Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Mitt Romney, the Clear Choice For Latinas

WATERLOO, IA:  Early voting started Sept. 27 in Iowa, where in the 2008 election 36 percent of voters cast an early ballot.

WATERLOO, IA: Early voting started Sept. 27 in Iowa, where in the 2008 election 36 percent of voters cast an early ballot.  (2012 Getty Images)

With the first two presidential debates behind us and less than 20 days left until Election Day, the choice voters face this November is becoming clearer than ever, especially for Latinas.

Whereas Mitt Romney has spent his time on the campaign trail talking about the issue we care about most, the economy, I’ve been disappointed that President Obama has thus far failed to lay out an agenda for a second term in office besides continuing to raise taxes and growing government. And based on the failures of his first four years in office pushing that agenda, voters should think long and hard about whether or not he has earned a second term as president.

Over the last four years, President Obama has broken his promise to fix our economy and get Americans working again. This failure is especially apparent to Latinos, who are struggling with an unemployment rate more than two percentage points above the national average, with more than 2.4 million Hispanics unemployed. On his watch, 2 million more of us are in poverty, family health care premiums have increased by more than $3,000, gas prices have doubled, and about half of college graduates can’t find the good jobs they want and studied so hard for.

Contrary to his promise to cut the deficit in half in his first term in office, Barack Obama has now presided over a fourth straight trillion-dollar deficit. Our national debt has soared past $16 trillion and will likely hit $20 trillion if he gets a second term – a far cry from his 2008 claim that it was ‘unpatriotic’ to add trillions to the national debt. And despite his promise not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans, President Obama has raised taxes 21 times; in a second term, he’ll raise taxes by another $2 trillion.

Clearly, Latinas can’t afford another four years like the last four years where we’re working harder and longer for less money. And with such a disastrous record on the issues that matter most to us, it’s really no surprise that Democrats are doing everything possible to distract attention from the President’s failures.

To be fair, the problem isn’t President Obama’s intentions, but rather his misguided policies that have led to a trail of broken promises.

That’s the reason we must have new leadership in the White House that will bring new ideas about how to address these challenges and that will deliver the real recovery we need. Mitt Romney has a long record of bringing people together to solve problems and create jobs. When he was elected governor, Massachusetts led the nation in terms of the percentage of women holding top posts, with women filling 10 of 20 slots in the Romney cabinet. During his tenure, Romney successfully worked with an 87 percent Democrat legislature to close a $3 billion budget deficit and balanced the budget four times; during his term, unemployment fell below 5 percent.

When he is president, Romney’s Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will deliver 12 million new jobs and higher take-home pay – not only for Latinas, but for all Americans. Mitt Romney is the person in this race who can turn our country around and bring new hope for our families and communities. And that makes the choice Latinas face on November 6 all the easier.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican representing the 27th district in Florida, is Chairman Emeritus of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and current Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.

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