Mitt Romney’s pitch to various demographics has been remarkably, painfully consistent: Group X (women, young people, Hispanics) is being adversely affected by President Obama’s economic policies, and should vote for Romney instead.
That was Romney’s pitch to to Hispanics Tuesday in Texas. But his case was undercut somewhat when a protester criticizing Romney’s immigration stance — which Hispanic advocates say is at the heart of the population’s discontent with the former Massachusetts governor — was hauled out of the room.
“This Obama economy has been hard particularly on Hispanic businesses and Hispanic Americans,” Romney said during a town hall in Ft. Worth. “I’ll be the president for all Americans and make sure this economy is good for all Americans, Hispanic and otherwise.”
Romney didn’t mention immigration, which might not be surprising considering the event in Fort Worth was billed as a general election town hall (i.e. not geared toward one specific group). But Romney has made a habit of steering clear of immigration when reaching out to Hispanic voters. Last month, Romney addressed the Latino Coalition, a conservative-leaning business group, and didn’t mention immigration once.
This is a similar tack to the one Romney took at the height of the battle for the female electorate earlier this year. Advocates for women demanded Romney take a clear stand on issues like equal pay — and in response Romney eventually said he wouldn’t repeal the law Obama signed, but has refused to say whether he’d sign pay equity legislation himself. He tried to turn the tables on Obama by accusing the president of waging a vague “war on women” with economic policies Romney says have left them out of work.
Romney’s economics-only pitch to Latinos hasn’t helped him make inroads so far. Hispanic voters still favor Obama by a wide margin.
Part of the reason, according to Hispanic advocates, is Romney’s hardline stance on immigration (including his pledge to veto the DREAM Act) and a cache of far-right supporters and advisers on immigration. That reality smacked Romney in the face in Texas, where a protester reportedly attacking Romney’s immigration stance was hauled out of the back of the rally by Texas police as the cameras rolled: