Despite the increasing, oft-hilarious attempts of Republican candidates to convince the crucial Latino voter base that its interests are best served by the red party (including a fugly new outreach website), Latinos still swing Democrat more often than not.

Because name-dropping Sen. Mario Rubio (R-Florida) at every stop on the campaign trail thankfully isn't enough to drown out the redneck racism at the party's core.

So how did Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa manage to lose a weekend CNN debate on “Which party better suits Latino voters“?

Villaraigosa went up against Carlos Gutierrez, former Bush commerce secretary and staunch Mitt Romney backer. The mayor's DREAMy, age-old “pathway to citizenship” argument shriveled next to his opponent's spot-on critique of President Obama's failings:

“Immigration is being used as a political football,” says Gutierrez.

Right he is. Obama has admitted that his unprecedented border crackdown was in the interest of winning over Republicans on other liberal legislation — though it obviously got the Democrats (and Latinos) nowhere, in the end.

Villaraigosa, an Obama lapdog, insists that the president “has put forth proposals in support of the DREAM Act, in support of comprehensive immigration reform.”

But with a deadlocked U.S. Congress, Obama knows full well that those idealistic proposals had no hope of going anywhere. And his big promises of amnesty for noncriminal undocumented immigrants have proven equally spineless. Gutierrez:

“They put things in there, in [the DREAM Act], that make it impossible to pass, but they're using it for tactical voting reasons, and the people who are paying the price are the Hispanics who have their hopes up for the Democrats to come in and fix these problems.”

In defending Romney in particular, who's the least-Mexican Mexican since Eva Longoria, Gutierrez makes the somewhat BS claim that his presidential pick has taken a thoughtful look at immigration reform. Still, the approach is a novel and necessary one:

“We need to look first at our legal immigration system,” says Gutierrez.

Yet all Villaraigosa can muster in return are more vague ideals for a big-happy-family melting pot — not solutions that could ever hope to achieve bipartisan support. Thus proving, in first person, everything Gutierrez just said about the Democratic party's football politics. Looks like it's time to hire a new spokesman.

[@simone_electra / / @LAWeeklyNews]

LA Weekly