The Ed Show | September 20, 2012
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW . The Romney campaign says its goal is to win 38 percent of the Latino vote. They got quite an uphill climb, don't you think? On their hands.
ROMNEY: The question is, if I were elected and Congress were to pass the DREAM Act , would I veto it? And the answer is, yes. Well, the answer is self-deportation. So we went to the company and said, look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. That's -- I'm running for office, for Pete 's sake. I can't have illegals.
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney currently trails President Obama among Latino voters by 30 points in one recent poll, 42 points in another. So his campaign is devoting significant resources to Latino outreach. One Romney adviser tells " The New York Times " that the campaign is organizing the most aggressive Hispanic outreach of any Republican presidential campaign . It's ratcheting up Spanish language advertising and putting Mr. Romney in front of predominantly Latino crowds. Last night in Miami ,. the Republican nominee walked out to Neil Diamond 's song "America" and referred to his Spanish-speaking son, Craig .
CRAIG ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY'S SON: Hola!
SCHULTZ: Romney 's got the pandering part down pretty good, but he's still shaky when it comes to policy. Romney tried to downplay positions he held during the primaries -- GOP primaries during a forum with the Spanish language network, Univision . Romney defended his self-deportation comments, wouldn't give a straight answer on whether the nation should follow Arizona 's lead on immigration and offered no specifics on how he would deal with the millions of young people brought here illegally by their parents.
ROMNEY: I said during my primary campaign time and again we're not going to round up 12 million people. Our system isn't to deport people. We need to provide a long-term solution.
SCHULTZ: I mean, in public, he's offering no concrete plan for issues facing Latinos . Yet behind closed doors he jokes, be better off, be easier for him if he'd be one. Here's more of the Mitt Romney at the private fund-raiser back in May.
ROMNEY: My dad, as you probably know, was the governor of Michigan , 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 of winning this, but he was unfortunately born of Americans living in Mexico . They've lived there for a number of years. And -- I mean, I say that jokingly, but it'd be helpful to be Latino .
SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight is Annette Taddeo , a member of the Miami - Dade Democratic Party . Great to have you with us, Annette .
ANNETTE TADDEO, MIAMI-DADE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: You know, all politics is local. You're not on the national scene. You're not on the regional scene. You're there in Florida . You're there in south Florida . How is this going over? How is Mitt Romney going to have the largest outreach ever? How's it going to unfold?
TADDEO: I don't think it's going to work. I think it's too little, too late. I think the voter registration numbers are there to show it as well. Voter registration in Florida is growing on the Democratic side and also on the independent side for Hispanics . And right here in Miami-Dade , we just surpassed, the Democrats that are Hispanic , the African-American numbers. We have 550,000 registered Democrats , in comparison to the Republicans , which are 373 registered Republicans . So we are ground zero.
TADDEO: For registered Democrats versus Republicans , we are the largest county in Miami-Dade county of Florida .
SCHULTZ: So the Latino vote in South Florida has to be there as strong as it can be if President Obama is going to win Florida . Is that a fair statement?
TADDEO: It is a fair statement. And I think there's a fallacy. Obviously most people realize that we have a lot of Cuban-Americans that live in Miami-Dade county . And they lean Republican. And most of them do still vote Republican, but not the younger generation of Cuban-Americans. They are voting Democrat for the most part. They may not tell their grandparents, but they are voting Democrat. In addition to that --
TADDEO: -- the gem that we have, that we're realizing, is that the majority of non- Cuban Hispanics are registering Democrat. And the ones that are registering independent are voting Democrat.
SCHULTZ: All right. Let's go back to Mitt Romney 's comments.
SCHULTZ: He says it would be easier if he were Mexican. Is that offensive? Do you find that offensive? How's that going to play?
TADDEO: I find it very offensive, because, first of all, I realize he says he was saying a joke. But it takes more than being a Mexican for us to vote for somebody or being a Hispanic for us to vote for somebody. You have to have our values. And he said so many things. He said that he would veto the Dream Act . He says things like self-deportation is the way to have a comprehensive immigration plan. Now yesterday he said something about slapping a green card, you know, to people who, you know, who have degrees. So he's -- he's trying to become this person that we all know he isn't, because we know what he said in primary.
SCHULTZ: Now, I understand you were at President Obama 's event today at Univision . How did President Obama do? Is he gaining momentum with the Latinos in Florida ?
TADDEO: I think he is. And I think it was a night and day performance in the sense that President Obama was warm. He was honest in his answers. And that's a very clear difference. We like a person who's honest. And what we saw in Romney yesterday was somebody who was not honest, who was trying to reinvent himself.
And so in Spanish we have a saying -- . So it's like -- you know, it's like the truck is coming with the ice cream and you go to get the ice cream and he has no ice cream . That's what Romney represents.
SCHULTZ: What about the slur he used last night?
TADDEO: I think that he is just so insulting. He called us -- he also called the name -- he said illegal aliens. I mean, he should know better. He should know better than to say illegal aliens. These are undocumented immigrants. He doesn't know the difference and even the lingo that is so insulting to Hispanic-Americans . Even those of us who are here and born citizens like myself are very insulted by language like that.
SCHULTZ: All right. Annette Taddeo , Miami-Dade County , thank you for joining us tonight. Appreciate your time.
TADDEO: My pleasure.
SCHULTZ: Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown had their first debate tonight. Brown went on the attack right away. We have the highlights coming up. And there's a lot more coming up in the next half hour of the ED SHOW . Stay right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The policies that the current administration has got is attacking my livelihood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're wanting to close these mines down.
SCHULTZ: Mitt Romney is getting in trouble for using unpaid workers in his new ad. Tonight, I'll tell you why this story and his story about a Chinese factory should trouble every wage earner in this