National Review Slams RNC Autopsy

In a tough editorial published online Tuesday, the conservative National Review took aim at the much-ballyhooed post-mortem of the 2012 campaign put forth by the Republican National Committee.

The editorial writers argued the RNC’s report, titled the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” failed to identify “the source of the GOP’s recent electoral woes” and didn’t offer a viable change of course. The editorial was particularly critical on specific policy proposals, namely the RNC’s approach to the issue of immigration reform.

Where the report does get into policy — most notably on the issue of immigration reform — its analysis is shallow and its recommendations opportunistic. Much is pinned on the empirically dubious claim that George W. Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004, and a nexus is drawn between this factoid and the former president’s conciliatory rhetoric on immigration. But nowhere does the document offer a substantive argument in favor of the kind of comprehensive immigration reform on offer in Washington, or even come close to demonstrating that support for such a program would accrue Republicans more votes than it lost them, considering that Hispanics are often ideologically liberal for reasons beyond immigration.