Pro-Obama super-PAC, SEIU launch ad blitz targeting Hispanics

A prominent super-PAC supporting President Obama's reelection effort is joining with one of the nation's largest union organizations to launch a new $4 million Spanish-language ad attacking presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The commercial, which will air on television and radio in Colorado, Nevada, and Florida, pounces on gaffes from Mitt Romney's primary campaign to argue that the Republican nominee is not sympathetic to the concerns of Hispanic voters. The campaign is being jointly run by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Priorities USA, the super-PAC run by ex-White House official Bill Burton.


"This ad is part of a broader effort to ensure Latino voters know the stakes in this election and who has been on the side of Latino Families and who will continue to stand with them in the coming years,” said SEIU National Political Director Brandon Davis in a statement. “The contrast could not be more clear."

In the television version of the ad, excerpts of Romney joking about being unemployed and saying he is not focused on the very poor elicit reactions from Hispanic voters.

"It’s easy for him to say that since he doesn’t have the same necessities as us," says a Hispanic man in Spanish. "When you are really out of work, you are worried, you don’t want to laugh or make fun of anybody.

On-screen text also declarers that Romney "made millions of dollars leaving thousands of people without work.”

"In the primary process, Mitt Romney embraced the most extreme policies in the history of the Republican party. Latinos say they are insulted and angry when they watch Romney, a multi-millionaire with a couple Cadillacs, joke about his 'unemployment' status," said Eliseo Medina, SEIU secretary-treasurer in a statement. "When Latinos hear Romney, in his own words, they really know what’s going on and what he is saying. They know what he means. And what it would mean for their families if he were to be elected president.”

The ad comes as Democrats work to solidify their lead with Hispanic voters, the fastest growing demographic in the American electorate. In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released late last month, 61 percent of Hispanic voters said they would vote for Obama, while just 27 percent backed Romney. More Hispanic voters see Romney more negatively than positively, and only 22 percent say they view the Republican Party in a positive light.

But Romney has intensified efforts to woo Hispanic voters, releasing Web videos and commercials in English and Spanish last week critical of Obama's jobs record for Hispanic voters. Romney also campaigned at an office-supply business owned by a pair of Mexican-American brothers Tuesday in Fort Worth, Texas.

“This Obama economy has been hard particularly on Hispanic businesses and Hispanic businessmen,” Romney said, noting that a third of those living in poverty were Hispanic. “I can tell you if I’m 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, Hispanic and otherwise.”