As Romney makes another push for Hispanic voters, rivals call foul
September 17th, 2012
08:58 AM ET
11 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. Reality for you

    I'll take Romney's "fix-it" over Obama's "fix-it" any day...sooner the better. Obama has us on a path that makes Carter look like a genius. For those oblivious to history- that is BAD. Just look at Obama's record, even up to today where he and Susan Rice are insisting the attack on the Libyan embassy was "spontaneous" because they still want you to believe they are competent. God help us if 0 and his team stay in another DAY!

    September 17, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Romney will lie and lie and lie to get votes. THEN he will lower the boom on hispanics, black, the poor, the middle class and anyone else that Grover Norquist tells him to.

    Ryan/Romney are liars.

    21 days to early voting in our state. No more republicans in the State or Federal government. They take all of our rights away.

    September 17, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. Indy

    Mark Cuban said it best when he was interviewed by Tony Robbins> Romney would not hire himself with his very poor camapign of non specifics.Romney is very evasive with his answers as to how he would fix problems,you are suppose to just trust him.Latinos will not fall for the Romney schtick

    September 17, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. 1crusader

    This is incredible. Who does Romney think he's kidding ? This guy has been all over the map on every issue, and can't be believed about anything.He has called the Arizona anti-immigration law a model for the country, says he believes in self-deportation, and says he would veto the Dream Act.If he shifted his position on all of these issues, if he got elected, he would just shift right back the other way.

    September 17, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |

    I think latinos are not feeling your "self deportation" policy Willard. Just like all of Willard's other policy proposals, there are no details.

    September 17, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    He said "SELF-DEPORTATION". Don't we know??? Flip-flop.

    September 17, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  7. The fact is

    Romney has been favoreing a system of "self-deportation" in his campaign, why does he suddenly change his mind? Is this a flip-flop or not? How many more flip-flops will we see before election?

    September 17, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  8. ShawnDH

    Romney is a liar, a phony and a fraud. I'm voting for Obama.

    September 17, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    While Romney's surrogates throw red meat at anti-immigrant conservative supporters, he will try to fool the Hispanic voters with one of his famous flip flop moves back towards the middle. He already locked himself in on the immigration issue by pandering to the extremist right wing of his party during the primaries.

    September 17, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. Lead Bedder

    A president must serve and protect all the citizens of this land. This presidential campaign is riddled with divisive rhetoric and bigoted undertones, that aren't necessarily from the candidates, but from the financial backers of their campaigns. Voters have to sift and read between the lines to make an intelligent decision. Voters must choose based on leadership qualities, that don't include reactionary decisions . All decisions made by a leader must be fair and balanced, to serve the public responsibly. The last thing this nation needs is more war, more polarization, and to begin to devalue people who want to contribute to domestic and economic progression. Unfortunately, this is an election year, and politicians are pulling rabbits out of hats to woo voters. Voters must take into account leadership style and records...who will provide the best service.

    September 17, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    What a disaster Mitt Romney has become. I'm chalking it up to a man who absolutely believed it was, to quote his wife, "our turn now". Little does Romney understand or care what is required of the "job" he seeks. As with all those whom Mitt "fired for profit" during his Bain Capital years, he's made it very clear since the beginning of his campaign that we Americans are worth nothing more to him than a brief campaign mention now and again as he weaves his way to buying himself his newest "toy" ... the presidency of the United States.

    September 17, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  12. GonzoinHouston

    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. The sad part is that the republicans have part of the solution and the democrats have part as well, and together they could create a pretty good solution. This, however, would mean compromise, and that is anathema to the current GOP. Obama will take almost all the non-Cuban Hispanic vote, and the election.

    September 17, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Marty, FL

    Romney proposes self-deportation nonsense and wants to veto the DREAM Act.
    No gracias.

    September 17, 2012 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  14. Klena

    If only the little people didn't have the vote . . . .

    Well, if only money counted, then Mittens would for sure be king.

    Sorry Mittens, but you and Lyin' Ryan better start running away as fast as you can. America doesn't want what you're selling.

    September 17, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. Uhm!

    Last gasps of a dying Campaign. Romney knows that if he looses in November, he is history within the party. The key is that the odds favor the GOP turning more toward the angry old men and Christian Right as a result. The GOP has yet to realize there is a path in the middle, but they have to shut down the angry old men and the Family Values types. Defense Spending, tax cuts and irresponsible wars under the Bush administration ceeded the domain of fiscal responsibility to the Democrats. This si the space the GOP needs to recover.

    September 17, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. The REAL Truth...

    The last weeks worth of knee-jerk commentary from the "Candidate Romney" camp has been a total disaster hinging on sheer desperation. Now this ?? Anyone with more than two functioning brain cells should check the FACTS and not buy into parroting the foreign-owned Faux Noise Entertainment propaganda machine. This is the typical bait-and-switch social engineering tactics perpetrated by the right wing. If you fall for it in Nov, you will get what you deserve – more of the same that got us where we are.

    September 17, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  17. Ancient Texan

    GI Joe– and you do not believe that Obama was lying while running for president in 2008 and has doubled down on the lies in 2012? Add the deliberate efforts by him to split the population with his CLASS WARFARE is pathetic.

    September 17, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. rla

    Obama hasnt FIXED anything!!!! Why people keep voting for him and the democrats is a mystery!

    September 17, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. Lyla M

    @Reality for you: Try getting some....reality that is. Obama haters just beat to a different drum, one that resonates in an alternate universe. You forget that when Obama took office we were losing over 750,000 jobs per month and that the debt from two unfunded wars and those "temporary" tax cuts for the wealthy would eventually bite us in the butt. But, go ahead and refuse to accept any accountability for hiking up the debt. What we don't need is a lying duo who thinks it is American to hide his tax records and shelter his money overseas. If that was Obama doing those things, we'd still be hearing about it! Obama 2012!

    September 17, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  20. rla

    Oh by the way self-deportation is working right now for you lemmings out there!!! Look at the statistictics and the number trying to cross the border!

    September 17, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  21. Jan

    Hispanics, just like any other SMART GROUP OF PEOPLE, vote in accord with their interests...and with all things considered that SHOULD ENSURE PRESIDENT OBAMA A LANDSLIDE VICTORY. However, we know things don't always work the way they should. There are a whole lot of DUMB PEOPLE OUT THERE...and Mitt Romney is calling on them! PLEASE DON'T ANSWER THAT CALL.

    September 17, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. TAK

    I don't believe that many Hispanics are going to fall for Romney's slick marketing and ads. They can identify someone who will shamelessly lie to get what he wants. In his world Mitt will always be el jefe and everyone else is a peon.

    September 17, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Jerubbal

    Romney just pandering to another group. We minorities know exactly where the repubs will lead us, to 2nd class citizens. They would take away all programs that benefit us, Pell grants, affordable and guaranteed health care for our families, medicaid for the less fortunate, medicare for the elderly, funding for our public school systems, a greater tax burden and our voting rights. All to maintain their status quo as the lords of this land. The browning of America is a frightening event for these close minded, self righteous, holier than thou bigots. They invoke the name of God and Jesus but not the righteousness that comes with adhering to God's commandments. They cannot be allowed to regain power. Obama/Biden, the truly blessed way forward.

    September 17, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  24. Keeping it Real

    GI Joe "Romney will lie and lie and lie to get votes."

    Please explain Obama's promise, then not a promise, on immediately fixing the immigration problems. Take all the time you need. Even Obama has admitted that nothing has been done on this, and now says that he never promised anything. I'd certainly call that a huge lie, yet somehow that escapes you. I can't see why Obama would get any support from Hispanics, when Obama is all talk and no action. He seems to only want the votes, then ignores his promises for the next 4 years.

    September 17, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Ronda in Houston,TX

    Romney knows that he has wrecked his reputation with his flip flopping and lies. Latios, remember when Romney made the comment during the Republican Primary Debate when he said the words "Self-Deportation". And he expects people to not have a brain and accept this???? If he said it once, he means it forever. Romney will made "Self-Deportation" a law....

    September 17, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
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