FORT WORTH—Mitt Romney made a direct overture to Latino voters Tuesday, arguing at a campaign stop here that Hispanics are suffering the most under the nation's struggling economy and that, if elected, he would make things better for them.
Speaking at an office supply company owned by the children of Mexican immigrants, Romney claimed that unemployment among Hispanic Americans has risen since President Obama took office. He cited statistics from last week's jobs report that found national unemployment rate for Latinos rose from 10.4 percent in April to 11 percent in May—nearly 3 percentage points higher than the national average. He also cited statistics showing high poverty among Hispanics.
"Hispanic Americans in large measure have looked to entrepreneurs and innovators to get going, but this has been such an anti-small business, hostile to small business environment that that it's been harder for those businesses to open their doors and hire more people," Romney said.
"I can tell you," he added, "if I am the next president of the United States, I'll be the president for all Americans and make sure this economy is good for all Americans."
Perhaps most notable about Romney's outreach to Latinos voters is that he made no mention of his position on immigration or other hot button issues for Hispanic voters. In recent weeks, his campaign has attempted to appeal to Latinos by focusing on the economy and education—two issues where Romney might have a better chance of winning votes.
But Romney has a lot of ground to make up. A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Romney significantly trailing Obama among Hispanics voters, 27 percent to 61 percent.