Cuban-American ally says Romney will improve on 2008 Hispanic showingby George Bennett | January 29th, 2012
Romney lost the Hispanic vote to John McCain by a 53-to-21 percent margin statewide in the 2008 GOP primary and lost Miami-Dade County, where three-quarters of voters are Hispanic, by a 49-to-16 percent margin.
“You’re going to see an overwhelming victory for Romney this year” predicted former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart. Diaz-Balart backed McCain four years ago. This year, he’s endorsing Romney. So is his brother, U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami.
“They trust Ileana, Mario and me, they trust us,” Lincoln Diaz-Balart said of Cuban-American voters. “They know that he (Romney) is listening to us, that he is our friend, and thus that our community will have a friend in the White House. So you’re going to see a very dramatic difference in the vote on Tuesday from four years ago.”
Romney was accompanied today by the Diaz-Balarts and Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral. He also brought his youngest son, Craig. Speaking in Spanish, Craig Romney told the crowd of a few hundred outside the Casa Marin restaurant that while his father doesn’t speak Spanish, he speaks the language of the economy, prosperity and liberty. The remark got big applause.
As he did in Naples earlier today, Romney bashed chief GOP rival Newt Gingrich for his work for mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
Romney also called President Obama soft on Cuba.
“With Cuba he says, OK, we’re going to open up remittances and we’re going to extend travel to Cuba as a show of kindness and a gift. And of course gifts to people who are fundamentally evil are always accepted and never returned. The right course for America is to stand with strength against despots, to stand with strength against tyranny and to stand with strength for the principles of this great land,” Romney said.