Alberto Gonzalez, the first Latino United States Attorney General, said on Thursday that Mitt Romney needs to do more to connect with the Latino community. In an interview with Yahoo News, Gonzalez questioned whether Romney has really made an effort to reach out to Latinos, even as the campaign has tried to woo Latino voters:
“I think that members of our party have spoken about this in a way that’s not only anti-immigration but anti-Hispanic, and I think that’s harmful to the long term future of the party,” Gonzales said [...]
“Policy is important, but the tone is equally important,” he says. “He has to find some way to make a personal connection to the Hispanic community. Bush was able to do that. … Many of us had the sense that Bush understood us. He believed in us and we believed in him,” he said.
“I think [Bush] was able to make a personal connection, and I’m not sure that Governor Romney has done that yet.”
Romney’s position on issues important to Latinos, including the DREAM ACT and overall immigration policy, tend to differ from those of the majority of the Latino community. Gonzalez, on the other hand, is an advocate for some version of the DREAM Act and opposes Arizona’s SB 1070.
The former attorney general also reiterated that he did not believe Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the prominent Latino vice presidential favorite, is ready to be president, saying, “What I try to emphasize is that I think a presidential nominee should look [for] someone who can be president on day one.”