By Geneva Sands - 08/31/12 01:13 AM EDT
"I'm incredibly proud of my father and I love him dearly. It is my privilege to say a few words in Spanish so please bear with me for a moment," he said at the beginning of his speech about Mitt Romney.
When he finished his comments in Spanish the crowd erupted in applause, prompting a "thank you" in response. His mother, Ann Romney, was seen smiling widely and clapping in the audience.
He went on to talk about his family's immigrant roots in the address. The younger Romney has delivered a similar message in campaign ads.
"My grandfathers who came to this country with little more than hope and the opportunity of America. Through their hard work and perseverance they lived the American dream. They gave opportunities to their children they wouldn't have had anywhere else. The Republican Party is dedicated to preserving that opportunity for all Americans," he said.
Despite a host of Hispanic speakers — including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is set to introduce the GOP presidential contender in Tampa later in the evening — President Obama holds a strong lead among the demographic.
Obama led Romney 63 percent to 28 in a NBC News-Wall Street Journal-Telemundo released earlier this month. Obama won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote during the 2008 election compared to the then-GOP nominee Sen. John McCain’s (Ariz.) 32 percent.