Ads targeted at Latinos hit Romney on economy
The super PAC-sponsored ads come after a difficult week of headlines for Obama.
A pro-Obama super PAC and one of the nation’s largest labor unions on Monday launched a major Spanish-language ad campaign targeting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
The $4 million campaign accuses Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee, of pursuing economic policies that would favor the rich while ignoring working-class Americans, including Latinos. The advertisements, sponsored by the Priorities USA Action super PAC and SEIU, will run on TV and radio in three Latino-heavy swing states throughout the summer: Florida, Nevada, and Colorado.
“In the primary process, Mitt Romney embraced the most extreme policies in the history of the Republican party. Latinos say they are insulted and angry when they watch Romney, a multi-millionaire whose wife owns two Cadillacs, joke about his ‘unemployment’ status,” Eliseo Medina, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer, said in a statement. “When Latinos hear Romney, in his own words, they really know what’s going on and what he is saying. They know what he means. And what it would mean for their families if he were to be elected president.”
The ads come after Obama suffered from a week of bad headlines that could damage his chances of reelection.
New government data showed that the economy only added 69,000 jobs in May — well below what’s needed to keep pace with population growth — and the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent. The unemployment rate for Latinos fared even worse, jumping up to 11 percent last month. Obama also gaffed during a Friday news conference, saying the private sector is “doing fine,” opening himself up to attacks from Republicans.
But Obama is still faring well with Latino voters, a group that made up a core part of his constituency in 2008. A NBC/Telemundo poll taken last month showed him leading Romney 61-27 percent. Obama will need another strong showing of support from Latino voters in order to win a second term.
The new ads use Romney’s words against him, highlighting several tone-deaf statements the candidate made during the GOP primary, such as his remark that he would like to “fire people who provide services to me.” They’re designed to paint Romney as out of touch with the concerns of Latinos.
Priorities USA has lagged far behind Republican super PACs in fundraising, but the group has thrown its weight behind Spanish-language messaging efforts targeted at Latinos. SEIU and Priorities teamed up for a six-figure buy in January to run Spanish radio ads in Florida bashing Romney. That ad ran during the Republican primary in the Sunshine State.
The tone of the outside ads contrast with Spanish-language advertising released by the Obama campaign, which has been largely positive. The Obama campaign has spent $1.7 million since mid-April on Spanish advertising in the three states where the outside ads are airing, according to the Associated Press.
Romney has also pursued Latino voters in order to cut into Obama’s lead. His campaign has run translated versions of English-language ads that promote what he would do on his first day in office, though his campaign has only spent $33,000 on running those ads in North Carolina and Ohio, the AP reported. The former Massachusetts governor also rolled out his Latino leadership team last week, headed by former Bush Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.
One of Obama’s ads, however, drew controversy last week. Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos objected on air to one of the spots which used his image.