WASHINGTON -- A leading labor union and allied super PAC are launching a multi-million dollar ad campaign hitting Mitt Romney for his notable primary-season blunders while seeking to drive a wedge between him and Hispanic voters.
The Spanish-language spot, paid for by the Service Employees International Union and sponsored by Priorities USA Action, will air in Colorado, Nevada and Florida, key swing states with large Hispanic populations. With 4 million dollars behind it, the campaign is one of the largest of the cycle to target that increasingly influential voting bloc.
"In the primary process, Mitt Romney embraced the most extreme policies in the history of the Republican party. Latinos say they are insulted and angry when they watch Romney, a multi-millionaire with a couple Cadillacs, joke about his 'unemployment' status," said Eliseo Medina, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU. "When Latinos hear Romney, in his own words, they really know what’s going on and what he is saying."
To prove that point, the ad shows Hispanic voters' real-time reactions as they listen to clips of Romney making the slip-ups that plagued his primary campaign. As the former Massachusetts governor says that he too is unemployed, or that he's not concerned about the very poor, a man and a woman are shown shaking their heads in disbelief.
"It’s easy for him to say that, since he doesn’t have the same necessities as us," the man says. "When you are really out of work … you are worried, you don’t want to laugh or make fun of anybody."
The ad reflects the type of strategic mindset that Democrats have come to embrace in light of the massive amounts of money being pumped into conservative super PACs. Instead of making broad appeals to voters, progressive groups are looking increasingly toward turning out critical blocs.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the ad.
Hispanics hold immense political promise for Democrats, having voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama in 2008 and given the fact that the Latino population is only expanding. But as a Sunday New York Times article noted, "Latinos are not registering or voting in numbers that fully reflect their potential strength, leaving Hispanic leaders frustrated and Democrats worried as they increase efforts to rally Latino support."
Romney himself recently released an ad that attempt to appeal to Hispanic voters by homing in on the state of the economy.
The newest ad is airing on both television and radio. SEIU is paying for the former and Priorities USA is covering the latter, an official with the super PAC explained.
UPDATE: Andrea Saul, a spokesperson for the Romney campaign, emailed over the following reply to the new ad:
More Hispanics have lost their jobs under this president than any president in modern history. The same month Hispanic unemployment jumped to 11%, President Obama declared the private sector is ‘doing fine.' President Obama and his allies will do anything to distract from the fact that Hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard in the Obama economy. Mitt Romney is focused on his plans to create jobs and get the economy back on track.