Despite trailing President Obama 64%–27% among registered Latino voters, Mitt Romney hasn’t given up on gaining ground with this key voting bloc.
Romney is expected to address the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday, and will have a question and answer session with Univision on September 19. (Followed by Obama on September 20.)
An excerpt from his speech, published on CNN’s Political Ticker blog, suggests that Romney will focus his plea for votes on the economy. He’s aiming to appeal to the entrepreneurial spirit of Hispanic voters while blaming Obama for limited economic progress, particularly within the Hispanic community:
No one is exempt from the pain of this economy, but the Hispanic community has been particularly hard hit,” Romney will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by his campaign. “While national unemployment is 8.1%, Hispanic unemployment is over 10%. Over two million more Hispanics are living in poverty today than the day President Obama took office.
As for immigration, he’s facing a tougher road, as he tries to balance Hispanic voters with a nativist Republican base. According to a Bloomberg News editorial:
In order to win his party’s nomination, Romney made an unfortunate lurch to the right on immigration, promising to veto the Dream Act (of which the Obama administration’s executive action is a rough approximation) and attacking Texas Governor Rick Perry for allowing illegal immigrants to attend Texas colleges at in-state tuition rates.
Some details of Romney’s immigration plan, including narrowing the DREAM Act only to young illegal immigrants who serve in the military, can be found on his campaign website.
Deferred action has made swift progress in the last few weeks. But in an unsurprising move, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, is taking a hard line on eligible immigrants within Arizona. The Examiner reports that Governor Brewer has
signed an executive order directing state agencies to deny drivers licenses and other public benefits to anyone who get work authorizations under President Barack Obama’s new immigration policy.