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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Yeah, right. He's now for 100%, only after he was caught dismissing 47%, including students, seniors, veterans, disabled and the poor. What a pathetic liar!
So is this another flip-flop from the etcha-sketch?
Obama/ Biden 2012's strategy is to divide and conquer. Romney/ Ryan 2012's strategy is to bring Americans together and win. We know how that turns out every time. Romney/ Ryan 2012!
It used to be the top percent and the bottom percent. Then came the 1 percent and the 99 percent. Then the Governor brouoght up the 47% but has came out today to say he was for the 100 percent.
Pretty confusing stuff, glad I am just... uhhh.... what percent am I?.
"I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there." —Mitt Romney
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. ... My job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." -Mitt Romney, in leaked comments from a fundraiser in May 2012
Believe in America ? (Apperently NOT in 47% Americans)
Does Mr. Romney promise to help the 100% of the 1%?
Romney thinks America is full of 5 year olds who have no idea what to believe. Its a real shame that this is the best candidate the republican party can come up with.
Romney IS the candidate that can help the 100%. He can help stop the progressive agenda of Collectivism which is a form of Communism which is what our troops have fought against for decades. If we bow to Communism we ALL lose.
Lying to the American People has been taken to an all time low... Mittens you insulted not only one race but all the Americans thta have made this country great. no matter what the income level these same Americans you insulted and dont even have the dignity to apologize to them for your pandering for donations, your disgusting. and it only goes to prove that you are not a president of a nation of great people. and it makes me wonder how long it will be before the republicans in congress figure out that you mittens are their death blow. Obama the President of all Americans
Got it! So now I'll just forget what you actually said when you thought you were alone with the fat-cats? Independent voters aren't your base of under-educated in-breeders. We listen to your words and make our own conclusions. Romney is finished.
Old Romney is now finished. He should go home and shut up.
The GOP can now start planning the housecleaning after the upcoming lost election. Total humiliation.
Rmoney said undeniably that it wasn't his job to worry about 47% of the people of this nation, now he's saying that as President be there for the full 100%. Was he lying in May is he lying now?
Bashes you in private. Loves you in public. Such a great character on this guy.
Too late! You have been exposed!
Poor Mitt - he keeps pressing his reset button, but the electorate is no longer being deceived by his feeble attempts to spin his message.
Instead, Romney's campaign has degenerated into a nursery rhyme:
"All the King's horses and all the King's men can't put Mitt's credibility back together again."
Bottom line: when spin-doctoring and damage control are daily requirements when you're on the campaign trail - demonstrating a lack of preparation and self-discipline, this doesn't speak well for your ability to serve as Commander in Chief and Head of State.
You have got to be kidding me. I can't believe he is actually saying this. I guess Gov. Romney had to follow President Obama's stance a President for all Americans on David Letterman last night. Gov. Romney is worrisome.
Romney the tax cheat and lyin Ryan should just hang themselves,you lost my vote ,my vote is for Obama . Early vote ,romney go home ,any vote for romney is a wasted vote for a three time loser, let's make it four !!!!!
I think Mitt is the most dishonest candidate in the history of Presidential politics. What we heard in the videos from the fundraiser is how he really feels. I have come to the conclusion that Mitt Romney is not a particularly intelligent man. It becomes more obvious each day that had he not been born to a wealthy father he would have not gone too far in life. He cannot take a stand on anything, cannot display common courtesies to others, and certainly does not have what it takes to be Commander and Chief. Now he wants to be the President to 100% of the people. I'm sure he didn't come up with that concept all by himself. Mitt Romney is a phony elitest and a pathetic human being.
Dear Willard Romney,
We, The American People do NOT believe you. You might help the 100percent, but only after you and your 1percent buddies have gotten all you can out of it.
Romney's idea of helping 100% of Latinos is to deport them. He has stated this from the start of his campaign.
Too late, Mittens! we've already heard what you really think and feel about half the people in this country. any poor or working-class voter who falls for this guy's line is a complete sucker. we've seen firsthand how repug policies have hurt the middle-class for a decade or more. how much longer are we going to let them do it? if a foreign country had done as much damage to our country as the repugs have in the past 12 years, it would be a smoldering pile of rubble because we would've nuked them back to the stone age!
Does that mean he was lying when he told those folks in Florida that, "I'll never convince them (47%0 to take personal responsibility and care for thier lives"? I tend to think Mr. Romney will tell you the truth when you pay him $50K for lunch.
And he has once again flip flopped. This clowns like a fish out of water. What a joke he is. Obama 2012