N2K Presidential Race: Romney's Latino Outreach

National Journal Staff

Mitt Romney has a plan to lure Latino voters into his camp, and perhaps not surprisingly, it's the same strategy he's employing to win over women, young people, independents, and all other undecided voters. Here's a hint: It's the economy, stupid.

"Did you know that the rate of unemployment among Hispanic-Americans rose last month to 11 percent?" Romney said on Tuesday during a rally in Fort Worth, Texas. "And that the people in this country that are poor, living in poverty, one out of three are Hispanic-American?"

You couldn't blame any Republican who, upon hearing Romney's remarks, may have whispered, "Finally."

Indeed, the political chattering class has long wondered: When will Romney, who lags far behind President Obama with Latino voters, signal an aggressive outreach to the country's fastest-growing demographic? And, considering Romney's hard-right stance on illegal immigration made his Republican rivals look moderate by comparison, perhaps the more salient question is: How will Romney sell himself to a group that was often ignored and occasionally vilified during the brutal, prolonged GOP primary contest?

The bottom line is that when Romney finally offered an olive branch this week to wary Latino voters, he did it on his terms, talking about jobs and the economy rather than immigration and foreign policy. Read more

— Tim Alberta


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