Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivered a rather aggressive speech in South Carolina the other day, and argued, among other things, that the Republican Party is "a more diverse party than the Democratic Party is." He didn't appear to be kidding.
Similarly, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was asked over the weekend if he's concerned at all about the nation's increasing diversity, given that his party is "still seen and still is in reality largely white and largely male."
Priebus was unmoved. "I think we've had great successes when it comes to the Hispanic communities across America," he said.
Priebus didn't appear to be kidding, either.
To bolster the claim, the RNC chair pointed to the fact that Florida, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico have elected prominent Latino officials. But to say elections of Marco Rubio, Susana Martinez, and Puerto Rican officials in Puerto Rico are proof of a GOP having "great successes when it comes to the Hispanic communities across America" is a real stretch. (Polls show Latino voters moving away from Republicans in droves.)
The GOP's demographic troubles are getting worse, not better.
The Republican presidential primary campaign so far hasn't produced a nominee, but it has had one clear outcome -- worsening the GOP's image among the young, the better-educated and the non-white.
That finding, from the Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday, could be a serious handicap for the party in elections this fall and in years to come, said Pew's director, Andrew Kohut.
"The Republicans really are the party of white people, and especially older white people," Kohut told reporters as the poll was released.
Ron Brownstein also had a recent report documenting just how extraordinarily white the Republican electorate has become.
GOP officials don't have to like it, but they should try to avoid arguing that theirs is "a more diverse party than the Democratic Party is."