Romney faces skeptical Latino audience
June 21st, 2012
10:13 AM ET
10 years ago

Romney faces skeptical Latino audience

Orlando, Florida (CNN) - Mitt Romney will face a skeptical audience that is opposed to nearly all of his positions on illegal immigration when he addresses a conference of Latino leaders in Orlando on Thursday.

The unofficial GOP nominee is expected to lay out some of his positions on the hot button issue at the gathering of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a Romney campaign policy adviser said Wednesday.

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In a policy session at the conference just hours before Romney's scheduled speech, a labor organizer with the Service Employees International Union blasted Arizona's immigration law and other "copycat" laws across the country as legalizing "racial profiling." Romney has said he supports the Arizona law but does not see it as a model for the country.

Eliseo Medina, the Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU, warned more Latino leaders will settle their differences over immigration policies at the voting booth in the fall.

"There will be many more of us in 2014, 2016, 2020 and on into the future," Medina said.

Romney has come under growing pressure on the immigration issues ever since President Obama announced a White House policy change that halts the deportations of some undocumented youth.

"Romney has refused, in at least six different interviews, to say where he stands on the issue," Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith said in a statement.

The GOP contender has blamed the president for the lack of progress on immigration reform.

"He said, for instance, to the question of illegal immigration, that he was going to deal with immigration his first year he was going to focus on that," Romney said at an event in Davenport, Iowa on Monday. "Did he do anything on immigration when he had a Democratic House and Senate? No. This is a president who has said one thing and done another."

Romney took a hard line stance on immigration throughout the Republican primary season. He promised to veto the DREAM Act, legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants.

"The question is if I were elected and Congress were to pass the DREAM Act, would I veto it and the answer is yes," Romney said in Iowa last December.

In recent months, Romney has softened that view, indicating he might be open to a Republican version of the DREAM Act that was being drafted by rising GOP star, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Earlier this week, Rubio's office said the senator had shelved the proposal in response to the president's move on deportations.

While some Republican leaders are adamantly opposed to any effort to provide a path to legal status for the undocumented, other GOP lawmakers are looking to Romney for guidance.

"I think we're going to wait until we hear what Governor Romney has to say on this issue," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said earlier this week.

"There may be others behind me who want to address it. But my view, he is the leader of our party from now until November and we hope beyond," McConnell said.

Also see:

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Pro-Obama super PAC raises $4 million in May

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Latinos • Mitt Romney
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    The problem for the GOP is that fox media hasn't opened up a Spanish speaking fake news show to spread more of the GOP lies & deceptions.

    June 21, 2012 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Thomas

    What is Mitt planning to do to support the latino community?

    June 21, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I am sick and tired of hearing about Illegals. If you are here and you are illegal the last thing you want is Amnstey. Then you will want the prevailing wage and employers will no longer need your services as they then will have to pay higher taxes as well as wages keep you. It won't happen. Illegals are between a rock and a hard place. Probably not much better off here that back in their home country. And if Obama gets Re-Elected your plight won't improve. Sorry!

    June 21, 2012 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. once upon a horse

    perhaps Mitt should come out and tell Latinos how Obama has deported more of them than practically any US president....uh oh that won't work because that is something the far right is in favor of...even though they won't say it in public. Mitt is in a bind becuase he still has to please his lunatic far right base and also try to pander to Latino interests. Plus he has yet to say if elected would he keep the Obama law or not. The public is slowing finding out about the real Mitt Romney and the changing numbers OUT of his favor are starting to show up and not just with Latinos.

    June 21, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Phil Thomas

    @ Jerry or should I say the intern in Romneys campaign which president appointed a Latino Supreme court Justice and one of the best might I add. Obama has fought and pushed for the dream Act, sued states like Arizona that enacted these extreme measures. You make it sound like Obama supported the most extreme measures we have seen in years against immigrants but sorry that was Romney. Every tea Partier in the country can act like they are of Latin origin on a message board but people are not stupid and they know where their interests lie. Obama has done more for Latinos than any recent president I can think of and granted he could of done more but Romney, really lol thanks for the laugh Jerry

    June 21, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Rich

    Romney has been telling them to get out of the USA, take themselves back home. Now, what is Romney going to tell them? I wonder, he changes as he needs votes. Romney will NOT support the dream act, he already said he would change that bill if he was elected. Romney has done so much switching of views. trying to keep both the Tea party and conservatives happy, but he needs the Latino and Hispanic vote to win. Poor Romney stuck between what he really wants to do and the extremist. He will lose in November.

    June 21, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. JimB

    They should be skeptical. He said he would veto the Dream Act and has said nothing about Obama's recent Immigration decision. Romney always appears so phony. I just can't believe anything he says. He is just trying to buy the election, like he did the nomination, with all the right wing Super PACS. Is the media looking into foreign money in his Super PACS?

    June 21, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    NVa Native - The problem for the GOP is that fox media hasn't opened up a Spanish speaking fake news show to spread more of the GOP lies & deceptions.
    Actually they are starting up an entire Spanish speaking Fox News channel soon!! I'm sure all you lefties will love it too!! hahahahaha....

    June 21, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. A P

    Romney has refused after six different intervicws Means " HE HAS ONE OPINION FOR THE CHAMBER AND ANOTHER FOR PLATEFORM "

    June 21, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. lolo

    Boy Fox News have these people by their noses. Like Romney said before he likes firing people and Latinos believe me you will be the first ones to go. People have the nerve to talk about minorities taking their jobs, when most of them do not want the jobs, but they think that everyone can survive on a job at walmart, staples, and any other low paying job. All the republicans want is for people to wait on them and shut up. Don't ask questions or anything else or you will be fired. Why do you think they are fighting so hard with purging the votes, lying , changing immigration lawsand racist remarks. Like they said they want to take their country back. To where I do not know? People just get out and vote in November, this is the only way to let them know that the rest of America is not so cunning and greedy for power.

    June 21, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. mm

    A Latino vote for Mitt Romney is a vote thrown in the trash bin and a much harder life in America.

    June 21, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Realitybites

    Yes Obama 2012,
    The left will enjoy the Spanish speaking Fox just like the right 'tards' enjoy the present Fox program.

    June 21, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. 1twinsfan

    The GOP – party of vilify and pander to the Hispanic community.

    June 21, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Etch-A-Latino-Mitt

    MIttens will be all for whatever his audience wants to hear.

    June 21, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    Latino's are smart enough to figure out whom has their best interests at heart. They don't need to be brainwashed by Spanish version of Faux Noise.

    June 21, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. g

    was,nt the romney clan saved when they ran to mexico when the law was on there trail.

    June 21, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. B.

    Understatement of the year!

    Romney has displayed his True Colors to the World and all the money on Wall Street can’t change that Fact.

    June 21, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    I wonder if he'll try to speak something in Spanish. That could be a bad move. Mangling the language will come across as patronizing. I bet he'll try it in a misguided atempt to connect and seem down to earth.

    June 21, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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