This weekend the Romney campaign released a new ad, “Ya No Más” which opens with President Obama at a rally in ’08 in front of a large crowd shouting, “Sí se puede” and then seven different Latinos voicing their frustration with the President in Spanish.
Given the reality that Latinos have a higher unemployment rate than the national average, the trend is showing that unemployment within the community is inching downward. As of Friday when the latest jobs report was released, the national unemployment rate fell .1 percent from 8.2% to 8.1%. In the Latino community, unemployment dropped 10.3% to 10.2%. But this isn’t the rate of improvement that people were hoping for when the Latino community came out in overwhelming support of Barack Obama in 2008. Polling has consistently shown the economy to be the number one issue for Latino voters.
Only one of the seven Latino voters featured in the new Romney Spanish language ad mention jobs. Immigration reform, which is largely considered to be the biggest broken promise in the Latino community, is not mentioned. These disappointed voters say the following:
“It’s been four years since I voted for Obama. I believed in what he said,” says Gustavo Pinto.
Sandra Mora says, “He tells us a lot of nice things, but then he forgets about us.”
Lilly Lopez chimes in, “Obama has no idea what we’re going through.”
“He seems like a good guy, but he doesn’t give us jobs,” Roberto Serna states.
“Promises, promises and nothing,” says Aline Fernandez.
“Has he improved things for you? For me, no,” Dan Vargas asks rhetorically and then answers.
And finally, an older abuelita type, Olga Rodriguez says, “I will not give Mr. Obama four more years.”
The Romney campaign is trying to drive home the message that President Obama hasn’t delivered on what he promised, but even with disappointing job numbers, Mitt Romney still trails President Obama by substantial margins in Latino support. Right now Romney has about 30% of the Latino vote, while President Obama’s support stands at 64%. These numbers are pre-DNC convention, where Latinos were featured prominently.
Romney’s ad without pointing to specific policies that Obama has failed to deliver other than the quick mention of jobs by Roberto Serna doesn’t even attempt to explain what the GOP nominee might do differently. And the reason for leaving out specifics might have to do with Latinos being supportive of raising taxes on the wealthy, wanting more government involvement in solving the nation’s problems, and being supportive of things like the President’s educational policies and health care reform.
And then there is the issue of immigration, the area where Romney could distinguish himself from the President’s failures, Romney has not indicated what he would do about the new “deferred action policy” that protects DREAM Act eligible youth from deportation. To add another layer of criticism to Romney’s immigration issue problems, the GOP nominee has just endorsed immigration hardliner Rep. Steve King, who has come under criticism for comparing immigrants to dogs.