Mitt Romney this weekend dusted off his immigration hypocrisy in a blatant effort to smooth talk Hispanic voters into ignoring his anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic rhetoric. After spending months railing against immigrants, demanding English-only education, and complaining that our immigration policies allow too many unskilled laborers into the country, Romney reversed course, praising Hispanics in remarks to the Republican National Hispanic Assembly’s annual convention. As the Associated Press reported, "Despite his harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric on the trail, Romney praised Hispanics as 'quintessentially American,' the former Massachusetts governor said the nation's immigration policy should help open doors for people with such strong beliefs." (Associated Press, 7/22/07)
While Romney used his Republican National Hispanic Assembly remarks to try to trick Hispanics into voting for him despite his anti-immigrant record, none of the other Republican candidates even bothered to show up. This follows the failure of 9 out of the 10 GOP candidates to address the National Association of Latino Elected Officials last month.
As the Republican bash and ignore Hispanics, Hispanic voters are rejecting them. A recent USA Today/Gallup Poll showed that "Hispanics, by nearly 3 to 1, say they're Democrats or lean that way." According to the poll, while only "11% of Hispanics now identify themselves as Republicans, down from 19% in 2005...the proportion who call themselves Democrats has jumped to 42% from 33%." As the poll noted, when including independents who 'lean' toward a specific party, "Democrats lead Republicans among Hispanics 58% to 20%." [USA Today, 6/27/07]
"Smooth talking Mitt Romney may think Hispanics are gullible enough to be tricked into ignoring his anti-immigrant rhetoric on the campaign trail, but he and his party are not going to win over Hispanic voters based on their records," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Luis Miranda. "Republicans like Mitt Romney have made clear the Republican Party just doesn't seem to want Hispanics in their Party or even in the country. Unlike the Republican Party's divisive and meanspirited agenda, Democrats are working on an agenda to fix the GOP's failed and flawed policies on everything from immigration to Iraq to the economy."
Mitt Romney’s Anti-Immigrant Record
Romney Panders to Conservative Base by Opposing Immigration Bill. “The record shows Romney repeatedly has demanded stronger border security. A campaign ad calls for tamper-proof identification cards. And in a debate last week, he said illegal immigrants need to go back to their home country and ''get in line'' before they can become citizens. ‘That's exactly what's on the table. All of those things are part of the immigration package,’ said Marshall Fitz, spokesman for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a nonpartisan organization of lawyers and professors. ‘Romney and the other candidates who continue to beat their chests against this legislation are just playing to the conservative base.’” [Miami Herald, 5/25/07]
Romney Called for English Only Education. Just days before he began airing Spanish language ads in Florida promoting his appearance at the Miami Dade Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, Romney went before a right wing audience at CPAC and told them: "You strengthen the American people by...insisting that the children who come legally to this land are taught in English." Romney also said, "There is a wide open walk across the border for those who have neither skills nor education." [Mitt Romney, Remarks to CPAC Conference, 3/2/07]
Bashes Hispanics. In an op-ed in the Miami Herald, a Republican activist pointed out that, in his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, “Romney said, ‘There is a wide open walk across the border for those who have neither skills nor education.’ This is a blatant attack on Hispanics. It is stereotypical, denigrating and wrong.” [Miami Herald, 3/9/07]