Univision Radio debuts Alfonso Aguilar talker


Aguilar, a former Bush administration official, is launching a conservative-themed Spanish-language show in 11 top Univision Radio markets. On 1/21, Aguilar began what will be a weekly, hourlong show by interviewing Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. An interview with Newt Gingrich airs the morning of 1/28, just four days before Florida’s primary. The show airs live and features newsmaker interviews as well as listener phone calls.

It’s the first national conservative talk show in Spanish and the idea is to reach Hispanics on a station that draws millions of listeners — but doesn’t often include a conservative perspective.

Aguilar is the first and former chief of the U.S. Office of Citizenship. Appointed by President George W. Bush, Aguilar was responsible for educating immigrants about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and for promoting their integration into American civic culture. He led the effort to develop the new naturalization test of the United States, which took effect on 10/1/08. He also served as chair of the Task Force on New Americans’ Technical Committee, an inter-agency federal task force created by President Bush, to enhance and coordinate government-wide immigrant integration initiatives.

“It will be like Rush Limbaugh but with a little Piolín flavor,” said Aguilar, referring to the godfather of conservative talk and the country’s dominant Latino broadcaster. “Right now, the problem that we have is Latinos have been voting for liberals because we haven’t showed up. It’s important for conservatives to reach Latinos directly.”

The funding for the program is being provided by a pair of young Republican entrepreneurs, Doug Rosenberg and John Middleton.

Aguilar said he wants to “challenge the conventional wisdom that if you’re a Latino you have to vote with the Democratic Party.” But the program will differ from the likes of Limbaugh in one important way: Aguilar is an ardent advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.

“We want to frame it in conservative terms,” he told Politico. “We’re a family values party so we’re against separating families. We’re a free-market party. So companies should be allowed to hire foreign workers if they can’t find American workers.”

Without a better share of the Hispanic vote this fall, Aguilar claims, Republicans can’t retake the White House.