Outside groups ramp up Spanish-language political ads
The deep-pocketed groups are targeting Latino voters.
Outside political spending groups have played a relatively small role in targeting Latino voters in this election, but that could be about to change.
These groups have played an outsized role in shaping political messages for the general electorate without either having to disclose the identity of their donors or accept unlimited amounts of cash. One powerful type of outside group, super PACs, have spent $216 million since Feb. 2011 on political advertising, 76 percent of which opposes candidates. But only a fraction of that has been spent in Spanish-language advertising.
That amount looks to be increasing with the election only 53 days away.
Priorities Action USA, a pro-Obama super PAC that can accept unlimited donations, launched a new series of Spanish-language ads this week in conjunction with the labor union SEIU aimed at further damaging Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s weak standing among Latino voters.
The ad, titled “Votemos,” hits Romney on his positions on immigration, Medicare spending, and outsourcing jobs. It’s part of a $4 million advertising campaign announced by the two organizations. The version below will air in Nevada and Colorado, while a separate version will air in Florida. All are critical battleground states Obama likely needs to win in order to be reelected.
The ad dredges up many of Romney’s past statements, such as his pledge that he would veto the current version of the DREAM Act if he is elected. While Romney has emphasized he wants to welcome more immigrants into the country legally, especially high-skilled workers, the ad shows video of him saying that some immigrants cross the border with few job skills simply “looking for a free deal.”
A handful of people appear on screen saying they could not support Romney for reasons such as that.
“Absolutely not, I’d never support someone with that type of thinking, values or theories,” one says.
“On every issue that matters most to Latino families, Mitt Romney has demonstrated that he is not on our side,” Eliseo Medina, SEIU International Secretary Treasurer, said in a statement. “The proof is in his own words.”
Meanwhile, a conservative outside group called the LIBRE Initiative is launching its own ad this week that promotes a message of small government to Latino voters.
The ads will air in a number of battleground states: Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, and Virginia.
The LIBRE Initiative is one of several fledgling conservative groups looking to help Republicans and conservatives make inroads among Latino voters, who favor President Obama two-to-one. The organization is a 501(c)(4) group that is not forced to disclose the identity of its donors, although the group has reportedly wooed GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch to give it financial backing.
The group’s tax status restricts its ability to make overt political statements in its advertisements, but the ad’s small-government message clearly echoes Romney’s message that the sputtering economy under Obama has hurt Latinos.
“The American Dream is threatened by an enormous national debt and extremely high unemployment, especially amongst Latinos,” the narrator says. “It has become very difficult to prosper.”
(Photo: Screenshot, YouTube)