For Kris Kobach’s money, it’s Donald Trump for president

If you wagered money that Kris Kobach would endorse Donald Trump, don’t spend all your winnings in one place.

The Kansas Secretary of State endorsed Trump on Monday, just ahead of the Kansas caucuses. 

It’s easy to see why. Trump thinks immigrants coming from Mexico into the United States are “rapists” and “criminals” (although he concedes some might be good people). Kobach is smarter than to speak in such brash terms, but he shares Trump’s sentiment about undocumented immigrants. It’s one of two issues that’s defined Kobach’s time in office (the other being voter identification).

In his endorsement, Kobach lauds Trump’s idea that the United States should build a massive wall on its southern border to keep immigrants out — and then send Mexico the bill.

It’s amazing that a Republican Party obsessed with recapturing the White House doesn’t take a more sensible approach toward immigrants. Beyond the fact that the some of the immigration policies espoused by the latest crop of presidential aspirants aren’t particularly humane, it shouldn’t take a well-paid political consultant to figure out that candidates should court Latino voters rather than craft policies that repel them.

George W. Bush won 40 percent of the Latino vote in 2004, helping give him an edge over John Kerry. Bush spoke to more sympathetic measures for dealing with undocumented workers, including the temporary-guest-worker program.

Since then, GOP candidates have taken more aggressive positions on immigration, and the party’s share of the Latino vote has dropped. John McCain captured 31 percent of the Latino vote in 2008, and Mitt Romney dropped further with 27 percent.

It’s saying quite a bit when this latest bunch of GOP candidates make Bush look like a statesman in retrospect.

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