As President Obama‘s campaign launched a Spanish-language TV ad blitz in Florida and other swing states with large Hispanic populations, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro painted presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney as “extreme” on immigration.
Republicans, who launched their own Latino outreach program this week, countered by blaming Obama for a sour economy that has been tougher on Hispanics than other groups.
“Mitt Romney would be the most extreme nominee that the Republican Party has ever had on immigration,” said Castro, who joined Messina and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., on a morning conference call to tout the Latinos for Obama campaign initiative.
Messina also used the word “extreme” to describe Romney’s immigration stance — echoing criticism from Romney Republican rival Newt Gingrich, who called Romney “anti-immigrant” in a January radio ad that was pulled after Sen. Marco Rubio objected.
Romney has called for beefed-up border security and tougher employer verification standards to curb illegal immigration. He also said Arizona’s controversial law cracking down on illegal immigrants was a “model.” And Romney has said he would veto the Dream Act, which would offer a path to citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants who were raised in the U.S. and complete two years of college or military service.
Romney adviser Albert Martinez accused Obama’s allies of trying to divert attention from the president’s “record of failure on the issues most important to Latinos. Hispanics have been hit especially hard as a result of three years of President Obama’s record of high unemployment, soaring debt, and skyrocketing gas prices. President Obama will do everything possible to make this election about anything other than his failed record.”