1) You know Jeb Bush well and he has said he’ll decide this year if he’ll run for president in 2016. What’s going to happen in the next few months that will help him make up his mind?
Navarro: Jeb is a very disciplined person. He has set a timeline for himself and I think he’s going to adhere to it, even for his own internal decision-making process. What’s going to happen later in the year that is not happening now is that he is going to sit down and weigh it, think about it, deliberate it and discuss it with his family.
2) Speaking of 2016, is Hillary Clinton unstoppable if she decides to pursue the Democratic nomination? Who could realistically present a challenge?
Navarro: I suspect Hillary is unstoppable because she will be unchallenged in a Democratic primary. It’s hard to imagine a serious contender wanting to go against her machinery and financial operation and challenging the person that could be the first woman nominee. I don’t think that necessarily helps her. The Republican primary will be sucking all the air out of the room, and Hillary is politically rusty. It will have been 8 years since she has stumped, asked for votes, participated in political debates. I think in some ways, she’d benefit from a primary fight, like a dress rehearsal for the general.
3) How would you grade the GOP’s efforts to reach out to Hispanic Americans since 2012?
Navarro: Better but still not great. The RNC gets an A for effort. They have begun to lay down a foundation, devote resources, hire staff for what needs to be a sustained, long-term effort. Paul Ryan, Rand Paul and others in Congress have been leading the way. The Republican brand is in a deep hole with Hispanics. This did not happen in a year and it’s not going to be solved in a year. There’s a lot of work to be done.
4) Comprehensive immigration reform. Does it have any chance to pass in the House this year?
Navarro: It has less of a chance to pass than it did several months ago. The legislative calendar is getting shorter by the day and there is a narrow window of time to get it done. It’s frustrating. I think GOP leadership in the House would like to see immigration reform done, but have not found a way or right time.
5) Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced this week she would be stepping down. What do you make of her decision and does Obamacare help or hurt Democrats in this year’s midterm elections?
Navarro: It was time for her to go. It’s the best thing that could happen to President Obama and Obamacare. She had become a symbol, the embodiment for all the things that have gone wrong with Obamacare, particularly the disastrous roll-out. She was carrying a lot of very heavy, negative baggage. Her relationship with Congress was in tatters. Whether Obamacare will hurt or help Democrats is yet to be seen. There’s a lot yet to be learned about the enrollment numbers. But the way a lot of red state Democrats are running away from Obamacare and the president tells us they think it will hurt them. I don’t think though, Republicans should base their campaigns solely on that one issue.
6) Speaker John Boehner said that race has had nothing to do with the way President Obama and Eric Holder have been treated by Republicans. Do you completely agree?
Navarro: Are there still some consciously and subconsciously racist people in America? Yes. But it is inappropriate to conclude that criticism of President Obama or Eric Holder is based on their race. Was the criticism of Sebelius because she is white as snow from head to toe? How about the criticism of Lois Lerner? Most of the criticism is legitimate and based on job performance. It’s simplistic and counterproductive to dismiss it as racism.
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