Mitt Romney appeared on Univision Wednesday alongside Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas, but something was a little peculiar about his appearance — his skin tone. Looking back at the hundreds of photos logging his every moment on the campaign trail, the Republican presidential nominee is usually not so shockingly tan.
While his orangey-brown appearance on Univision could have been the result of bad lighting or a makeup mishap, left-wing blog the Democratic Underground concluded that Romney “dyed his face brown for his Univision interview.”
The claim is not completely out of the ballpark. After all, as Gawker points out, Romney did say “it would be helpful to be Latino,” in a video secretly recorded at a campaign fundraiser earlier this year.
Appearing at a campaign fundraiser in Atlanta, Georgia, before his Univision interview, Romney showed a bit more color, but nowhere near the amount of bronze as seen on stage at the 6:30 p.m. ET filming.
If Romney did indeed alter his skin tone, it was likely done in the past few days. Three days earlier, on Sunday, Sept. 16, Romney appeared much paler when he landed in Missouri.
And on Monday, Sept. 17, when Romney addressed Los Angeles’ Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, his face was a bit redder than usual.
With his bustling campaign schedule, Romney spending enough time outside to develop a natural tan of that color within the time frame is doubtful — making it even more possible that he somehow altered his skin tone as Democratic Underground suggests.
Though the intentions behind this plausible move are a mystery, some have ventured to make a guess, speculating that Romney’s “brownface” is an attempt to appeal to Latino voters — a voting bloc Romney desperately needs if he hopes to win the election.
Romney is currently trailing nearly 40 points behind Obama in Latino support.
To aid in his effort to lure Hispanic voters, the campaign released two new ads on Monday detailing Romney’s 5-point economic plan and criticizing Obama’s record. Romney also made a major push for Hispanic voters Monday, speaking at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles and granting interviews to Univision and Telemundo.
But that push could be partially undermined by another of the covert video clips, where Romney candidly discusses some of the problems encountered by his campaign, including trouble attracting female and Hispanic voters.
Romney jokes of his father, who was born in Mexico, “Had he been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.”
Later, Romney admits that Republicans are having a difficult time attracting Hispanic voters — and there could be severe repercussions for the party.
“We are having a much harder time with Hispanic voters, and if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting bloc has in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation,” Romney said.
Romney also told donors the campaign was using his wife, Ann, “sparingly … so that people don’t get tired of her.”
And he admits that the president remains popular with many voters, which makes attacking him difficult.
“But when you say, ‘Are you disappointed that his policies haven’t worked?’ they say yes,” Romney said. “And because they voted for him, they don’t want to be told that they were wrong, that he’s a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he’s corrupt. Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn’t up to the task.” – various sources