Mitt Romney has somewhat of a reputation for putting his foot in his mouth. But when the liberal magazine Mother Jones posted the video of the 2012 Republican presidential nominee calling 47 percent of Obama voters “freeloaders,” political junkies, average Americans, and campaign strategists gasped.
The main purpose of the Republican National Convention was to introduce the former governor of Massachusetts to the American public. Until then, the campaign focused on Romney’s management experience in government, at the helm of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and at investment firm Bain Capital, arguing this will make him a better President than Barack Obama. The focus in Tampa went heavy on the personable Romney, with testimony affirming he is a loving father, loyal friend and devoted husband to wife Ann who survived breast cancer and battles muscular dystrophy. The softer side of Romney culminated with a revelation in a CNN documentary that he wears and likes shirts bought at Costco. The argument: he not only has the experience to lead the country, but he’s a nice, trustworthy guy.
But that strategy just hit a bit of a speed bump with the Mother Jones video, which depicted Romney as a non-average American, and losing his personable, relatable factor.
That leads us the “Juan” percent, a tongue-in-cheek term that came up when Mitt Romney’s Mexican roots received at the beginning of the year a lot of media attention (his papi, former Michigan governor and American Motors Company CEO George was born in Mexico).
On Wednesday night, the GOP presidential nominee was the first to appear in back-to-back candidate forums on Univision (President Obama’s turn is Thursday night) and when asked about the 47 percent comments, promised his campaign is for all Americans.
"My campaign is about the 100 percent of America," affirmed Governor Romney a total of four times.
At the forum he talked immigration, promising to expand legal immigration (not rounding up illegal immigrants) and expanding a permanent solution for DREAMers – all direct hits to President Obama’s policies. Romney also promised to strengthen the economy by investing in education, especially the STEM (science, technology, and math) fields, and helping small businesses.
Was Mitt Romney able to make headway with Latino voters? Recent polls suggest the gap has widened. The latest Fox News Latino survey has the President beating Romney two to one. The gender gap dwarfs these numbers with Latinas preferring Mr. Obama at a head-spinning 6 to 1 margin, according to the most recent ImpreMedia/Latino Decisions poll.
Romney’s own campaign has crunched the numbers and come up with the magic number of 38 percent – that’s the percentage of the Hispanic vote the Republican nominee must win to be elected President of the United States. But the latest surveys, combined with his 47 percent comments, suggest this be a bit difficult.
Tell Us: Do you think the Mother Jones video hurt Romney’s campaign?