Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared at a “Meet the Candidate” forum sponsored by Univision intent on moving away from the negative news that has dogged him this week and carving out some of President Obama’s huge lead among Latinos.
Romney said repeatedly during his opening monologue that his campaign is “about the 100 percent,” clearly letting voters know that all the stories about his dismissive comments in May about 47 percent of the country shouldn’t be taken seriously.
“My campaign is about the 100 percent of America,” Romney said to the crowd at the University of Miami crowd. “And I’m concerned about them. Life has become harder for Americans. I know I’m not going to get 100 percent of the vote. And my campaign will focus on the ones who will vote for me. … I’m convinced that if we take a different course, you’ll see incomes rising. I have a record, I’ve demonstrated my capacity to help the 100 percent.”
Romney repeated his insistence that immigration policy should focus on trying to get undocumented immigrants to “self-deport” and try to enter again under new laws.
“Do you think you’re going to self-deport 11 million immigrants?” Univision anchor Jorge Campos asked him.
Asked about the Arizona law that would require legal immigrants to provide papers in case they’re arrested or stopped by police for any reason, Romney wouldn’t take a firm position. When the Supreme Court decision upheld most of the law, Romney said President Obama “has failed to provide any leadership on immigration” and that states deserve the right to craft their own immigration laws when the federal government fails to do so. He said about the same tonight.
The Republican also answered questions about his plan to repeal Obama’s health care law. When asked how he felt about the the president and other Democrats’ calling him “the grandfather” of the new “Affordable Care Act,” Romney laughed.
“I don’t think they meant it as a compliment,” he said, “but I’ll take it. This was during my primary. We thought it might not be helpful.”
Univision will host President Obama in a similar setting Thursday afternoon.