The Crossroads GPS ad, which Republican Karl Roves sponsors, features a single mother who worries about the future of her children in the wake of the rising unemployment rates. The RNC ad alludes to the Bureau of Labor statistic where over 2.6 million Hispanics were unemployed this June —more than a 20% increase since Obama took office. Likewise, the DNC ad strikes an emotional chord with images of happy families under the Obama administration. “We know who to trust, and who we can’t. Because it’s our job to protect our families,” concludes the ad in a knife-twist to the heart. In a calculated marketing move, the ethnicity of the actors in both ads is ambiguous, thus not alienating any segment of the population.
Although the DNC ad is targeting Latino/a voters, Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio believes that the ad’s message is universal. “Hispanic priorities are not Republican priorities,” Palacio said. “No matter what language they use, Republicans can’t hide their record of wanting to end Medicare to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.”
Both Schultz and Palacio emphasized all the good Obama has done for Latino/a community, citing the 150,000 Pell Grants to Latino/a students, the Recovery Act, and the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which will now include legal immigrant children.
And yet, one major issue neither ad addresses is comprehensive immigrant reform. When the media critiqued Obama’s immigration reform and the rising number of deportations, Schultz fired back, pointing out Obama’s support of the DREAM Act, which will allow the children of undocumented immigrants access to higher education. Dismissed by critics as heavy-handed pandering, Obama’s recent El Paso address promised to “fight for every boy and girl like José [Hernández] with a dream and potential.” But what will immigration reform look like for the Latinos/as who don't fit the sound bite?
Watch both ads and then you can ask for yourself, “En quien confiar.” In whom can you trust.