Dick Morris is working with Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus on a new television advertisement that will include Preibus seeking to attract Latino voters, Morris revealed during an appearance in New York City Thursday.
Speaking at the Poli Conference, a political consulting event for Latin American campaign professionals, Morris said the ad will feature Priebus reaching out to “those Latin Americans who've come to the United States to help us build our country, to help harvest our food, to help make our economy work and [Priebus'] message is 'welcome, we need you, you're making our country younger, more prosperous, harder working and we need you for the future.'”
According to Morris, the ad will make use of “that concept of reflecting back to people their own value and their own worth. In the advertisement he [Priebus] says, 'we honor our ancestors who took covered wagons to settle the west and brave the Indians, but you are the new pioneers, you are the new people in America doing that.' And I think that is a very, very interesting thing to do in a campaign.”
Republican Party Spokesman Ryan Mahoney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ad. Asked about when it might run or where, Morris declined to offer more details.
Morris' work with the Republican National Committee is noteworthy given the implosion of Morris' stature and credibility following the 2012 election and his now infamous prediction of a “landslide” victory for Republican Mitt Romney. After the election Morris was effectively banned from appearing on Fox News, where he worked as an on-air contributor until the network declined to renew his contract in early February. Morris also brings with him a host of ethics problems -- Morris' group Super PAC for America reportedly spent significant amounts of money renting Morris' own email list in the months before the election, allowing him to simply pocket money raised by the group.
In response to another question, from Media Matters, about the negative impact on Latino voters from conservative media who oppose immigration reform, Morris agreed it hurts the party.
“I think that many of them do and they do hurt, but I think that they are increasingly having to backtrack because they see the changes in their own constituency,” Morris said of conservative media voices. “So what they're saying now is, not 'I'm against immigration reform,' they're saying 'I'm for it. I just want a higher wall.' You know, at the border. And Latinos in the U.S. don't really care how high the wall is, they just want the people who are here not to be deported.”
He also noted that he sees a major Republican shift on the issue that is affecting the conservative media.
“There has been a total transformation in the Republican Party in the United States since the Obama re-election,” he said. “The Republicans, including me, were confident that Romney would win and then we did not win, we looked at the demographics of the electorate with new eyes.”
He said many Republicans wrongly assumed voter turnout among Latinos and other minorities would not be as high as it was.
“In the last three months, I've never seen a change in any political party in the United States as dramatic as the change in the Republican Party away from immigration toward immigration reform,” Morris said. “And even among the conservative right-wing base, they believe in immigration reform. I believe immigration reform is going to pass in the United States.”
Morris made the comments after an hour-long talk about political consulting and campaigns in foreign countries, during which he stressed the overriding importance of polling in elections: “You have got to make sure through your polling that the message is going to work.”
He also told the audience that negative campaigning may be on the way out: “It is working less and less because people have seen more and more of it. You have to be very careful in the way that you use it. There is always a dynamic in the election that negative advertising relates to.”