Is the Latino population being excluded in the scope of concern of the GOP candidates? According to campaign officials with Barack Obama, they are.
According to the Census Bureau, in 2010 16.3 percent of the United States population was of Latino and Hispanic decent. That is a significant enough portion that the Latino vote could have a noticeable impact in the election season.
An article on Fox News, a recent poll indicated that Latino voters favored Obama to the republican candidates six to one. Some suspect the reason behind that might be related to various GOP candidate’s views on immigration, and on the Latino population.
This became a hot topic this week due to a new campaign advertisement that Mitt Romney released. In his ad, which can be viewed here, he showed the significance of Sonia Sotomayor being appointed to Supreme Court, among many other issues as examples of opponent Rick Santorum being too liberal and not ready to be the GOP candidate. It seems like another simple move to try to rip down a candidate, but as with most political moves in the campaign season, this one is receiving some backlash.
Santorum voted to confirm Sotomayor to the federal circuit court in 1998, according to this CNN article. Sotomayor is a liberal democrat, a viewpoint that opposes the republican stance that Romney takes. Some think the ad was simple created to show how Santorum supports a more liberal agenda, but others are taking it in a very different context. According to Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for the Latino Policy, “This unprovoked attack is another example of how Romney and the Republican Party are pushing the Latino vote to Obama … They forget that Judge Sotomayor is an icon for the Latino community. It’s like attacking Martin Luther King or George Washington, for blacks and whites.”
David Axelrod, who works on Obama’s campaign staff, was quoted saying, “This Republican debate should be very concerning to people in Hispanic communities across this country … because you know you’ve seen particularly Gov. Romney use the Latino community as foils to try and gain advantage over his candidates.” The CNN article points to Romney’s “bold” stance against immigration and his vocal appreciation of Arizona’s anti-immigration as two ways Romney pushes against the Latino population.
The Latino population, according to Axelrod, could also view the GOP’s views on several primary issues including education, job training and health care negatively. Democratic National Committee Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs, Juan Seulveda, targeted in on Romney, saying, “Mitt Romney has shown time and again that he is after the Tea Party vote, not the Latino vote, and with each attack he locks himself more to his extreme positions.”
Romney spokesperson Albert Martinez said that Sotomayor was picked due to her “liberal sympathy” and Santorum did not do his part to oppose her appointment. The CNN article pointed towards Newt Gingrich as well, bringing up the fact that he sent a tweet in 2009 calling Sotomayor a racist.
How do you weigh in on this issue? Is this a subtle racism from Romney masked in a campaign ad, or is it simply a GOP candidate attacking another candidate?