MEMORANDUM TO INTERESTED PARTIES
RE: Mitt Romney’s Appearance at the Univision “Meet the Candidates” Forum
TO: Interested Parties
From: Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager
Date: September 19, 2012
At his Univision forum this evening, viewers can expect to see another attempt by Mitt Romney
for an “extreme makeover” with Hispanic and Latino voters. But we expect that, like other
makeover attempts, it won’t work. Not only will he leave many critical questions about his
policies unanswered, but for those that he does answer, he’ll expose just how out of touch he is
with the concerns and challenges of middle class Americans.
Just this week, we saw what kind of President Mitt Romney would be when he shockingly
declared behind closed doors to a group of wealthy donors that nearly half of the American
people—including seniors, veterans, and middle class families—view themselves as ‘victims,’
entitled to handouts, paid no taxes, and unwilling to take ‘personal responsibility’ for their lives.
He even said that his “job is not to worry about those people.” Those people include seniors,
military families, people living with disabilities, college students, and middle class families
struggling to make ends meet after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. When
you are president, you are president of all the people, yet Mitt Romney has already declared his
lack of confidence in half the nation.
But if anyone has shown a propensity for avoiding taking responsibility and contributing their
fair share in taxes, it’s Mitt Romney, who has managed to pay a lower tax rate than many middle
class families by taking advantage of tax loopholes only available to wealthiest Americans.
That’s the philosophy that informs all of Mitt Romney’s policies. He doesn’t have a plan to
strengthen the middle class; he only has a plan to redistribute hard-earned middle class income to
those at the top. According to the independent Tax Policy Center, to pay for his $250,000 tax cut
for multi-millionaires, Mitt Romney will have to cut deductions like those for mortgage interest,
children and charitable contributions that middle class families rely on – amounting to a $2,000
tax increase for middle class families with children. What’s worse is that he’s endorsed his
running mate’s budget which, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, would
likely “produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S.
For all of his claims that his values align with those of the Hispanic community, Mitt Romney
has proven time and again that he is on the wrong side of issues important to Hispanic families.
More than that, he’s on the wrong side of history. A Romney-Ryan administration would
undermine job security for the middle class and health security for seniors. And on immigration,
Mitt Romney is the most extreme nominee in modern history. While many families continue to
struggle, Romney doesn’t have a single idea to create jobs – just a rehash of the same failed
policies that crashed our economy and punished the middle class.
Here’s a snapshot of exactly why Mitt Romney needs an “extreme makeover”:
To pay for tax breaks of $250,000 for multi-millionaires and billionaires, he would raise taxes on
the middle class by cutting deductions like those for mortgage interest and charitable
contributions. In fact, an independent study found that his plan would raise taxes on middle class
families with children by an average of $2,000 a year.
• Mitt Romney and Congressman Ryan have made clear they would roll back President
Obama’s tax cuts for working families, resulting in a tax increase for 3.7 million Hispanic
families with 8 million children. According to outside estimates, these provisions helped
677,000 Hispanics avoid poverty in 2010. [White House, CBPP]
• Independent experts say that paying for Romney’s tax cuts would require raising taxes on
an even broader group of middle-class families – by an average of $2,000 a year for
families with children making less than $200,000. Nationwide, about 99% of Hispanic
families have incomes below $200,000. [Tax Policy Center, Census]
What is the Romney-Ryan answer to homeowners facing foreclosures? To let the housing
market “hit bottom” and turn away from the common-sense solutions President Obama
has offered responsible homeowners.
• Romney has no plan to help responsible homeowners, even as President Obama has put
forward plans to boost the housing market that have enjoyed bi-partisan support. And
Romney could actually raise the cost of buying a home by slashing the mortgage interest
deduction for middle class families to pay for his $5 trillion tax plan. That’s the wrong
policy for a time when home builders are finally getting back to work – especially as
private housing starts are up almost 30 percent compared to last year, supporting a
construction industry that employs over 2 million Hispanics. [BLS, Census]
• Romney would roll back Wall Street reform – which is helping putting an end to the
abuses that helped create the financial crisis and which had a disproportionate impact on
Hispanic families. At the peak of the subprime lending boom, Hispanic homeowners were
2.5 times more likely to receive a subprime mortgage loan than non-Hispanic whites.
[Federal Reserve 2006 and 2007]
On the critical issue of health care, Mitt Romney and Congressman Ryan would end Medicare as
we know it by turning it into a voucher program, pushing seniors to private insurance companies.
If that voucher doesn’t cover your needs, Romney and Ryan say: too bad, you’re on your own.
Romney has also pledged to repeal Obamacare and “kill it dead” on his very first day in office.
• Nearly 4 million Latinos rely on Medicare for health care security in their retirement.
[Kaiser Family Foundation]
• Repealing Obamacare means 11.8 million Latinos could once again have lifetime limits
on their coverage, 6.1 million Latinos could lose coverage for preventive care, and
900,000 young Latinos could be kicked off their parents plan.[HHS Data On Lifetime
Limits, Preventive Services, Young Adults]
Romney would go back to giving big banks billions in taxpayer dollars to give out federal
student loans, reversing reforms and savings that expanded Pell Grant scholarships, invested in
community colleges and helped reduce the deficit. Romney has criticized financial aid for
college students and even told students worried about affording college to just “shop around.”
Ryan tells students that they should work three jobs instead of getting student aid for college.
• If the cuts in the Ryan budget endorsed by Romney were applied across the board, 2
million Hispanic students could see their Pell Grants slashed by about $1,000 and 17,000
Hispanic students who are working to pay for school with lose Federal Work-Study
scholarships [Calculations Based On OMB, National Center for Education Statistics
• The Ryan Budget would roll back President Obama’s $2 billion investment to strengthen
America’s community colleges – which serve over 6.6 million Hispanic students
nationwide. [American Association of Community Colleges]
Mitt Romney has the most extreme position on immigration than any other Republican nominee
in modern history. He has adopted the inhumane and unrealistic policy of “self-deportation,”
believing that things can be made so bad for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this
country that they will decide to leave on their own. He vowed to veto the bi-partisan DREAM
Act, calling it a “handout.” He believes that those young people who were brought here by their
parents and are in every sense Americans except on paper, going to school or serving our
country, should not be given “favoritism.” And just last week, he endorsed Iowa Rep. Steve
King, a man who has compared immigrants to dogs and suggested we build an electric fence on
So, this evening, Mitt Romney will offer a lot of sound bites and empty promises, but we must
hold him accountable. He doesn’t share the priorities or values of the Hispanic community, and
there’s too much at stake to let him take us backward.