Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX) and Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) React To Mitt Romney’s Speech Before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Following Romney’s Speech, Democrats Explain Why Romney’s Failed Economic Record Won’t Woo Hispanic Voters In Support of the GOP
Washington, DC— Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX) and Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) reacted today to Mitt Romney’s speech before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles.
Chairman Gonzalez and Congressman Becerra highlighted the extreme positions Mitt Romney has taken that will make it difficult for him to win over Hispanic voters and provided an overview of the many areas where Mitt Romney’s policies would hurt the middle class and stifle small business growth.
When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, the number of business startups fell by 10 percent and hit its lowest point during his last year in office. Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation, and Romney hiked taxes and fees by $750 million a year in addition to saddling the Commonwealth with the highest debt per person in the country.
The policies Mitt Romney has embraced as a presidential candidate would erode middle-class security. Independent economists have found that Romney’s plan would raise taxes on the average middle-class family with children by $2,000 in order to give hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires like him.
Below are remarks as prepared for delivery:
CHC Chairman Charlie Gonzalez
Good afternoon – I’m Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Today, as Mitt Romney appeals to Latinos at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, I am honored to be joined by my colleague in the Congress and Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Congressman Xavier Becerra.
We are here to set the record straight on a few things that Hispanic voters didn’t hear from Mitt Romney today about his out of touch agenda.
President Obama has stood by Latino communities and set forth a clear road to recovery for Latino families and businesses. He has enacted policies that give hard-working Latinos a hand up, not a hand out. Unfortunately, despite the clear direction the President has given our nation, Mitt Romney has not only misrepresented the President’s record, he has yet to offer one idea that would create good-paying, stable jobs for the Latino middle class.
So in today’s speech, it’s not surprising that Mitt Romney didn’t discuss the 18 small business tax cuts that President Obama passed in his first term or the $3.8 billion lent to Latino entrepreneurs to open new businesses and develop currently existing ones.
He didn’t discuss the over 80,000 Latino jobs that were saved when the President rescued the American auto industry from extinction. And he didn’t recognize President Obama’s clear, achievable plan for continued job creation to restore middle-class security for hard-working Americans.
In fact, with 50 days to go in this election, Romney has yet to offer a plan to create good-paying middle-class jobs.
But Romney didn’t talk about that today. He highlighted his business experience but didn’t mention his company’s reputation as a pioneer of outsourcing, helping American companies send jobs to low wage countries like China and India. In fact, Mitt Romney took several companies into bankruptcy, shut down hundreds of factories and stores, and shipped jobs overseas.
His record in Government is even worse. As governor of Massachusetts, Romney cut taxes for the wealthy and created or raised more than 1,000 taxes and fees on the middle class and small businesses.
His tax and fee increases cost Massachusetts taxpayers as much as $750 million a year on things like milk, gasoline, registering a car and buying a home.
Under Romney, the average Massachusetts resident’s taxes rose by $1,200, an increase of more than 30 percent. Romney cut taxes for 278 of the wealthiest individuals, like himself, costing the state $78 million.
So when we’re talking about the choice this election, it’s really simple and clear. President Obama is fighting for an economy that rewards hard work and responsibility.
Mitt Romney would do the opposite. He would go back to the failed to-down economics of the past that crashed our economy in the first place.
The Latino community knows that America needs a real plan to restore our economy and a real plan that gives Latinos the chance to go as far as our hard work and talent take us.
With that I’m happy to turn things over to Congressman Becerra.
Thank you Chairman Gonzalez
You are right that Hispanic Americans, like all Americans face a serious choice and contrast this November. With Barack Obama we can continue to move forward, fighting to add jobs for the middle class or we can go backwards under Mitt Romney – back to the same failed policies that wrecked our national economy to begin with.
But it’s not just on the economy where Mitt Romney is wrong for Hispanics.
While President Obama is committed to passing comprehensive immigration reform that addresses our nation’s economic and security needs, Governor Romney’s immigration stance is the most extreme in modern history.
He has repeatedly favored sound bites over solutions, courting his extreme right wing base with harsh immigration rhetoric. He has vowed to veto the DREAM Act and even vetoed the Massachusetts DREAM Act, which would have provided in-state tuition to undocumented students. His plan for millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States is to encourage them to “self-deport”.
This is the wrong approach for our nation. We support comprehensive immigration reform and we believe President Obama is on the right track. He favors an immigration policy that rewards hard work and responsibility and lifts the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought here as children, through no fault of their own, and grew up as Americans.
And given congressional inaction, the President and the DHS implemented a stop-gap measure that temporarily lifts the shadow of deportation from DREAMers.
The economic recovery is not yet complete, but we recognize President Obama’s work to help our communities. Latinos know that what we need is a President who will lead our community with respect and value our contributions and that the contrast between Romney’s campaign rhetoric and four years of action from this administration is clear: the man we need to lead us is Barack Obama.
President Obama wants to reward hard work and responsibility through a simple tax plan that ensures everyone pays their fair share.
Under the President’s plan, those with higher incomes would see their income tax rates return to where they were under President Clinton, when we turned deficits into surpluses and the economy created 23 million jobs.
But Mitt Romney believes in the opposite. He believes in a tax system with two sets of rules – one for himself and others at the top, and another for everyone else.
It’s a vision which allows the wealthiest to take advantage of special breaks and loopholes and to pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class families.
He opposes the President’s plan to extend middle class tax cuts for another year – and the only way he’d accept it is if we give millionaires and billionaires an additional tax break of 25 percent.
Mitt Romney wants to make the Bush tax cuts for the rich permanent – and add another $5 trillion worth of tax cuts weighted to the wealthy. Unbelievable.
And while Romney says he’d pay for his plan by eliminating certain tax deductions and preferences, he won’t name a single one.
That’s unacceptable but not surprising coming from a Presidential candidate who has failed to shoot straight with the American people on so many issues, from his budget specifics to this tax returns.