Friday, September 21, 2012


Mitt Romney jokes about unskilled Latinos welcomed to 'stay for the rest of your lives' not amusing to Hispanic voters

How dare you! say hardworking immigrants, after GOP candidate's tape slamming the 'dependent' 47% of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes











US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney receives a standing ovation as he speaks at a fundraiser in Sarasota, Florida, on September 20, 2012.   AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMMNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GettyImages

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Mitt Romney's numbers among Latino voters were already low before he made what one immigrant citizen called 'disgusting' remarks about Hispanics in recently revealed tape.

Mitt Romney went on the Univision Spanish-language network Wednesday, hoping to improve his dismal polling numbers among Hispanics — the fastest-growing segment of the country’s electorate.
He did so only days after his now notorious “47%” tape was revealed.
The tape where Romney told wealthy donor friends he’s already written off half of Americans — “those people,” he said, who pay no federal taxes and “believe they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”
In that tape, Romney also disparaged low-income immigrants and joked it would be easier to capture the White House if his grandparents had been Mexican.
Juana Velez, who came to this country from the Dominican Republic 25 years ago, didn’t catch Romney on Univision. She was too busy doing her own clean up. Busy doing what she’s done for the past 10 years — cleaning rooms at the Westin Hotel in midtown Manhattan.
But Velez has heard all about the Romney tape.
“He’s disgusting,” she said. “I’ve always worked for a living. Never been on welfare. My husband served in Iraq. I’m a U.S. citizen. We own our own home and we’ve raised four children here. How dare he talk about us like that?”
Which is why the latest Pew Center poll on the presidential contest should come as no surprise.
President Obama’s already huge edge over Romney among Hispanics just keeps getting bigger, according to Pew. Among registered Latinos, it now stands at 69% to 24%. It’s even wider among “likely voters,” at 72% to 22%.
To put that in perspective, George W. Bush garnered a healthy 46% of the Latino vote when he won re election in 2004. Even John McCain managed 31% of vote in his losing bid against Obama in 2008.
Romney’s paltry share becomes even more ominous when you consider that just 9.7 million Latinos voted in 2008. Most experts are predicting around 12.5 million Hispanics will cast ballots this election.
Romney devoted a lot of time during all those primary debates earlier this year convincing the Republican Party’s right wing that he would be the toughest guy on immigration. Did he think Latinos weren’t paying attention?
In Wednesday’s Univision forum, news anchors Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos asked Romney about his statements back then favoring “self-deportation” for undocumented immigrants. They repeatedly asked if he would revoke President Obama’s policy of granting temporary legal status to 1.7 million young Latinos brought to the country illegally by their parents.
Romney dodged those questions, only promising a “permanent solution” to the immigration problem, without any specifics, except to concede that, “if a student does so well that he gets an advanced degree, I’d staple a green card to their diplomas.”
Amazingly, in a portion of the notorious Florida tape that has gotten little attention, Romney used similar language to urge an immigration policy skewed to highly educated foreigners, while at the same time mocking poor immigrants.
“I’d like to staple a green card to every Ph.D. in the world and say, “Come to America, we want you here,” Romney said. “Instead, we make it hard for people who get educated here or elsewhere to make this their home. Unless, of course, you have no skill or experience, in which case you’re welcome to cross the border and stay here for the rest of your life.”
The wealthy donors, who paid $50,000 a plate to hear Romney that night, can be heard laughing.
Well, hotel worker Juana Velez doesn’t have a doctorate, but she’ll be voting in November. Like millions of other Latinos, Velez has heard enough from Romney already, and she’s not in a laughing mood.
jgonzalez@nydailynews.com
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