Politics

August 29, 2012

Romney reaching out to vets, Hispanics, women

GOP candidate addresses American Legion Convention while Ann Romney headlines 'Women for Romney' event.

By CALVIN WOODWARD/Associated Press By DONNA CASSATA/Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife Ann applaud with Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second right, and Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan's wife Janna, right, following New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's speech to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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The Obama campaign, in turn, released an online video targeting Ryan as a politician from a "bygone era" whose views threaten Medicare and would gut funding for Planned Parenthood.

Rice, warming up for her speech, said the voice of the United States in world affairs "has been muted" under this president, creating a chaotic and dangerous security environment. She spoke on "CBS This Morning."

Opinion polls, however, show Obama getting high marks on national security after ending the war in Iraq, drawing down the conflict in Afghanistan and ordering the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

The convention's keynote speaker, the unpredictable New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, issued a broad indictment of Democrats on Tuesday as "disciples of yesterday's politics" who "whistle a happy tune" while taking the country off a fiscal cliff.

"It's time to end this era of absentee leadership in the Oval Office and send real leaders to the White House," he said. "Mitt Romney will tell us the hard truths we need to hear to put us back on the path to growth and create good-paying, private-sector jobs again in America."

Romney made his debut at the convention two days before his own speech, rousing the crowd into cheers as he took the stage briefly to share a kiss with his wife after she spoke. Ann Romney's prime-time speech was in large measure an outreach to female voters as she declared her husband "will not let us down" if elected president.

Her tone was intimate as she spoke about the struggles of working families: "If you listen carefully, you'll hear the women sighing a little bit more than the men. It's how it is, isn't it? It's the moms who always have to work a little harder, to make everything right."

Obama's allies did their best to counter Romney and the Republicans.

In her own effort to woo female voters, first lady Michelle Obama traveled to New York to promote her healthy-living initiatives while visiting "The Dr. Oz Show" and Rachael Ray's talk show. The programs will air next month, closer to the election.

Mrs. Obama also was making a guest appearance on Wednesday's "Late Show with David Letterman."

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, dismissing GOP attempts to woo Hispanic voters, said: "You can't just trot out a brown face or a Spanish surname and expect people are going to vote for your party or your candidate." He added, "This is a party with a platform that calls for the self-deportation of 11 million people."

Hispanics strongly favor Obama, according to public polls, and Romney and his party have been seeking to win a bigger share of their votes by emphasizing proposals to fix the economy rather than ease their positions on immigration.

Polls find the economy is overwhelmingly the dominant issue in the race and voters narrowly favor Romney to handle it. In an AP-GfK poll taken Aug. 16-20, some 48 percent of registered voters said they trust Romney more on economic issues, to 44 percent for Obama. However, a Washington Post-ABC News in the days immediately before the convention found that 61 percent of registered voters said Obama was more likable, while 27 percent said Romney.

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