In a surprising turn of events, George Romney, brother of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, has decided to address the Hispanic community in Metro Detroit – in Spanish. This address, to take place on Thursday, October 25th at a Mexican restaurant (of course) in Auburn Hills, seems to be the Republican candidate’s last desperate attempt to win over the thousands of Hispanic voters in Michigan who continue to favor President Obama.
An October 2012 poll by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that 82% of religiously unaffiliated Latinos, 73% of Catholic Latinos, and even 50% of Evangelical Protestant Latinos favor President Obama. Latinos are evolving in the US. Whereas in 2006 most of them opposed same-sex marriage, today more than half of Latinos in the US are in favor of allowing it — and there are over 23 million Latinos registered and ready to vote, most of them for the Democratic Party, as shown by the PEW Hispanic Center poll.
Mitt Romney has had no qualms to run ads in Spanish all over the United States, contradicting his 2007 statement: “English is and should remain our national language”. More contradictions followed after Gov. Romney had expressed this opinion, as immediately after, he approved a radio ad stating (in Spanish) that he approved the message.
Making an effort to seem bilingual did not fool Hispanic voters back in 2008 and does not seem to be doing the trick now. Bilingual does not mean bicultural.
In spite of the fact that George Romney Senior was born in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, he never even learned Spanish, and the Romney family have never shown any interest or worked on behalf of Hispanic immigrants in the US. Having his brother George suddenly appear at a Mexican restaurant to address some Hispanics in Metro Detroit is rather odd.
The way Mitt Romney opposed the DREAM Act and giving amnesty to thousands of immigrant children who have known no other home than the US shows there is a lot Gov. Romney does not understand about basic human rights and the vital importance of immigrants to this country.
Gov. Romney faced a cold reception when he addressed Latino officials and business leaders in Los Angeles in September, so having his brother George say a few phrases in Spanish and make empty promises on his behalf may not be the best way to swing Latino business leaders in Michigan away from President Obama.