in America

          California farmers were very displeased with operation wetback

          15 years later Nixon created the Hispanic race by executive order. And affirmative action followed soon after

          Section 8 was another Nixon creation

          • nordicman

            So our own white men in power back then screwed us over. These blacks, Mexicans, muslims, “finns” (code for the J people we can’t mention) and muslims would not be in our sight, in our nations, getting pandered to if it weren’t for weak, traitorous white men in power. I’m not mad at blacks or mestizos or muslims anymore. I’m mad at our own white men for tolerating their behavior.

        • nordicman

          Eisenhower also hated Germans and let them starve to death and rest in their own bodily fluids. Watch Rhine Meadows Eisenhower’s Death Camp.

  • bilderbuster

    Coffman huh?
    Looks like he did such a good job tricking the White voters that he was one of them that he now has the unmitigated Chutzpah to go to public with the Anti-White agenda because he is no longer totally dependent on the White vote.

  • stedman holder

    Just another idiot who will pay the price.

  • Hilis Hatki

    Whites will soon no longer matter to either side as a voting block. Hmmm, I wonder who the GOP will turn too.

  • Hammerheart

    And the contrasting lines between parties blurs once more.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    If keeping families was such an important objective, Latin American migrants should remain in their homelands. They should organize their collective energy to make reforms back home that improves their lives there. They seem to have boundless energy to march, demand and sign up with their ethnic cohorts here after the long, weary march from the South. That energy is best spent fixing up their own countries instead of telling us how to run ours.

    • Hammerheart

      Not to mention all the grief and destruction these immigrants bring to American families through increased crime rates wherever they settle Robberies, Rapes, Murders, Drunken hit and runs, drug dealing, theft, property offenses, incest, child molestation, you name it.. But I guess we’re just now all in the back of the bus.

      • Alden

        Just the raise in the cost of housing is serious damage
        It is a big factor in the decline in the White birth rate

    • Alden

      Amazing isn’t it At home they are the oppresses of the oppressed humble and submissive who don’t dare do anything to oppose the ruling classes

      But as soon as they get here they become social justice and ethnic replacement warriors

  • MBlanc46

    Too bad he doesn’t reach out to whites, whose ancestors built this country.

  • archer

    The hypocrisy of these people is incredible, on the one hand they cry about water shortages, overpopulation,climate change, budget deficits etc., and on the other they want to import many more millions of people almost exclusively from the third world to come here.
    Some think that California will have to lose much of it’s population because of water shortages, this country’s infrastructure will require trillions to update it, bi lingual education is hugely expensive and we still have many failing schools, and yet we still have these panderers laying down the welcome mat. What about this nations cultural identity, don’t we have a right to preserve it?
    Coffman, the name says it all.

    • Alden

      Scientists think California has had many 200 year periods of drought over the centuries

      The Spanish arrived during a rainy period and it has been reasonably rainy ever since

      But there was one horrible drought that lasted about 20 years after the civil war It wiped out the Mexicans in S California
      The Mexican economy was based in raising cattle to export the hides for leather
      The wells and small scale irrigation systems couldn’t cope
      Millions of cattle died and the Mexican ranchers lost everything

  • Earl P. Holt III

    This is why we won’t contribute to the RNC, and insist on making contributions ONLY to candidates who will not betray us when it becomes convenient to do so…

  • ElComadreja

    God forbid they should learn our language, adopt our customs and obey our laws as a “sign of respect” to us.

  • The Colorado Republican, who won re-election in 2014 in what was considered the most competitive House race in the country

    Not because of Hispanic voters, but because white voters got tired of his Hispandering.

    His district’s boundaries were redrawn in 2011, after the Census came out a year earlier, and suddenly the predominantly white, Republican area was ethnically diverse–including 20 percent Latino–and was winnable by a Democrat. That made last year’s mid-term election, as Politico put it, “a proxy war for the national Democratic and Republican parties” in the battle for the growing Latino electorate.


    Small print: Chicago voted yesterday in the runoff for Mayor, Jesus vs the Jew. Of course you know by know that Rahm won. But I looked at the ward by ward data. The white wards and the black wards went for Rahm and had a relatively high turnout, while the Hispanic wards, closely corresponding with Luis Gutiérrez’s heavily Hispanic gerrymandered IL-4 Congressional district, did go for Garcia, but they had lower vote turnouts in relative terms. Furthermore, the higher the percentage the ward went for Garcia, the lower the total number of votes cast in the ward were.

    Moral of the story: You rely on or worry about the ZOMG GREAT HISPANIC VOTER TIDAL WAVE LOL~!!!!!1 at your own peril.

  • Alden

    Obviously the democrats in the state legislature drew the new district lines to get rid if him so he fought back and Hispanics himself
    So he preserved his career Good for him at least he is a White man in the legislature
    Until there is a viable pro White movement our motto should be save yourself if you can He did

  • Alden

    There is a musical about the New York Mayor Fiorelli del Guardia
    It makes the ethnic politics obvious as the Fiorello character sings All I have to do us endlessly repeat Up the Irish Republic and Trieste belongs to Italy
    Ethnic politics is nothing new