Democratic Hispanic Caucus Chair Has to Use Joe Kennedy for Ads in Spanish

Kennedy praises his 'amiga' Michelle Lujan Grisham in new radio ad

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham / Getty Images

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Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Democratic chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, has enlisted Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy III to record campaign ads in Spanish.

Lujan Grisham, who is running for governor in New Mexico, has been criticized for not speaking Spanish while chairing the Hispanic caucus. Her campaign is spending $30,000 per week for its latest ad, where Kennedy, the redheaded grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, praises his "amiga" Michelle.

"In the radio ad, Congressman Kennedy talks about his family legacy of public service and how Congresswoman Lujan Grisham's work to investigate nursing home abuse, double the number of school-based health centers for children and families, and to lower drug overdoses through better treatment reflects that same dedication," Lujan Grisham's campaign said. "The radio advertisement will run on Spanish and bilingual radio stations across New Mexico."

The campaign has yet to cut a Spanish language ad with Kennedy to air on television.

Lujan Grisham touts she is a 12th-generation New Mexican on her campaign website. During her tenure as chair, the Hispanic caucus has denied admittance to Republicans but kept Democratic members accused of sexual misconduct with teenagers.

Last fall, the caucus denied membership to Rep. Carlos Curbelo, the son of Cuban immigrants, based on his Republican politics, including his support for tax cuts and repealing Obamacare.

Curbelo's office said he was met with "grotesque bigotry and discrimination being perpetrated by Ms. Lujan and some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus against a fellow Hispanic."

More recently, Lujan Grisham has not asked Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D., Calif.) to leave his position as the chairman of the Hispanic caucus political campaign committee since he was accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

A lawsuit alleges that the girl collapsed after being given a drink of water from Cárdenas on a golf course in 2007, and he fondled her breasts and vagina while driving to the hospital. Cárdenas has denied the allegation.

Lujan Grisham said she would wait and see before making a decision, because Cárdenas "appropriately asked us to withhold judgment until there is a full investigation of the facts."

Elizabeth Harrington   Email Elizabeth | Full Bio | RSS
Elizabeth Harrington is a senior writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Elizabeth graduated from Temple University in 2010. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, she worked as a staff writer for CNSNews.com. Her email address is elizabeth@freebeacon.com. Her Twitter handle is @LizWFB.

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