Miami (CNN) – Mitt Romney renewed his outreach to Latino voters Wednesday in a wide-ranging and, at times, pointed Q&A session, declaring he would be president for “the 100%” as he sought to regain his footing in the race to the White House.
The Republican presidential hopeful began his week with a speech to Hispanic business leaders, but a spate of secretly-filmed clips of Romney were released in the hours that followed and quickly overshadowed his remarks
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One snippet of video from a May fund-raiser showed Romney joking about how being Latino might have aided him in his bid.
Romney repeated that joke Wednesday in a Univision forum, where the hosts also pressed him on immigration policy and his support for “self-deportation” during the primaries.
Telling hosts Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas he had “demonstrated my capacity to help the 100%” – a clear reference to another fund-raiser snippet in which Romney said 47% of voters were unlikely to support him – Romney promised to tackle the issue of illegal immigration. He said he was not in favor of “a mass deportation effort rounding up 12 million people and kicking them out of the country.”
“I believe people make their own choices as to whether they want to go home and that's what I mean by self-deportation,” Romney said to cheers from a largely supportive audience. “People decide if they want to go back to the country of their origin and get in line legally to be able to come to this country.”
As he did in his Monday address to Hispanic leaders, Romney took aim at President Barack Obama for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform during his first term. Romney did not lay out his own policy proposal, but mentioned a plan by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and said Democrats and Republicans would need to work together to come to a solution.
The event was peppered with references to Romney’s stance on issues during the bitterly-fought Republican contests, when some political analysts warned he could alienate the growing Hispanic demographic by being drawn to the right on immigration issues.
And when one audience questioner asked Romney about Obama’s health care plan, he vowed to repeal it but acknowledged his history on the issue was complicated.
“I have experience in health care reform. Now and then the president says I’m the grandfather of Obamacare. I don’t think he meant that as a compliment, but I’ll take it,” Romney said, adding, “during my primary, we thought it might not be helpful.”
The former Massachusetts governor also was questioned about his support for same-sex relationships and how he would react if he discovered one of his sons were gay.
“Well, my kids are all married, so I’d be surprised,” he said, to laughter from the audience. “But I have grandchildren. And I love my children and I love my grandchildren, and I, of course, would want them to be happy.”
He reiterated his view of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but asserted: “individuals should be able to pursue a relationship of love and respect and raise a family as they would choose.”
Romney did receive immediate criticism online during the forum, however, for once referring to people in the country illegally as “illegal aliens.”
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Business man...yes, President of the United States...just can't see it.
I don't think he really understands the needs of those that aren't him. That would make it harder to help those that are not as well off as he is.
Sorry, but do not trust Romney as he continues to flip-flop in this article.
Romney opposes comprehensive reform and would veto the DREAM Act. Pres. Obama supports both.
Romney would unfortunately be president for 100% of the 1%. Pres. Obama supports all Americans.
Like I said on the LAST TICKER that is saying the same thing – PAH-LEEEEEEZZZZZZEEEE!!! Give it up RobMe with you sidekick boy Lyan!!!
Obama/Biden 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!
Romney is Mormon. Have you ever heard of "Lying for the Lord" (Mormon doctrine)? That means he can lie to any non-Morman. How can anyone believe in this man or in the Romney-Ryan Team? There is no way his policies are for 100% of all Americans. Stand your ground... Things are getting better with Obama.
Promises promises promises. Day late dollar short.
If you don't need help, Romney promises to help you. If you need help, Romney will help you help yourself by telling you in advance that no help is coming from him. If you are retired or lost your job last year, so that you didn't pay income tax this year, you are an Obama supporter and it is not Romney's job to worry about you.
I think everyones' minds are made up. If the election were held tomorrow Obama would win.
That's right mainstream america, keep holding this big fat phony Romney up because when it all hit the fan, it will splatter on you too. He is by far the weakest candidate to date in history. He has no business being president of these United States of America. You know this to be true and yet you still push him forward. (?)
Mittens is only saying this because he got caught telling his donors what he really thinks. He is so phony and such a flip-flopper ... and apparently his thinks Americans are morons!
Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice
Mitt again playing to the audience in front of him. His compass spins to the current wind, and damn the contradictions!
Doubt if Romney would recognize most of the 100% - his track record so far does NOT substantiate his statement.
Mitt, please stick with one side per issue... Jumping back and forth will hurt you in the long run.
Romney is desperate. I would all most feel sorry for him if I didn't despise him. I enjoy watching him self destruct.
Yep, 100%.....of the white, male, rich, straight (?) Republicans.
I`ll bet if you ask Romney in a debate, "Do you expect to have an employer/ employee relationship with the voters; one where you accept that they are THE BOSS", you`d get a revaling answer.
You see, Mitt thinks he is smarter, better, more moral, prettier, etc. than every one else. He thinks that he will be doing us a favor by being President. You see that in his dismissive manner on that videotape. You see that in his refusal to provide the public with 10 years of federal & state income tax records along with details on his secretive, OFF-SHORE bank accounts in Switzerland & the Cayman Islands. He is the ultimate snob. We don`t need a king, we need a worker.
Sure, sure. Do these latinos know what you said about them? The crowd was tiny. Latinos are against you 70% to 40% or something close to that?
So NOW, because you were in Florida, you accept responsiblity for romney care. That's okay. We know that today you will distance yourself once again from it.
You have no morals do you?
Yeah he will help 100% the 1% top billionaires
USA needs to believe-ha, ha, ha, don't believe what I said to top 1%.
What else can you say publicly after what you said privately? dont explained to try to explain now. This was said back in May of this year not 15 yrs ago! much of what he said is true but unfortunately for him they are on his side. im part of the 53% that pays taxes and he has a snowsballs chance in gettin my vote! OBAMA 2012