Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
For the past few days, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) held its annual conference featuring workshops, townhalls, and networking events for the Latino community. This year’s gathering in Las Vegas provided the presidential campaigns with another opportunity to address a captive audience of Latino leaders. Biden at La Raza: Mitt Wants You to Show Your Papers But He Won't Show Us His:
[Y]esterday, Vice President Biden represented President Obama at NCLR and highlighted the differences between the President and his opponent. Biden talked about how Romney wants to maintain the Bush tax cuts, how Romney supports a budget that cuts Head Start and restricts Medicaid, and how Romney casts the President as being out of touch.
Vice President Biden then threw a zinger when he addressed Governor Romney’s failure to release multiple years of his tax returns, which is something that the presumptive GOP nominee’s father had done during his pursuit of the presidency. Biden said, “He wants you to show your papers, but he won’t show us his,” in reference to Romney’s support of the Arizona immigration law while refusing to release his own tax returns.
Check out the clip of Biden at NCLR below the fold:
In contrast, the Romney campaign did not send a surrogate to address the crowd. Instead it sent a video presentation narrated by Ann Romney who talked about Mitt Romney’s leadership skills in managing the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Julissa Bonfante of VOXXI describes the mood after the Romney video aired at NCLR and the reaction or lack thereof of subsequent speakers:
“The Romney camp didn’t even bother to produce something special for the largest Hispanic organization in the country? Couldn’t they have even tried putting Mitt Romney on air to give us those traditional political greetings in broken Spanish?
Yes. This was a rallying moment for national Hispanics — at just the right place. Let the Latino leadership of this country rush to the podium to denounce this insult. Good, the lovely Maria Elena Salinas, of Univision, was the first live speaker after the video.
She could address what was on all of our minds, not by declaring or decrying anything that this video slap in the face represented. She could simply do what TV reporters and anchors do best: ask questions.
Questions like: what was the Romney camp thinking?
She went on as if this video did not exist, perhaps a fitting metaphor for the moment since the video treated Hispanics as if they didn’t exist.
It wasn’t until NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguia took the podium that she finally said something about the lack of Romney’s attendance. She called it ‘a missed opportunity’ but didn’t address the video.”
The Romney campaign’s absence and substitution of an actual campaign representative with a video that did not speak to the concerns of the audience did not leave a positive impression.
"If candidates squander opportunities to adequately address the issues that matter most to the Latino community, the response from thought leaders and organizational heads needs to be firm and quick."