As Romney makes another push for Hispanic voters, rivals call foul
September 17th, 2012
08:58 AM ET
10 years ago

As Romney makes another push for Hispanic voters, rivals call foul

(CNN) – Mitt Romney's speech Monday to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will include the promise to "permanently fix our immigration system," the latest in a series of attempts to appeal to Hispanic voters, despite polls showing the Republican presidential nominee facing a sizable deficit among the key voting group.

Romney will also take part in a question and answer session with the Spanish-language television network Univision later this week, signaling his campaign hasn't yet ceded the Hispanic vote to President Barack Obama (who sits down with Univision the next day). Obama leads Romney among Latino registered voters 64%-27%, according to a Gallup poll conducted partially before and partially after the Republican National Convention at the end of August.

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That event included high-profile speaking slots for Latino Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who introduced Romney on the convention's final night.

In his address Monday, Romney is expected to largely stick to the main economic themes he has built his campaign around, telling the group of business leaders that policies pursued by his rival have disproportionately hurt Latino Americans.

"No one is exempt from the pain of this economy, but the Hispanic community has been particularly hard hit," Romney will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by his campaign. "While national unemployment is 8.1%, Hispanic unemployment is over 10%. Over two million more Hispanics are living in poverty today than the day President Obama took office."

He will also vow to work with members of both parties to develop a permanent fix for America's system of immigration, an issue the candidate's rivals have assailed him on in the past.

"Americans may disagree about how to fix our immigration system, but I think we can all agree that it is broken," Romney will say. "For years, Republicans and Democrats seem to have been more interested in playing politics with immigration than with actually fixing it."

The Republican nominee will also hit Obama, claiming the president is more interested in political gain that real reform.

"Like so many issues confronting our nation, when it comes to immigration, politics has been put ahead of people for too long," Romney will say.

On immigration, Romney has struggled in the past to frame his positions in ways that appeal both to Hispanic voters and the base of the Republican Party.

In December, Romney said he would veto the DREAM Act if he were president, saying instead he would support a path to residency - not citizenship - for those who served in the military, but not other DREAM Act proposals.

Later, Romney gave a more detailed version of his stance, telling supporters at a fund-raiser in Florida Republicans needed to offer their own version of the DREAM Act.

At a Republican presidential debate in January, Romney said he favored a system of "self-deportation," a policy that involves making economic conditions so difficult for undocumented workers that they choose to leave the country to find better opportunities. That stance was derided both by Democrats and his Republican rivals.

That record isn't going unmentioned by Romney's rivals as he attempts again to court the Latino vote. Obama's campaign released a web video Monday denouncing Romney's "Extreme Makeover, Latino Edition," claiming the candidate was attempting to "overhaul his positions and slow his sharply declining popularity in the Latino community."

"Can Romney cover up his belief in self-deportation as an immigration solution with a bold new wallpaper choice?" Team Obama asks. "Will a new window treatment help disguise his cuts to education and college scholarships? If he does something amazing with spackle, will people forget he's promised over and over again to repeal Obamacare on day one – denying millions of Latinos comprehensive health care coverage? And on his promise to veto the DREAM Act...well, duct tape can fix everything, can't it?"

Filed under: 2012 • Latinos • Mitt Romney
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. enuff

    I have news for you, Carter is a very intelligent man. He has been very successful outside of office with Habitat for Humanity, and negotiating peace with other countries, so I find it offensive when someone decides to tear down another person, especially when they have spent most of their life trying to help their fellow man. Romney, however, is only out for himself and will say anything to win. He has already demonstrated his concern for others by calling for harsher punishments using the Arizona law as a model for ihispanics and "self-deportation". He will never be seen as a model for compassion.

    September 17, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. LM

    Yikes, Romney once again is all over the map on his views.

    September 17, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. AnnsTheMan!

    Yes, I don't like it here, I guess I'll just go back to our shack at the bottom of Mexico... brilliant plan, Mittens!! They'll be leaving by the carloads...

    wait, you mean no one's left? You mean being homeless on our streets is still better than being homeless on their own? hmm, guess Self Deportation is just someone's self-delusion.

    September 17, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. linda

    Romney axcuses Obama of saying anything to get a vote......well if that's not the kettle calling the pot black I don't know what is....Romney will say anything to get a vote, even it if means flip flopping all over the place like a fish out of water....then IF elected he will do completely the oposite of what he is saying now......this man can not be trusted with anything he says.....

    September 17, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Ann

    Romney has better chances to have things done because he is a man of action. He will talk less and work harder.

    September 17, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Z khan

    Having difficulty determining what Mitt stands for. He wants to veto the DREAM act, yet he likes some parts of it. He pushed universal health care in MA with a mandatory clause but does not support it at the federal level. So he is flip-flopping again.

    September 17, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Ray E. (Georgia)

    I believe it is still about jobs. That is Jobs. If you want more of what you have now, then Obama is your man. If you want a chance of things improving over the next 4 years then it is no contest. Romney is your man. Romney has a record of sucess. Obama has Taxing the Rich=No Jobs. Savvy?

    September 17, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  8. EKIA

    Self deportation works, and it works great. Many fewer illegals are coming, and many are leaving since economic conditions worsened in this country. Romney might be off the mark on some things, but illegal immigration he's dead on.

    September 17, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  9. Marty, FL

    Pres. Obama successfully implemented a provision to help young immigrants, due to Congress' failure to pass legislation.

    In fact, Congressman Ryan voted against comprehensive reform and against the DREAM Act. Not the right choice.

    September 17, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. vic , nashville ,tn

    Latino vote for Romney No , Latino vote for GOP No
    Latinos heard enough from Romney during primary so they closed the door too late

    September 17, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Jason

    @Ray E. (Georgia), who said Romney has a record of sucess.

    Really Ray, tell us Romney record of sucess, dont worry I'll wait!!

    September 17, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. Fair is Fair


    Romney's fix for immigration will work out like a kinder, gentler ethnic cleansing. Most HIspanic voters have a friend or acquaintance that is an illegal immigrant, and they're sensitive on this issue.
    Gonzo... what would be your solution for all of the firends or acquaintances? Amnesty? Hey, I know it's a sensitive issue, but the fact that someone is in this country illegally means that the very first thing in this country was to break the law. Right?

    September 17, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. don

    Great plan GOP. Make it harder for them to vote then ask for it yourself.

    September 17, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. vivine

    remember that " I don't care about little people", said Mitt

    September 17, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Joan in MS

    This man is desperate, and is not trustworthy. Can anyone really believe anything Romney and Ryan have to say?

    September 17, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. judy

    romney will tell you he will shine your shoes and kiss you goodnight to get your vote. Don't be fooled by this lying duo. Neither him nor slimey ryan have your interest at heart. Forward

    September 17, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  17. Q

    Hollow promises from an empty suite..............just sayin

    September 17, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Namejkane sfl a vote for the gop will cut your moms medicare and soc sec .can you afford to pay for them???

    The only things romney the tax cheat cares about Latinos is when they cut his lawn.,they have to be leagel I'm runing for office for Joseph another sake !!!!

    September 17, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
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