Fox's Juan Williams touts Labrador as 'a Latino powerhouse' and Idaho's 'most popular politician'

Williams, whose January debate tussle with Newt Gingrich was the highlight of Gingrich's presidential campaign, conducted a 16-minute interview with freshman GOP Rep. Raul Labrador on Fox News Latino.

In a post-interview commentary Williams touts Labrador's "emerging national media profile" and says his safe 1st District seat will make him a player "for many years to come."

Williams said Labrador can play a key role in improving GOP prospects with Latino voters by pressing for immigration reform, an issue that has so far damaged likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

"Keep your eye on Rep. Labrador," wrote Williams on Wednesday, after the Tuesday interview. "He is one of the few Hispanic Republicans with the conservative credentials and the political awareness to effectively convey this new message of inclusion towards immigrants."

Williams also says Labrador's membership in the Mormon church uniquely positions him to boost his influence. The interview focused on Hispanic politics, immigration and Romney's Mormonism.

Labrador reprised a signature moment in his 2010 upset primary victory over establishment favorite Vaughn Ward, when he corrected Ward's mistaken idea that Labrador's native Puerto Rico was a foreign country, not part of the United States.

"The bottom line and what really matters is that the people of Idaho rejected that message," Labrador told Williams.

Labrador said he expects the media to "cast aspersions" on the LDS church on behalf of President Obama. "They're going to do the president's bidding," Labrador said, saying of Obama, "He's just going to let other people do that."

Jobs and the economy are the top issue for Hispanic voters, Labrador said, not immigration as Williams asserted.

"But I do agree with you that immigration is an important issue," Labrador said. "And the thing that I would tell Romney, as I would tell anybody, is that we need to start talking about being a party of inclusion. We need to start talking about how we’re the party for legal immigration, that we actually want to reform the system so people can actually come to the United States in a legal, safe way. That's what all of us want."

Williams also asked Labrador to discuss the distrust some evangelical voters have for Mormons:

"You know, I think every American is reluctant to vote for somebody who’s different than they are, whether it’s Mormon or whether something else. And I think what you have to do as a Republican, as a politician, is to convince the people that even though you're different than they are, that you still believe in the same things that they believe in. And I think everyone needs to do that. And sometimes I kind of get upset at some of my own friends who are members of the LDS faith who, who think that the only reason people are not in love with Romney is because he’s Mormon. That’s not true. He needs to enchant them just like everybody needs to enchant everybody else. I’ll give you myself an example. My state has a very large LDS population, but I'm the first LDS Congressman from my Congressional district. So, imagine -- I was LDS and I was Hispanic."

You can follow Idaho Statesman Politics on Twitter.

1336060830 Fox's Juan Williams touts Labrador as 'a Latino powerhouse' and Idaho's 'most popular politician' Idaho Statesman Copyright 2014 Idaho Statesman . All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


I’ll give you myself an example. My state has a very large LDS population, but I'm the first LDS Congressman from my Congressional district. So, imagine -- I was LDS and I was Hispanic."

Not exactly a great example.

Eastern Idaho is much more LDS than the Congressman's 1st District- 2nd Dist is much different than 1st Dist. And Puerto Rican is different than Mexican.

Labrador didn't win as much as Ward lost it.

Let's see a Mexican LDS politician win!

And let's see how Obama handles the religion issue in this election.


it is actually a great example. The LDS population is high in the western part of Idaho and they have not sent an LDS congressman to DC. The congressman's larger point was that the voters are skeptical of all candidates. That's why there have been 4 different congressmen in 6 or so years in the 1st district-- including reps from both parties.

As far as "let's see how Obama handles religion in the election"..... he will have his arm do the work-- NBC. But I say bring it on. Muslim vs Mormon. Let's talk about it.

it's medicinal, man

The LDS population is "high" in the western part of Idaho?

Idaho- not Ada County.

Muslim? Is this your first day out from under a rock?

Out of touch

Atom, you've been brain washed. That cult population is not high in western Idaho and that is just exactly why they have not sent a congressman to DC. They are visibile but they are not dominate.

What the

Lab is NOT the most popular Idaho politican. That guy does not know Idaho nor its citizens. What a ignorant comment.

Totally agree, Simpson and

Totally agree, Simpson and Crapo are much more popular, they actually have a reasonable thought once in awhile, unlike Raul.

Maybe Crapo

But Simpson? At one time maybe. But his popularity is reeling in eastern Idaho. Maybe in Ada where I think the Democrat population is more concentrated he gets a lot of support but he barely got over 50% in the last primary and he didn't even get to 50% in many eastern Idaho counties.


Simpson won 58.3% in a four way race. That's a bit over "barely 50%". There were three running from Eastern Idaho- the fourth was from Boise. There were bound to be splits in the vote. Bottom line- Mike Simpson got more votes than the other three combined.

Latino Powerhouse...ok. Most popular in Idaho?

Are you kidding? Maybe Mr. Williams should check his facts.

tell us the facts.

Maybe Mr. Williams has seen the facts?

Fair about..."I'd like to see what he bases that

statement on."


hopefully someone runs a poll now. That would be fun to see the results of....

Phil Batt
Cecil Andrus
Dirk Kempthorne
Mike Crapo
Steve Symms
Raul Labrador

Isn't that Latino Powerhouse Ricky Martin?

Gotta gotta gotta La Vida Raul


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?


We will see how the numbers come out on May 15th and in November.

LDS religion let's him "boost his influence"?

How so? Because he will constantly be interviewed by the media on that subject of Romney's beliefs? I'm not quite clear on that what Williams is suggesting. If Romney doesn't win, is Labrador's religion still considered a boost?

I'm still waiting

for a detailed republican plan to fix the economy. Seems to me the economy is slowly, but surely rebounding--despite the opposition of the party of "NO". Agree that Ward lost it--and note that Labrador ran his campaign against Nancy Pelosi. Ah to have the moderate, sensible businesman Walt Minnick back in the seat. But alas, with so many right wingnuts in the frist district, that ain't gonna happen.

By the way Simpson and Crapo are much better than Labrador. They actually try to produce good legislation. What has Labrador done, except appear on Meet the Press as a Tea Party surrogate?

Your Comparisons

You're obviously liberal-minded and I can see why you like Simpson and Minnick (not so much Crapo). What you call a wing-nut is simply from your perspective. People who fought slavery were considered wing-nuts at one time and I'm sure the KKK still considers them wing-nuts. Usually the word wing-nut is simply someones degrading term for someone they disagree with but can't come up with a reasonable argument as to why.

Wondering where the Republicans are...

and I'm wondering where the Republicans are...

ooooh I'm wondering where the Republicans are

And I'm wondering where the Republicans are

Yeah I'm wondering where the Republicans are

Ahh ahh ahh ah

(Yes, a Canadian is being used in a spoof but I cannot spell his Christian name as the server finds it non-Christian)


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

Buffett did a decent cover

Buffett did a decent cover of Rooster-charred's song

As long as there was no gecko on drums ;-)


"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?