I realize the Romney campaign is concerned about its profound unpopularity among Latino voters. I also realize the campaign can't send Romney to do outreach to the community, since so many Latinos simply don't find the Republican credible.
That said, the underlying challenges notwithstanding, dispatching Ann Romney to do outreach may not have been a smart move.
Ann Romney's convention speech was directly aimed at wooing female voters, but at a lunch event Wednesday she changed her focus and pitched her husband to Hispanic voters, a voting bloc that is especially important in this battleground state, urging them to get past the "biases ... from the Democratic machine." [...]
"You'd better really look at your future and figure out who's going to be the guy that's going to make it better for you and your children, and there is only one answer," Mrs. Romney said, giving a harsher pitch than we usually hear from the woman who wants to be the next first lady.
Ann Romney added, "I know what it's like to be the daughter of immigrants."
Yeah, because few have suffered in American like ... the Welsh?
She also reflected on a political rally she attended in Puerto Rico, telling her audience yesterday, "You people really know how to party. It was crazy!"
There's quite a bit wrong with this clumsy and condescending appeal, but I'm especially amazed by this notion of Latinos being "biased." As Ann Romney sees it, Latinos might be less inclined to support Democrats if they weren't so broadly supportive of Democrats.
Whether the Romneys realize it or not, the problem is not with Latino voters, who were more evenly split politically as recently as 2004, but with the Romneys and their policy agenda.
As we discussed yesterday, the newly-released Republican Party platform, which Team Romney helped write, endorses a self-deportation agenda. It also calls for "double-layered fencing" along the U.S.-Mexico border, and opposes any efforts to extend pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the United States.
For his part, Romney has also vowed to veto the DREAM Act, sees Arizona's SB1070 as a national "model," and is palling around with Kris Kobach, among other things.
Ann Romney's argument to Latinos yesterday effectively boiled down to, "No, you don't understand." I think most Latino voters seem understand perfectly well.