L.A. mayor Villaraigosa to rip Romney on immigration
Villaraigosa will go after Romney in front of a Latino audience in Washington, D.C. (Flickr: Antonio Villaraigosa)
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) on Wednesday plans to rip Mitt Romney for the Republican candidate’s immigration stance.
“For the first time in modern memory, a major political party is poised to nominate a presidential candidate who has abandoned immigration reform and instead advocates self-deportation,” Villaraigosa plans to say in a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) in Washington, D.C., according to excerpts. “We have a candidate who on Martin Luther King Day, a day celebrating racial reconciliation, had the architect of Arizona and Alabama’s draconian anti-immigration laws campaign for him.”
“This is beyond the pale. And we are obligated to say so.”
“We must defend the tradition of sensible immigration reform…,” Villaraigosa will say. “A tradition that until recently was a bipartisan one that ran from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush.”
Romney’s tough stance on immigration is a major liability for him with Latino voters in a match up against President Obama, Democrats say, and the president’s allies have consistently hammered Romney on the issue to Latino audiences.
Villaraigosa endorsed Hillary Clinton over Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary but has emerged as a top Democratic surrogate during the 2012 election season.
Villaraigosa is receiving NALEO’s Edward R. Roybal Award for Outstanding Public Service. He will deliver the speech at 7:00 PM EST Wednesday.
Matthew Jaffe is covering the 2012 campaign for ABC News and Univision.