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Posted on 10-11-2012
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The problem with Craig Romney and his Padre

Jason Salzman

Mitt Romney's son, Craig, has become known as Mitt's ambassador to Latino voters. He stars in Spanish-language TV and radio ads for his father. He spoke directly to Latinos in Spanish at the Republican National Convention. He talks to Hispanic groups nationwide.
And what qualifies Craig Romney to be Señor Outreach? Has he studied the issues that Latinos care about? Worked on policy issues? Perhaps memorized some talking points?
Nope. Craig Romney just speaks Spanish. That's why he's equipped to be out there in front of Hispanic groups. That's apparently why he calls himself an "ambassador."
No one wants to knock the guy for being bilingual. And Craig Romney speaks Spanish beautifully, with a fine accent and cadence. This tall, dark, and handsome guy could even pass for Mexican-American — which of course he sort of is, given where his grandfather George Romney was born.
But Craig Romney knows little or nothing about the policy issues that Hispanics might want to hear about. And he freely admits this at campaign stops across the country.
"I'm not a policy expert," he told a Latino group in Denver. "I'm not a policy expert by any means," he emphasized in Nevada.
You'd think reporters might ask him why his fluency in Spanish qualifies him to be the Romney campaign's point person for Hispanic groups, but the question doesn't seem to come up much, if at all. Instead, reporters passively listen to him gush about his dad, as if no one cares that Craig is ducking the issues.
"If you want to hear some personal stuff about my dad, that's my job," he told Latinos in Nevada. "I love to tell stories about my dad."
Dad stories? Aw, shucks. But seriously, is that enough, even if he can tell those stories in Spanish?
What about his father's opposition to the DREAM Act, which would give high-achieving, undocumented students a path to citizenship by attending college? What about Mitt Romney's opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, preferring instead that the undocumented just "self-deport"?
What about the economy? How is Mitt Romney going to create jobs? And the Affordable Care Act? Can Craig explain why Mitt Romney says he's going to kill our landmark health care reform?
If you believe the polls, these are the issues that Latinos, like most Americans, want to talk about, in whatever language. Yet, as far as we've seen, Craig Romney can't address ...
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