Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday launched a fall courtship of Hispanic voters, an increasingly important segment of the electorate, with a promise he would reform immigration laws in his first term. However, Romney declined to say whether he would continue President Obama's executive order allowing some children of undocumented workers to remain in the country. And in a video recording released on Monday, he was heard saying his quest for the White House would be easier if he were Latino.
On a day that the Republican challenger devoted to Hispanic issues and message-making, a video clip of an appearance by Romney at a private fundraiser was released by the liberal magazine Mother Jones. In the video, Romney is heard saying, "My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company. But he was born in Mexico ... and had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this. But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. He lived there for a number of years. I mean, I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino."
Mother Jones said it obtained the video from someone at a fundraiser earlier this year. Romney says in the video that while women are open to supporting him, "We are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting bloc has in the past, why, we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation."