Romney makes pitch for Latino vote

MIAMI, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said his administration would work for "100 percent" of Americans and nothing less.

Speaking Wednesday at a University of Miami event broadcast by the Spanish-language television network Univision, Romney said he has a record of helping all people while he was governor of Massachusetts, The Miami Herald reported.


"This is a campaign about the 100 percent. And over the last several years, you've seen greater and greater divisiveness in this country," Romney said. "We had hoped to come back together. But instead you've seen us pulled apart. And politics has driven us apart in some respects."

Romney was responding to a question about his hidden-video remarks during a May fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla., in which he said 47 percent of Americans don't pay income taxes and see themselves as victims.

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While not naming President Obama, Romney did list some troubling statistics: 47 million people on food stamps, 23 million people out of work or under-employed, high poverty rates.

"My campaign is about the 100 percent of Americans," he said. "I have a record. I've demonstrated my capacity to help the 100 percent when I was governor."


In the video, Romney said he wouldn't get the vote of the 47 percent of people who don't pay income taxes because they're "dependent upon government" and "believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it."

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Romney said his comments weren't "elegantly stated" and were "off the cuff," but hasn't backed away from them.

Concerning immigration, Romney was asked if he'd continue Obama's policy that allows undocumented immigrants brought into the United States as children to get temporary permission to work or study, the Herald said.

"For those that are already here and that are undocumented, that were brought here by their parents, and therefore are illegal aliens in this country, my view is we should put in place a permanent solution," Romney said.

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"Are you going to deport them? Yes or no," a questioner pressed.

"We're not going to round up people around the country and deport them," Romney said.

Romney sidestepped a question about whether Arizona's deportation law -- which he has said he favors -- should be a model for the rest of the country, the Herald said.

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"I believe people make their own choices as to whether they want to go home. And that's what I mean by self-deportation," Romney said. "What I like about the Arizona law is the measure that says we're going to have an employment verification system so that employers know who they're able to hire and who they're not able to hire.

"The reason there's an Arizona law is because the federal government -- specifically President Obama -- didn't solve the immigration problem."

National polls indicate Hispanic voters back Obama by a wide margin over Romney. However, during a Juntos con Romney event, Romney said the Republican Party is a natural fit for Hispanics, citing the up-and-coming U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

"This party is the natural home for Hispanic-Americans," he said. "This is the party of hope and opportunity."

The Obama campaign said Romney has failed to give the specifics of his platform, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"On critical issues, he continued to refuse to answer any of the tough questions or provide any specifics on what he'd do as president," campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith in a statement. "It's time for Mitt Romney to come clean and get specific about his policies."


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