One day after a national poll showed that Hispanics prefer Obama to any GOP candidate by a six-to-one margin, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has radio ads in Ohio attacking rival Rick Santorum for voting to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the federal bench in 1998.
A similar line of attack on a television ad in Michigan raised the ire of many Hispanics who said the line of attack by Romney demonstrates that he is out of touch with what promises to be a major voting bloc in this year’s election.
Ohio is today’s big prize in the ten-state Super Tuesday contest that could help settle this year’s bitter Republican primary. As all candidates take a hard right turn to appeal to the party’s conservative base, many political analysts suggest they are disenfranchising important voting blocs for the general election, including women and Hispanics.
Democrats reacted swiftly to the latest round of radio ads that went up Monday in Ohio.
Juan Sepuvelda, senior Hispanic adviser to the Democratic National Committee, blasted Romney’s latest line of attack.
“Let’s not forget: Justice Sotomayor was confirmed with the support of nine Republican senators because she has unparalleled judiciary experience, intellect, respect for the Constitution, and common sense,” Sepuvelda said in a written statement Monday. “That’s why she belongs on our nation’s highest court, and that’s why she’s a role model for our families. Unfortunately, this is not Romney’s first attack on Sotomayor. It’s clear that, in Justice Sotomayor, Mitt Romney does not see a role model, but a political pawn that he can attack at will if it gets him a vote.
“Mitt Romney has shown time and again that he is after the Tea Party vote, not the Latino vote, and with each attack he locks himself more to his extreme positions. Hispanics are listening, and Mitt Romney’s attacks will not go unnoticed.”
Romney has been trailing Santorum in Ohio, expected to be a significant battleground state in November, but has drawn into a statistical dead heat with the former Pennsylvania senator in the last few days.
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