They keep coming – the campaign ads seeking to woo Latinos.
Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has a new English-Spanish web ad that attacks President Obama’s recent speech where he said “If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.”
The Romney campaign has assailed the speech -- in which the president is said to have meant that success often happens with the helping hand of others – as an insult to people who have worked hard to build businesses and their own fortunes.
The new ad, called “These Hands” or “Estas Manos,” features Gilbert Cantú, a Mexican-American who says his family came from Mexico and that he and his family were able to start a business through hard work.
Cantú, whose business is described as a mobile locksmith service that repairs safes and vaults, says he takes exception to Obama’s comment.
"The key to success, I believe, as many Latinos believe, is hard work," Cantú said in ad. "President Obama said that if I own a business, I didn't necessarily build it. That was a very insulting remark to make. I built this business."
Over three million Hispanics own businesses in the United States, according to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The USHCC said that 64 percent of jobs created in the United States come from small businesses, and that Latinos make up the fastest growing part of that sector.
The new ad is part of series of Romney campaign ads titled: “These Hands.”
A press release by the Romney campaign describing the Latino-targeted ad includes Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, who criticizes Obama’s policies on everything from health care to the economy.
“The President has placed one obstacle after another in front of Texas job creators,” Cruz said in the release. “Mitt Romney knows how to turn this economy around, and his plan for a stronger middle class is exactly what we need. Texans—like all Americans—can’t afford four more years of Barack Obama.”
The ad is the latest in several targeting Latinos that both the Romney and Obama campaigns have run this year, in both English and Spanish.
Last week the Obama campaign launched a new Spanish-language campaign starring Cristina Saralegui, a popular Cuban-American talk show host. It is expected to air on TV and over the radio in Colorado, Ohio, Nevada, Florida and Virginia.
Saralegui praises Obama’s approach to the ailing economy, education and healthcare, among other issues.
"It makes me laugh when some say that President Obama hasn't done anything. Really?" the Cuban-born TV host says.
Romney is facing a familiar challenge to candidates running from his party – how to win over a sizable portion of a voting bloc that, in general, has seen the GOP as hostile, or indifferent, to it. Political experts say that Romney must win at least 40 percent of the Latino vote to have a shot at The White House.
While many Latinos have said in polls that they do not approve of the way Obama has handled jobs and the economy, a majority say they support him over Romney.
The Romney campaign has taken a tough stance on immigration, expressing views on the matter that critics say have alienated him from Latino voters.
His campaign officials have countered that Obama has failed to deliver on his message to fix the broken immigration system, and that Romney would improve the lives of Latinos through a better handling of the economy.
Efforts to get a comment from the Obama campaign about Romney’s newest ad were unsuccessful.
Elizabeth Llorente can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org
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