While the presidential debate between Republican Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama did touch on issues important to Latinos, there were five ways the two candidates failed to connect with Hispanics.
Maegan Ortiz, writing at Politics365.com, says, “(T)here was a failure to communicate with Latinos.” She outlined the five areas:
- Only college graduates need jobs: Latinos have the highest high school dropout rates in the country. Unemployment rates are highest among those with some college or no college education, and while overall unemployment is dropping, it remains unacceptably high in the Latino community.
- Only middle class pay taxes: What about the payroll taxes, federal excise taxes, state and local taxes that the working poor pay? We’ll never know because the poor and working class barely exist for the candidates.
- Racial and Gender Pay Inequities: On average, Latinas earn $.60 cents for every dollar a man makes, and their median weekly earnings lag behind those of their white, African American, and Asian counterparts.
- Immigration Double Speak: While Romney certainly is not going to win the Latino vote by explaining away self-deportation, Obama can’t expect to win either when he talks up smart enforcement that deports “gang bangers” when his own numbers show that under his largest effort, Secure Communities, many non-criminals are being deported.
- Not Enough of Us: If the debate audience was representative of undecided voters in the New York area, there should have been more people of color and especially more Latinos.
Image (c) Commission on Presidential Debates