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GOP2012: Republican debate, October 11th, 2011
The Reality
Fact Check

Mitt Romney is Wrong on the Issues that Matter to Hispanics

January 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Mitt Romney continues to prove that he will say anything to get elected. Despite his claims of not being “anti-immigrant” in today’s Univision forum, Mitt Romney has adopted the most extreme immigration policies in the Republican field, said he would veto the DREAM Act (supported by his own Republican advisors), said all undocumented immigrants should self-deport and even embraced the endorsements of controversial figures like Kris Kobach, who was the architect of the most extreme, anti-immigrant state immigration laws.  Romney has shown time and again that he does not understand the plight that many Hispanic families go through – whether it’s his out-of-touch comments on immigration or his “let it hit the bottom” plan for the housing market.



Romney Is Furthest To The Right Of The Republican Field On Immigration. “But Perry’s first major stumble in the primary race occurred when Romney attacked him from the right on the question of immigration: A generic ‘ideology score’ can’t capture the fact that, for millions of voters (especially Hispanics) who see immigration as a make-or-break issue, it is Romney, not Perry, who is furthest to the right.” [Bloomberg, 11/14/11]

·        Romney Takes A Hard Line On Immigration His Supporters Worry He Will Damage Himself With The Fastest-Growing Population Of Voters: Hispanics. “With Romney’s recent move to wield the immigration issue as a club against Rick Perry — painting him as ‘soft’ on a topic that resonates with the Republican primary electorate — the former Massachusetts governor is taking advantage of a rare opportunity to outflank Perry on the right among conservatives. After the Texas governor wounded himself with his remarks in the last debate, Romney seized on the issue of illegal immigration, trying to paint Perry as an open-border softy who is giving out freebies to people who enter the country illegally. But the tactic is not without risk, and some strategists — and even some Romney supporters — are beginning to worry that he could damage himself as a general election candidate with the fastest-growing population of voters who are up for grabs: Hispanics.” [Politico, 10/4/11]

Washington Post: “Republicans Are Increasingly Worried” That Mitt Romney’s “Heated Rhetoric On Illegal Immigration” May Undermine The Party’s Efforts To “Win A Competitive Slice Of The Fast-Growing Hispanic Vote.” “Republicans are increasingly worried that their party’s efforts to win a competitive slice of the fast-growing Hispanic vote in important presidential battleground states are being undermined by Mitt Romney’s heated rhetoric on illegal immigration. Several leading GOP strategists say Romney’s sharp-tongued attacks have gained wide attention in Hispanic media and are eroding the party’s already fragile standing in that community.” [Washington Post, 12/19/11]



When Asked If He Would Veto The DREAM Act, Romney Said, “The Answer Is Yes.” “‘The question is if I were elected and Congress were to pass the Dream Act, would I veto it and the answer is yes,’ Romney said.” [Reuters, 12/31/11; Le Mars, IA Meet & Greet, 12/31/11]

When Asked About His Opposition To The DREAM Act, Romney Said That If “Hispanic-American” Voters Want “A President Who Is Going To Talk To Them About A Handout Or More Benefits For Free, They Got That Guy.” Romney: “You know, the Hispanic-American voters I speak with are overwhelmingly concerned with opportunity. They want good jobs in America and rising incomes. If they want a president who is going to talk to them about a handout or more benefits for free, they got that guy.” [Starting Point, CNN, 1/4/12]

Romney Suggested The DREAM Act Was “Favoritism” And “A Special Route” For Undocumented Immigrants To Become Permanent Residents Or Citizens. Romney: “Now with regards to immigration policy, I absolutely believe that those who come here illegally should not be given favoritism or a special route to becoming permanent residents or citizens that's not given to those people who have stayed in line legally. I just think we have to follow the law, I think that's the right course. … I have indicated I would veto the DREAM Act if provisions included in that act to say that people who are here illegally, if they go to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become permanent residents. I think that's a mistake. I think we have to follow the law and insist those who come here illegally, ultimately return home, apply, and get in line with everyone else.” [Fox News/Wall Street Journal SC Debate, 1/16/12]



Romney Announced The Endorsement Of Kansas Secretary Of State Kris Kobach. [Romney For President, 1/11/12]

Kris Kobach Helped Draft Immigration Laws In Arizona And Alabama. “Kobach, a Republican, pushed legislators last year to impose requirement, but some legislators were wary of the idea. Kobach is a former University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor who's become nationally known for helping state and local officials draft measures designed to crack down on illegal immigration, and he helped draft tough laws in Alabama and Arizona. He contends a proof-of-citizenship requirement will prevent illegal immigrants from registering to vote, but he sees the rule as part of a broader attempt to combat election fraud.” [Associated Press, 1/11/12]

Romney On Kansas Secretary Of State Kris Kobach: “I’m So Proud To Earn Kris’s Support. … Kris Has Been A True Leader On Securing Our Borders And Stopping The Flow Of Illegal Immigration Into This Country.” Romney: “I’m so proud to earn Kris’s support. … Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country. We need more conservative leaders like Kris willing to stand up for the rule of law. With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem.” [Romney For President, 1/11/12]

·        Kansas Secretary Of State Kris Kobach, A Romney Supporter, Helped Draft SB 1070, Arizona’s Controversial Anti-Immigration Law. “Kobach is one of the chief supporters of state-led immigration crackdowns, and helped draft SB 1070, the first of a wave of such laws in Arizona. Since then, Georgia, South Carolina, Indiana and Alabama have passed similar laws to SB 1070.” [Huffington Post, 1/11/12]

Romney Endorser Kansas Secretary Of State Kris Kobach Said He Supported “Attrition Through Enforcement” Which Seeks To Drive Out Undocumented Immigrants By Making It “More Difficult” For Them To Live And Work In An Area. “In a telephone interview Monday from South Carolina, Mr. Kobach said he is guided by the ‘attrition through enforcement’ principle, which seeks to drive out illegal immigrants by making it ‘more difficult’ for them to live and work in an area.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/16/12]


When Asked If Someone Who Has Been A Law-Abiding Citizen For 25 Years Should Be Allowed To Stay, Romney Said, "I'm Not Going To Start Drawing Lines Here About Who Gets To Stay And Who Gets To Go." [CNN/Heritage/AEI Debate, 11/22/11]

Romney: 12 Million Undocumented Immigrants Should Not Be Allowed to Stay Permanently. At the ABC GOP Debate on January 5, 2008, Romney said: “I disagree fundamentally that the 12 million people who come here illegally, should be allowed to stay here permanently. I think that is a form of amnesty and that it’s not appropriate.”  [NH ABC Debate, 1/5/08]

Romney Supported “Self-Deportation” For Undocumented Immigrants. SMITH: “You say you don`t want to go and round up people and deport them, but you also say that they would have to go back to their home countries and then apply for citizenship. So, if you don`t deport them, how do you send them home?” ROMNEY: “Well, the answer is self-deportation, which is people decide they can do better by going home because they can`t find work here because they don`t have legal documentation to allow them to work here. And so we`re not going to round people up. The way that we have in this society is to say, look, people who have come here legally would, under my plan, be given a transition period and the opportunity during that transition period to work here, but when that transition period was over, they would no longer have the documentation to allow them to work in this country. At that point, they can decide whether to remain or whether to return home and to apply for legal residency in the United States, get in line with everybody else. And I know people think but that`s not fair to those that have come here illegally.” [NBC Florida Debate, 1/23/12]



In Romney’s Four Years As Governor Massachusetts Ranked 47th Out Of 50 In Jobs Growth.  “The Republican contender was the governor of Massachusetts from January 2003 to January 2007. And during that time, according to the U.S. Labor Department, the state ranked 47th in the entire country in jobs growth. Fourth from last.  The only ones that did worse? Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana. In other words, two rustbelt states and another that lost its biggest city to a hurricane. The Massachusetts jobs growth over that period, a pitiful 0.9%, badly lagged other high-skill, high-wage, knowledge economy states like New York (2.7%), California (4.7%) and North Carolina (7.6%). The national average: More than 5%.” [Marketwatch, 2/23/10]

Massachusetts Wages and Income Fell By 2% During Romney Years.  “Between 2002 and 2006, the median real (inflation adjusted) weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers in Massachusetts is estimated to have fallen by $10 or nearly 2 percent. The real income of the average (median) family in Massachusetts in 2005 was 1 percent below its value at the time of the 2000 Census while median household income was 3 percent below its 2000 value. Median household income fell even more sharply in the nation. Family incomes in both the United States and Massachusetts have become more unevenly distributed since 2000.” [Boston Globe, 7/28/07]

Between 2003 And 2005 The Median Hourly Wage For Massachusetts Workers Fell 5%--The Largest Decline In The Country During That Period. “Perhaps even worse, wages in Massachusetts, after adjusting for inflation, have dropped across the labor force over the last few years. In particular, the median hourly wage that is, the wage earned by the typical Massachusetts worker fell close to 5 percent between 2003 and 2005, the largest decline in the country during that period and the largest two-year decline in Massachusetts in at least twenty-five years.” [Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, 9/3/06]

Under Romney, The Median Household Income In Massachusetts Decreased $1,963 In Real Terms.  In 2002, the median household income in Massachusetts was $55,266.  Adjusted for inflation, this amount was $61,932.33 in 2006 buying power.  In 2006, the median household income in Massachusetts was $59,963, a decrease from the inflation adjusted median household income from 2002 of $1,963.33 [ American Community Survey, 2002 Median Household Income And 2006 Median Household IncomeBLS Inflation Calculator, 2002-2006]



Romney: “Don’t Try To Stop The Foreclosure Process. Let It Run Its Course And Hit The Bottom.” Romney: “As to what to do for the housing industry specifically and are their things that you can do to encourage housing. One is, don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom. Allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up. The Obama administration has slow walked the foreclosure process [inaudible] that has long existed and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/17/11]

Romney To Florida Residents Concerned About Housing: “Now The Banks Aren’t Bad People, They’re Just Overwhelmed Right Now.” [Romney Event, Lehigh Acres FL, 1/24/12]

Romney Told Florida Residents Concerned About Losing Their Homes: “Banks Are Scared To Death Of Course… So They’re Feeling The Same Thing That You’re Feeling.” Romney told Florida residents: “Well the banks are scared to death, of course, because they think that they’re going to go out of business. They’re afraid that if they write all these loans off that they’re going to go broke. So they’re feeling the same thing that you’re feeling, so they just want to pretend like all this is going to get paid so they don’t have to write it off and potentially go out of business themselves.” [Romney Roundtable, Tampa FL, 1/23/12]

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