Speaking at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, Rep. Charlie Gonzalez of Texas accused Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of backing the same immigration policies that are supported by some of the most well-known immigration hard-liners.
“When it comes to our country’s immigration policies, the truth is that Mitt Romney has embraced the racial profiling policies of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and Sheriff Joe Arpaio,” Gonzalez said.
He was referring to Arizona’s tough immigration law that requires local authorities to question the immigration status of individuals they suspect are in the country illegally. Gonzalez, who is the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, announced in November he will not run for reelection this year after serving in Congress for 14 years.
The Democratic congressman also said Romney “would separate families that have been here for generations.” When it comes to Medicare, Gonzalez said Romney and his vice presidential pick Paul Ryan “want to break the fundamental guarantee of Medicare, turn it into a voucher program and shift costs to our seniors.”
On the economy, Gonzalez said, “Romney believes that the key to our country’s economic future lies in the failed policies of the past, the same ones that put banks before people, Wall Street before Main Street, plunging us into recession and devastating the middle class.”
Yohana de la Torre, the national Hispanic spokesperson for the Romney campaign, was quick to respond to Gonzalez’s attacks against the Republican presidential candidate, calling such attacks “baseless and outrageous.” She also said that on Tuesday, the Democratic National Convention speakers failed to say that “Americans are better off than they were four years ago.”
“That is because they are not, especially in our Hispanic community,” she told VOXXI in an email. “Under Obama, more Hispanics are unemployed, more Hispanics are living in poverty and, for the first time in history, Hispanic children are the largest group of children living in poverty. That is this President’s legacy.”
In his speech, Gonzalez did not address any of those points, which Romney’s supporters have been repeating in speeches and during interviews in recent weeks.
Instead, the Democratic congressman praised Obama for inviting Latinos into the White House and giving them “a seat at the table.” He touted the president’s appointment of Sonia Sotomayor, who is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. In his Cabinet, Obama also appointed several Latinos, including U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
“Hispanics are serving in unprecedented numbers at the highest levels of this administration,” Gonzalez said.
He ended his speech saying Latinos have “worked for the American dream.”
“Now we have to vote for the American dream. And when we do, we will re-elect President Barack Obama,” he said.