(Foto: AP/Patrick Semansky)
In its first sustained and organized attempt to woo Hispanic outreach this election cycle, the Romney campaign is preparing a major post-convention blitz aimed at wooing Latinos in Florida, an aide told BuzzFeed.
The effort will include a dramatic increase in Spanish-language ad spending, an aggressive bilingual mail program geared toward early voter turnout, and an ambitious ground game led by 13 full-time field staffers dedicated solely to courting Hispanics — more, the aide claimed, than "any other Republican presidential campaign in history." The stakes are high: Swings of a few percentage points among Hispanic voters in Florida, as in other crucial states, could easily swing the election.
Though the campaign declined to provide specific numbers, an aide said they plan to spend "substantial money" on Spanish-language ads, many of them featuring the candidate's son, Craig Romney, who speaks fluent Spanish. They will also run negative commercials attacking President Obama for breaking his promise to take on immigration reform during his first year in office — a counter to Latino communities' distrust with the Republican Party over some leaders anti-immigrant rhetoric in general and over Romney's hard primary opposition to the "Dream Act" and other measures to legalize illegal immigrants.
Romney surrogates and aides will hold a series of "Hispanic dialogues" throughout the state, where Latino voters will be encouraged to come discuss the issues they find most important.
(...) The investment in winning over Latino voters — if it comes to fruition — will mark a major departure from the Romney campaign's lower-profile approach to the demographic thus far. At one point earlier this summer, the Obama campaign had outspent Romney 20-to-one in Spanish advertising. What's more, the candidate has worked hard to avoid discussing immigration policy since emerging from the GOP primary, when his rhetoric was defined by hardline tough talk.
But the campaign told BuzzFeed that the only reason it has held out this long to launch a major Spanish ad blitz in the state is because it was waiting for the official nomination to occur, bringing with it access to the general election funds Romney has been feverishly raising for months.