Huffpost Politics

Group Targets Latino Voters By Calling Obama 'Worse Than Joe Arpaio'

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President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Forum on American Latino Heritage October 12, 2011.
President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Forum on American Latino Heritage October 12, 2011.

An anti-Obama group hopes to use the president's deportation record to pull away his Hispanic support, beginning in a campaign in Nevada next week.

The "Vote Your Values" effort will be launched on Wednesday, May 30. It will not back a specific candidate, but goes directly against Obama for his record on immigration.

"Latinos have latched onto President Obama's failed promises of fixing immigration and jumpstarting job creation," Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, said in a statement Thursday. "Instead of advocating for Hispanics, his administration has deported more immigrants than any other president in the modern era, through a policy of massive and systematic deportations that is much more punitive than the Arizona law."

The group will spend up to $1 million from donors on "education" about immigration, social conservatism and free enterprise, CBS News reported on Friday.

Aguilar told CBS News that Obama is "worse than Joe Arpaio" on immigration, referring to the Arizona sheriff who has been sued for alleged civil rights violations.

Some Republicans aim to use deportation records to lower approval for Obama from Latinos, who overwhelmingly supported him in 2008. The administration deported a record number of people in the 2011 fiscal year and failed to pass any type of immigration reform. It could be a weak point: Nearly 60 percent of Latino voters disapprove of Obama's handling of immigration enforcement, according to a December 2011 study by the Pew Hispanic Center.

Still, Romney would need to make up a substantial amount of ground to win among Hispanic voters. A poll out this week from NBC News, the Wall Street Journal and Telemundo puts him 34 percentage points behind Obama with Latinos.

Groups from the other side, such as the liberal PAC+, are touting the opposite message: That Romney is too extreme on immigration. (Romney has called for more undocumented immigrants to leave the country, not fewer -- making the argument that Obama should be opposed for deporting too many somewhat confusing.)

The super PAC launched television ads in Arizona on Thursday tying Romney to Arizona Republicans Gov. Jan Brewer and Arpaio.

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