All through the weekend, the Spanish-language media response to Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate as been strong and consistent: Ryan is out of step with Latinos on both the economy and immigration, and this choice means Romney has essentially given up on the Latino vote.
Paul Ryan has a poor track record when it comes to issues most important to the Latino community. He voted against the DREAM Act in 2010 and voted for the infamous Sensenbrenner bill in 2005, which would have turned undocumented workers and anyone who helped them into felons. He attacked President Obama earlier this year for not passing the exact same type of immigration reform that Republicans opposed. Further, polling shows that Ryan’s extreme stances on economic issues are also out of step with the positions held by most Latinos—a June 2012 Latino Decisions/America’s Voice poll of Latino voters in 5 key battleground states revealed that Latino voters think that the federal government has a key role in stimulating the economy. When asked about the best way to help the economy grow, 52% said the “government should invest resources in federal projects to stimulate the economy,” while only 33% said “it is better for the government to lower people’s taxes.”
This past weekend, major Spanish-language media outlets and political pundits highlighted Ryan’s extremism on both immigration and the economy, and concluded that Romney made the decision to double down on his conservative base and leave Latino voters hanging:
La Opinión Editorial: Choosing Paul Ryan: “What bad news for those who believe that Latinos benefit when both parties strive to win their vote. The selection of a one of the most extreme, polarizing and obstructionist figures in the Congress does not help to attract the vote of minorities or moderates.”
Univisión’s Al Punto: Romney has Written Off the Latino Vote: Ramos asked Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) if he believes that by selecting Ryan, the campaign has written off the Latino vote. Ramos cited Ryan’s positions on immigration as a liability, and Gutierrez declared: “They have decided that they are not going to compete for the Latino vote.”
Univisión’s Al Punto: Ryan’s Extreme Economic Policies Will Not Bode Well with Latino Voters: Jorge Ramos asked a panel of analysts whether the selection of Ryan means that Romney has written off the Latino vote. Most panelists agreed, with the exception of Republican Helen Aguirre who said that most Latinos were going to vote for Obama anyway. The panel also discussed the fact that Ryan’s economic policies are “extreme” and not going to help the ticket with Latinos. Fabian Nuñez called the selection of Ryan “a huge risk.”
Univisión’s Al Punto: Ryan’s Extreme Immigration Record Plays Even Worse with Latinos: Lourdes Meluza, national Univisión correspondent, summarized Ryan’s record in Congress, including some of Ryan’s key immigration positions (his vote in favor of a border fence, his vote against the DREAM Act, and his opposition to the legalization of undocumented immigrants). Later, Jorge Ramos reviewed Ryan’s immigration record when interviewing Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), reminding viewers also that Rep. Ryan once said “anchor babies cost money.”