News / USA

Romney Appeals for US Hispanic Support

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando, Florida, June 21, 2012 (AP).Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando, Florida, June 21, 2012 (AP).
x
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando, Florida, June 21, 2012 (AP).
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks at the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) conference in Orlando, Florida, June 21, 2012 (AP).
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney on Thursday made an appeal to Hispanic voters, a constituency that opinion surveys suggest remains strongly committed to President Barack Obama ahead of this year’s U.S. election.  Romney spoke to a group of Latino elected officials meeting in Florida and the president is expected to address the same group on Friday.  

In his speech, Mitt Romney focused on the domestic economy, arguing that Hispanic families have suffered along with the rest of the country during Obama’s time in office.

“I’d ask each of you to honestly look at the last three and one-half years and ask whether we can do better," he said. "Is the America of 11 percent Hispanic unemployment the America of our dreams?  We can do better.”

The former Massachusetts governor has been on the defensive in recent days, following the recent announcement by President Obama to end the deportation of many children of illegal aliens, a move popular with the nation's immigrant community.

Romney said he would take a different approach, but offered no specifics.

“I will put in place my own long term solution that will replace and supersede the president’s temporary measure," he said. "As president I won’t settle for stop gap measures.”

Romney said he would address the issue of illegal immigration in a “civil, but resolute manner” and restated his support for a border fence between the United States and Mexico.

Romney and his rivals for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination took a hard line on illegal immigration during this year’s primary campaign, and some Hispanic voters were offended by some of the harsh rhetoric.

Last week, President Obama announced a change in policy that will let many young people brought to the United States illegally to remain in the country to study and pursue careers.

“They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one - on paper," he said.

Immigration activists have enthusiastically welcomed the change and many suggest that the move could help the president solidify support among Hispanic voters in the November election.

“We want to ensure that the Latino and immigrant communities in the United States are really energized by this announcement, but also ready to fully participate in the implementation of President Obama’s announcement and that they get involved in the civic life of our country," said Cristina Jimenez, who is with the United We Dream Network, one of several groups that took part in a recent Washington rally.

But political analyst Charlie Cook says Democrats might face a challenge this year in motivating Hispanic voters to go to the polls.

“If you were going to say, 'What are the three or four top priorities of the Obama campaign,' it won’t be convincing Latino voters so much," he said. "It will be motivating them to get out [to vote] because in terms of the convincing, they are on a very good track.  But they have to motivate them.”

Former Republican Representative Tom Davis of Virginia says that in the end, voter concerns about the economy will trump efforts to motivate Hispanics and other key Democratic voting blocs.

“In this election, with the economy in the front, it kind of masks the traditional ethnic and cultural coalitions that we have come together on," said Davis. "And I just think it hurts the president.”

Recent public opinion surveys show President Obama drawing about 67 percent support from the Hispanic community, similar to his percentage when he ran for office against Republican John McCain in 2008.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs