Washington, DC -- With a week to go before Election Day, People For the American Way has announced that it is expanding its national Latino voter campaign to run Spanish-language TV ads in Colorado, where the presidential race remains tight and the votes of Latinos will be critical. PFAW's message will counter that of Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, which recently began running Spanish-language TV ads in Colorado.
"Karl Rove is telling lies to Latinos in Colorado, trying to hide Mitt Romney's extreme anti-immigrant record," said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. "We're making sure Latino voters in Colorado know the truth about Mitt Romney. He said he would veto the DREAM Act, if given the chance. His immigration plan is to copy the extreme anti-immigrant policies of Arizona and Alabama, attempting to force undocumented immigrants to 'self-deport.' He has embraced his party's anti-immigrant extremists, taking on Kris Kobach as an adviser. Romney's plans aren't real solutions -- they are dangerous gifts to the anti-immigrant Right."
This week, the White House made public President Obama’s endorsement interview with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board. In the interview, the president is frank about what he thinks could be the deciding factor in this election – the votes of Latinos:
The second thing I’m confident we’ll get done next year is immigration reform. And since this is off the record, I will just be very blunt. Should I win a second term, a big reason I will win a second term is because the Republican nominee and the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community. And this is a relatively new phenomenon. George Bush and Karl Rove were smart enough to understand the changing nature of America. And so I am fairly confident that they’re going to have a deep interest in getting that done. And I want to get it done because it’s the right thing to do and I've cared about this ever since I ran back in 2008.
The president is right that as the United States’ Latino population has grown in recent years, the GOP has increasingly pushed Latinos aside. While John McCain and George W. Bush both to some extent supported bipartisan efforts at comprehensive immigration reform, Mitt Romney has embraced some of his party’s most extreme anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. He touted the endorsement of Kris Kobach, the man behind draconian anti-immigrant measures in Arizona and Alabama, then took Kobach on as an adviser. He said he would veto the DREAM Act if it were to be passed by Congress. He says his immigration strategy is to make the lives of immigrants so miserable that they are forced to “self-deport.” He endorsed Steve King, the Iowa congressman who has compared immigrants to “cattle” and “dogs.”
Unsurprisingly, Latino voters haven’t been responding well to Romney’s record. Bush won 40 percent of the Latino vote in 2004, and McCain won 31 percent in 2008. Romney is currently polling at 20 -25 percent among Latinos.
Earlier this month People For the American Way launched a 5-week, $1.2 million campaign to remind Latino voters about Mitt Romney’s policies. We’re running TV ads in four states (Ohio, Wisconsin, Virginia and Nevada), radio ads in five (with the addition of North Carolina), and operating a direct mail program. Here are the three of the TV ads that we’ve run so far. English translations are available in the description of each video on YouTube.
UPDATE: On October 29, we expanded the campaign to Colorado.
People For the American Way launched a campaign today aimed at making sure Ohio women understand the danger of a Supreme Court nominated by Mitt Romney. The campaign, which includes television, direct mail, Internet advertising and telephone calls, exposes the power that Romney’s Supreme Court justices would have to eliminate abortion rights and undermine the rights of women in the workplace.
The TV ad, “Mitt Romney’s Supreme Court: Too Extreme,” can be viewed here. Versions of the ad previously ran in Ohio and in Florida during the Republican National Convention.
“Mitt Romney too often tries to hide his extremism on issues including reproductive rights and equal pay,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way. “But when it comes to his Supreme Court picks, he’s been clear: he’ll bow to the far right and deliver justices who would roll back the rights of women. A Romney presidency might only last four years, but his Supreme Court could threaten the rights of women for a lifetime.”
“Polling has made it indisputably clear that women, particularly women in Ohio, will be critical in deciding the outcome of this election,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way. “We’re making sure that female voters have all the facts about the dangers of a Romney presidency.”
It is no secret that, for all of the talk of deeply held principles and stalwart Christian convictions, most Religious Right leaders are Republican Party cheerleaders who will eventually back the GOP presidential nominee, regardless of every declaration to the contrary they may have made in the past.
This fact was perfectly demonstrated back in 2008, when James Dobson spent the entire Republican primary telling everyone who would listen that "I cannot, and I will not, vote for Sen. John McCain, as a matter of conscience" only to declare shortly before the election that "I am now supportive of Senator John McCain and his bid for the presidency."
Similarly, back during that 2008 primary, Robert Jeffress, who has never been shy about calling Mormonism a "cult," warned that Republicans could not nominate someone like Mitt Romney because "God always judges a nation that has a ruler who introduces false gods into that national life":
But yesterday, Jeffress was on with Bryan Fischer where he declared that America was engaged in "high-handed sins" and warned that failing to elect Romney would be "asking for God's judgment on our country":
Just to clarify: Jeffress once believed that electing a Mormon like Mitt Romney would cause God to judge this nation, but then Romney became the GOP nominee, at which point Jeffress decided that not electing Romney will cause God to judge this nation.
Glenn Beck was mystified by Mitt Romney's performance in Monday night's final debate and frustrated that Romey did not take advantage of what Beck believed were the dozens of opportunities for him to eviscerate President Obama over his claims and statements.
But while Beck could not, for the life of him, understand what Romney's strategy was, he is confident that it was the right strategy because Romney is "being guided" by God and apparently God's message to Romney was that "it’s important to be less contentious [so] it may be he’s doing what the Lord wants him to do right now" ... because he is just like George Washington:
People For the American Way President Michael Keegan responds to the Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsement of Mitt Romney:
I’m not surprised that the Log Cabin Republicans have gone against the best interests of LGBT Americans in endorsing Mitt Romney. Responding to their rationalization would normally not be worth the time, but one of their attempts at self-justification deserves a response. Log Cabin claims, ‘Those who point fearfully to potential vacancies on the United States Supreme Court, we offer a reminder: five of the eight federal court rulings against DOMA were written by Republican-appointed judges. Mitt Romney is not Rick Santorum, and Paul Ryan is not Michele Bachmann.’
The Log Cabin Republicans have willfully ignored everything Mitt Romney has said about the Supreme Court.
Romney has said that he will appoint Supreme Court justices and lower court judges in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who are both adamantly opposed to protecting the rights of gay people under the Constitution. Both dissented in Lawrence v. Texas, the ruling that ended criminal sodomy laws. In his dissent, Scalia accused the Court’s majority of signing on to the ‘homosexual agenda.’ These are the kind of Justices that Mitt Romney has promised to nominate to the Supreme Court.
We can also look to Romney’s choice of Robert Bork to lead his judicial advisory committee, a clear signal that he’s ready to cede judicial nominations to the Religious Right. Bork has vehemently disagreed with every pro-gay rights decision the Supreme Court has ever made, and even claims that marriage equality will lead to ‘man-boy associations’ and ‘polygamy.’ This is who Romney has picked to advise him on judicial nominations.
Romney doesn’t just support amending the Constitution to prohibit marriage equality – an amendment that every justice would be obliged to enforce. Everything Romney has said about judicial nominations indicates that he will appoint Supreme Court justices and lower court judges who will do lasting damage to the rights of all Americans – including LGBT people. No LGBT American or anyone who believes in equality should be fooled into thinking otherwise.
Anti-Muslim activists on the Right have consistently warned that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the Obama administration. But if their unhinged McCarthyism is to be believed, then Mitt Romney’s campaign has been penetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood as well, as Romney’s campaign has named George Salem, Samah Norquist and David Ramadan “National Co-Chairs of Arab Americans for Romney.”
Pamela Geller labeled George Salem’s Arab American Institute a “nototrious anti-Israel Israel [sic] organization” composed of “Islamic supremacists” and led by a “Jew hater.” She even suggested that the AAI seeks “Jewish annihilation” by backing Mideast peace efforts.
Geller, Frank Gaffney, Robert Spencer, William Murray, Andrea and James Lafferty and others sent a letter to Edwin Meese demanding he withdraw his endorsement of Virginia Del. David Ramadan because of his purported ties to Muammar Gadaffi and “radical views,” including his support for the right to build the Park 51 Islamic Community Center. James Lafferty said Ramadan is an “extremist” who should not even “be allowed to continue to live in the United States,” and Geller said he is a “stealth jihadist” and a “Muslim Brotherhood plant.”
Perhaps no chair of Romney’s committee is despised more than Samah Norquist, wife of conservative leader Grover Norquist. Glenn Beck and Jerry Boykin have said that Norquist is a lackey for the Muslim Brotherhood and according to anti-Muslim activists like Gaffney and David Horowitz, Norquist secretly converted to Islam and joined the Muslim Brotherhood at the behest of his wife. Conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell wrote in a report for the American Conservative Union that she is “certain that Mr. Gaffney’s hatred [for Norquist] is further fueled by the fact that Grover is married to a Muslim-American woman (who also has worked for the United States government in very responsible positions, I might add!).”
Of course, these spurious claims against Ramadan, Norquist and Salem are just as baseless and wrong as their attacks against the Obama administration and the Muslim-Americans serving in it.
But while extremists like Geller, Gaffney, Horowitz and others are quick to attack Obama with such bogus charges, for some reason it seems unlikely Romney will receive similar treatment.
During Tuesday’s presidential debate, Mitt Romney continued to sell himself as a turnaround artist and savior of the economy—a former CEO whose stellar business acumen will create an abundance of jobs (12 million in four years, to be exact), champion small businesses, and improve the middle class.
But what Romney failed to mention is that when he inherited Massachusetts’ damaged economy in 2003, he was unable to spur the economic growth he had promised in his gubernatorial campaign. And it doesn’t stop at an unsuccessful economic policy. Many of the “accomplishments” that Romney touted last night, such as his education policies and his advocacy of women in the workplace, were futile as well. If we delve deeper into Romney’s record as governor of Massachusetts and look past the lies he spouts, we can foreshadow what a Romney presidency would look like. And it’s not a very promising vision.
Last night at the debate, Romney promoted his five-point plan, alleging that he “knows why jobs come and go.” He claimed that he knew “what it takes to get this economy going.” But does he? Here is how Romney’s leadership played out in the Massachusetts economy from 2003 to 2007:
Though Romney assaults Obama’s economic record, job growth in the U.S. has been swifter under Obama than job growth in Massachusetts under Romney.
Romney also likes to flaunt the education policies he put in place in Massachusetts. Last night at the debate, he boasted about his John and Abigail Adams Scholarship, which he claimed would send the top quarter of each high school class to the Massachusetts college of their choice tuition-free. But this is not the full picture. Here is the reality of Romney’s education policies in Massachusetts, according to a report in the Boston Globe:
When asked about pay equity, Romney highlighted his efforts as governor of Massachusetts to hire women to work in his administration. However he does not have a history of appointing women to high-level positions in the private sector, nor did he appoint many women to judicial positions:
Romney’s record in Massachusetts related to women’s health is also not very encouraging:
Romney is right that his record as governor of Massachusetts shows us a lot about how he would act as president. But he’s intentionally misleading voters about what that record is.