The battle for the Latino vote has returned to American soil after Sen. John McCain’s three day trip to Colombia and Mexico.
The campaigns engaged in their own Independence Day back and forth on who would best represent Latinos. Nothing that would resemble fireworks, but remarkable because the first attack ad the McCain campaign has launched was aimed at a Hispanic audience.
McCain Attacks First and in Spanish … (continued)
In a Spanish radio ad, “Our Values,” McCain’s Latino roommate from the Naval Academy, Frank Gamboa says that McCain shares “our same conservative values and faith in God.”
Gamboa goes on to say that McCain has a history of standing with the Latino community and makes a pointed reference to Obama’s recent attempts to court the Latino vote.
“In this election, it seems to me that the other candidate has just discovered the importance of the Hispanic vote. So when it comes to our values and understanding us this election, I know for John it’s not political; it comes from the heart.”
The Obama campaign was quick to respond with two Latino surrogates, Rep Xavier Bacerra (D-CA) and former Clinton supporter, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Becerra, a longtime Obama supporter, tried to use McCain’s troubled history with immigration reform against him.
“He would not have flip-flopped on his own legislation to firmly and fairly reform our broken immigration system,” said his written statement.
The ad comes on the heels of McCain’s three-day trip South of the Border to tilt the scales in his favor among Latino voters and a new Gallup poll that shows Obama leading McCain among Latinos by 30-points.
Obama leads McCain 59 to 29 points among Latinos in a 3-day poll taken while McCain was abroad. The Latino support that Sen. Hillary Clinton enjoyed in the primaries appears to have shifted to Obama, according to the poll.
McCain’s campaign has previously said that they could cull that support because Latinos didn’t know or trust Obama enough to vote for him.