After dueling speeches before the National Association of Latino Elected Officials this past week, it is President Obama who furthered solidified his commanding lead among Hispanics while Republican challenger Mitt Romney struggled to connect with a skeptical crowd that had heard plenty from Romney in the past that was hostile to their interests.
Obama was quick to remind the crowd yesterday that Romney had promised to veto the Dream Act, a path to citizenship for young immigrants that the president has pushed but Republicans in Congress have staunchly opposed. Romney has stated his firm opposition to the Dream Act, while Obama decided to circumvent Congress by announcing he would sign an executive order ceasing the deportation of Latinos under 30 with clean records who have been in the country at least five years.
“I refused to keep looking young people in the eye, deserving young people in the eye, and tell them tough luck,” he said to a standing ovation. “Your speaker from yesterday has a different view. In a speech he said that when he makes a promise to you, he’ll keep it. Well he has promised to veto the DREAM Act, and we should take him at his word.”
“I’m just sayin’,” he added, to laughter.
A new poll released yesterday by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice, taken after Obama’s immigration announcement, put his lead over Romney in five key Latino battleground states—including Florida, Colorado and Virginia—at 63 to 27 percent. Even some Republicans acknowledge this is virtually insurmountable.
“Obama giving my Democrat colleagues a lot more to work with, than Romney gave me yesterday at #NALEO. It ain’t going to be easy, folks,” Ana Navarro, who was national Hispanic co-chairwoman for McCain in 2008, wrote on Twitter.