Obama, Romney Latino outreach efforts scrutinized

The campaigns of both major presidential candidates are being critiqued this week for their efforts to reach Latino voters.

The campaigns of both major presidential candidates are being critiqued this week for their efforts to reach Latino voters.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney “needs improvement” in his outreach if he hopes to win votes from Latinos, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said. Romney needs to expand his message on immigration to improve his standing, he added.

“He needs to broaden the message out when talking about immigration, to make it an economic issue as much as it is a question of the rule of law,” Bush said. “[Romney should] have a broader message and have a more intense message.”

President Barack Obama appears to be faring better with the demographic. Several polls show Obama outpacing Romney by more than 30 points with Latino voters.

The pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA and the Service Employees International Union have launched a $4 million Spanish-language ad campaign highlighting Romney soundbites, such as when he joked he was unemployed and said he liked firing people. Its strategy is to show Romney as out of touch with the Latino demographic's needs.

The TV and radio ads are running in Florida, Colorado, and Nevada, battleground states where Hispanic voters will have a major say in November.

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