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Romney’s Competing Messages to Latinos: Deportation in South Carolina vs. Opportunity in Florida

by Mahwish Khan on 01/11/2012 at 4:33pm

Mitt RomneyToday, FOX News Latino published an article titled, Mitt Romney Pushes Hardline on Immigration in South Carolina. That’s no surprise given Romney’s increasing hard-line stance on immigration reform. As we have reported, two weeks ago, Romney stated that he would even veto the DREAM Act.

What is curious — and disingenuous — is that while Mitt is bashing immigrants in South Carolina, he’s courting Latino voters in Florida:

Mitt Romney’s campaign released a Spanish-language television ad in Florida this morning to remind the political world that he has money to burn in the first mega-state primary even as his opponents set up camp in South Carolina.

The spot features several well-known Cuban-American lawmakers — Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and the Diaz-Balart brothers — as well as Romney’s son, Craig.

Aside from the immediate benefits of winning Latino votes in Florida later this month, it would be useful for Romney to show he has some juice among Spanish-speaking voters after a GOP primary that saw his favorability among Latinos drop as he’s run right on immigration.

The ad is titled “Nosotros,” which is especially ironic since Romney actually supports mass deportation. Immigration is a top tier issue for Latino voters, and Romney’s position on DREAM could be especially problematic according to ABC’s “The Note”:

Largely lost in the build-up to the Iowa caucuses was a moment that could ultimately prove decisive in this year’s presidential election: Mitt Romney’s threat to veto the DREAM Act, a bill that would provide a path to citizenship to some undocumented children of immigrants who attend college or serve in the military.

Latinos are the nation’s fastest growing voting group – with an estimated 12 million set to vote in the election – and, predictably, Democrats have pounced on Romney’s stance.

Romney has a Latino voter problem — an ad titled “Nosotros” isn’t going to change the fact that Romney supports mass deportation and would veto the DREAM Act, and getting all excited about the endorsement of Kris Kobach won’t help either..

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