Latino leaders take aim at Romney
Texas Congressmen Charlie Gonzalez and Silvestre Reyes
November 23rd, 2011
04:29 PM ET
11 years ago

Latino leaders take aim at Romney

(CNN) – Democratic Texas Congressmen Silvestre Reyes and Charlie Gonzalez decried GOP contender Mitt Romney's stance on immigration Wednesday.

In a conference call with reporters, Gonzalez charged the former Massachusetts governor who's seeking the 2012 GOP presidential nomination for the second time with trying to "out pander his competition."

"We have a saying. It's about our Texas weather," Gonzalez said. "If you don't like it, wait two hours and it'll change."

"That's where Gov. Romney's coming from," he continued.

And Gonzalez, who has served the 20th District of Texas for seven terms, had a warning for the Latino community.

"Latinos need to be aware…not only is [Romney's] immigration stance wrong for them, but it's wrong for all Americans…it is bad economics," he said.

"He positions himself as a business person who makes wise business decisions…in fact what he's espousing really sets us back as a nation."

Gonzalez described Romney as placing himself in a "camp that is deportation-only" and which believes "anything short of deportation is amnesty."

"We know that's not a workable solution, it's not practical…but more, it doesn't serve the interest of this country."

Rep. Silvestre Reyes, a former border patrol agent, said Romney's debate performance fell below his expectations. "I was saddened by Mitt Romney's comments last night in the debate where he chastised former House Speaker Newt Gingrich when he said this country should have a humane immigration policy," Reyes said. "It is very, very disappointing the perceived Republican leader in the primary would make those kinds of statements and would articulate a policy that is contradictory to what our country stands for."

And, comparing Romney's Mormon faith with discrimination Latinos may face, Reyes argued, "He's the one who's had to endure the attacks on his religion and for him to take this position is perplexing."

"Attacking immigration policy…I don't know where he's coming from, I don't know what his values are," the eight-term congressman continued.

"His religion was attacked as being more of a cult, or people referred to it as being cult-like. Being subject to intolerance about his own religion, to me, you would think he would take a more tolerant view of what Gingrich was trying to promote, and that was the humane immigration policy for this country."

Gonzalez and Reyes' criticism lined up with Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz who called Romney's views "disturbing" earlier Wednesday.

Firing back, Romney spokesman Andrea Saul said, "The last thing the White House wants is Mitt Romney as an opponent – which explains their obsessive focus on him and their 'all hands on deck' approach to their strategy of 'Kill Romney.'"

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    Romney, whom he followers tout as having integrity, is currently running an ad in Iowa that shows then-candidate Obama saying we shouldn't focus on the economy.

    What Romney doesn't say is that then-candidate Obama was quoting something his rival, John McCain had said.

    I'd say Romney has an "all hands on deck" strategy when it comes to lying to the American people.

    November 23, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Good gosh... Is Jon Huntsman the only Republican that doesn't just make stuff up? Ok Paul...

    November 23, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. tykl

    @ThinkAgain – let me walk you through this slowly. The quote of Obama quoting McCain is meant to be ironic in that Obama was mocking McCain but it turns out, Obama is doing that exact thing (i.e. just talking about the economy instead of doing anything).

    November 23, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. tim

    And American voters will take aim at politicians who trade our nations security, jobs and political future for future votes. Yes, if your ready to help put an end to the outrages of illegal immigration join us at

    November 23, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    I wish someone would ask the candidates in the next debate what is their stance on the "Papers Please" laws like what they currently have before the courts in the state of Utah. Yeah, Utah.

    November 23, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Indy

    Flip Flop N Lie panders to the moment, and I was somewhat surprised that Ron Paul is the only candidate that understands terrorists want us to spend as much money as possible and blow every budget possible defending the fear factor, and Republicans play right into the terrorist wishes by portraying fear into every American. The more Republicans spread fear into the country the more the terrorists get what they want, and that is going overboard on spending and acting like we are at war with every country in the world.

    November 23, 2011 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    It will be interesting to hear what Hanoi Hannity will say tonight on Fox lies and misinformation.

    November 23, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I just heard that the non partisan CBO reported that the Obama stimulus created 3.3 million jobs. With out the stimulus, the Bush republican economic disaster would have been worse.

    November 23, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans, Democrats, and Teavangelicals do not want Romney. It appears that Mittens only support comes from the turdblossom Rove and the Koch brats.

    November 23, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. chuck weidemann

    Romney's spokesman thinks democrats want to " Kill Romney"?? The only one talking about getting people killed is the chicken-hawk with his blow em up foreign policies and his fanning the flames of hatred for our neighbours to the south. Ask the small business owners in Alabama or Georgia how's that tough immigration law working for them and their economy. Ask them!!!

    November 23, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. reaper081087

    If Mittens promises to deport ALL 11 million illegals within hos first term, and he wins the general election (which I hope he doesn't), HE...WILL...FAIL!

    November 23, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Me in MN

    I wasn't able to catch this debate last night. Did Bachmann use the same song as on the Fallon show?

    November 23, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    tykl wrote

    @ThinkAgain – let me walk you through this slowly. The quote of Obama quoting McCain is meant to be ironic in that Obama was mocking McCain but it turns out, Obama is doing that exact thing
    Irony is not the message that is sent in the ad. You are rationalizing the same excuse that Camp Romney put out. Romney is practicing something that is one step beyond dirty politics. He's willfully deceiving the public.

    But, this is to be expected. Romney cannot run on his record on the issues, and he knows it. Negative ads and negative campaigning is all that Romney can do because he has a broken record. Romney has one positive campaign line, "I am a job creator."

    November 23, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. SecedingfromTexas

    @Wire Palladin S.F.:
    That's good news, but according to Newt the non-partisan CBO is a "reactionary socialist institution" – whatever that
    Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!!!

    November 23, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  15. SecedingfromTexas

    @Wire Palladin S.F.
    Newt says the non-partisan CBO is a "reactionary socialist institution", so guess he wouldn't accept their good
    news about the stimulus.

    November 23, 2011 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |