Mitt Romney speaks at conference in Orlando
46 percent support President over Romney in new Quinnipiac poll
It could be the voting bloc that sways the presidential election.
On Thursday, presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney made a pointed to pitch to about 1,000 Latino public officials, who are in Central Florida for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials conference at Disney's Contemporary Resort.
On Friday, President Obama will address that same conference, which is commonly referred to as "The Latino Political Convention."
The visits come on the heels of a new Quinnipiac poll that shows President Obama with a narrow 42 to 46 percent lead over Romney among Florida voters.
According to the poll, Hispanic respondents chose President Obama over Romney 49 percent to 39 percent.
Romney spoke for about 17 minutes. The first half of his speech focused on the bad economy. Specifically, how Hispanics have been hit especially hard during the Obama administration. He then attacked the President's new immigration plan, but even as he outlined his own long-term solution he received just light applause, which may explain the new poll numbers.
"Is the America of 11 percent Hispanic unemployment the America of our dreams?" asked Romney.
The governor blamed President Obama and his economic policies for the weak recovery.
"And this week we learned that the number of job openings has fallen yet again and as you know, Hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard," said Romney.
To change that, Romney promised to lower taxes, cut spending, balance the budget and repeal Obamacare.
He then criticized President Obama's new immigration plan. The policy, which is popular among Hispanics, would stop the deportation of some 800,000 people, brought here illegally as children.
"He called it a stop-gap measure that he seems to think will be just enough to get him through the election," said Romney.
Gov. Romney said the President should have made immigration reform a priority during his first two years in office, when democrats controlled Congress.
"Some people have asked if I will let stand the President's executive order," said Romney. "The answer is that I will put in place my own long-term solution that will replace and supersede the President's temporary measure."
Romney then outlined some of the guidelines to his immigration plan, including beefing up security at the border with more agents and a high-tech fence. He also said he would eliminate bureaucratic red tape and offer a path to legal status for anyone who joins the military.
The governor also took some pointed jabs at the President and his reliance on the Hispanic vote. The governor pointed out that the President had not been at the conference since the last time he was running for office.
"He is taking your vote for granted," said Romney.
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