Romney Hands President Obama Un Regalo Grande
Link from TPM. Romeny hands President Obama a big gift: the Hispanic vote. Sure, the anti-immigrant rhetoric plays well in a Republican primary but what on earth was Romney thinking when he vowed to veto the Dream Act?
Romney may have just become the first Republican candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire — and is looking increasingly like the eventual nominee — but the primary is about to spread to the rest of the country where the Latino vote is significant. Once in the general election, that vote becomes crucial. But Romney is not on track to win over the requisite number of Latino voters, who will be key to winning swing states like Florida, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. Moreover, the Democrats may have stumbled into a neat situation that could give them an unusual boost.
In the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney made what could prove a fatal error: as president, he said, he would veto the Dream Act. Designed to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, the Dream Act is so intensely popular that it’s hard to see Romney winning 40% of Latino voters, the crucial threshold Republican pollster Matthew Dowd said Bush had to hit in order to win crucial swing states in 2004. Bush, who pushed for immigration reform, barely hit 40% and won. McCain fell short.
Before the 2010 midterm elections, Latino voters ranked immigration reform as “one of the most important issues” on election day 2010.” Throughout 2011, about 85% of Latino voters supported the Dream Act and wanted to see it passed, a series of Latino Decisions poll found. Further, 59% of Latinos said they were less likely to vote for candidate whose economic views they agreed with if they used negative rhetoric about immigrants.
In addition to a growing population in crucial swing states, the Latino community is working hard to play a big role in the 2012 election. Tuesday, in one of many efforts to mobilize the Hispanic community, the National Latino Evangelical Coalition launched an initiative in the crucial I4 corridor in Florida to register young Hispanic evangelicals to vote. In the coming months, they intend to partner with churches and colleges in key swing states moving from Florida to Ohio, then Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There are an estimated 10 million to 11 million young Latino evangelicals, many of voting age, and they want them to vote. For this evangelical community, their top issues are not abortion or gay marriage but immigration reform, as well as poverty and education. And they’re partnering with pro-Dream Act group Campaign for an American Dream. The GOP candidates’ stance on immigration “is a political error and deeply alienating to our community,” said the Gabriel Salguero, President of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. “They should reconsider their position. Any candidate who doesn’t see the writing on the wall is committing a serious, serious” error in judgment.
When he embraced the endorsement of the creator of the Arizona "Papers Please" law, even holding up Arizona as a model for the country on immigration reform? Sorry, but those decisions will prove lethal in the general election.
On the same day Mitt Romney released an ad in Spanish as he tries to reach out to the Hispanic community, he also touted the endorsement of nativist, anti-immigration activist Kris Kobach. The Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach is better known as the legal architect of SB1070 in Arizona. He is also counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), listed as a nativist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
From Romney’s press release:
“I’m so proud to earn Kris’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country. We need more conservative leaders like Kris willing to stand up for the rule of law. With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem.”
As if that alone won't doom him, let's not forget he wanted Detroit to go bankrupt, supports the Ryan Plan, and thinks what he did at Bain represented the best of capitalism. How many gifts can he possibly give President Obama? Wow.