Craig Romney, son of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, participated in a meeting with Latino business owners, and then went campaigning door to door in the area of Charlotte, North Carolina. Craig, who speaks fluent Spanish, has been doing extensive outreach to the nation’s Latinos as he campaigns for his father, especially in swing states such as North Carolina.
“Today was my fifth dialogue with members of the Latino community,” says Romney, in a phone interview with NBC Latino. ”I have been in Florida, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia and now North Carolina, and it is a great opportunity to go out and hear what is on people’s minds and the issues which are important to them,” he adds.
Craig Romney was joined by former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez as well as former MTV star Rachel Campos-Duffy at the meeting with North Carolina Hispanic business owners. Romney says he has heard several concerns from Latino entrepreneurs and small business owners which he thinks his father can address through his platform.
“Some business owners worry about their ability to get capital due to over-regulation and tough rules to access credit,” says the young Romney. ”My father is a champion of small business and was stocking shelves in the first Staples store, so he knows what it takes.” Craig Romney also says Latino small business owners have expressed their concerns in finding good, qualified workers, something which he says his father addresses through his education plans and calls for reform. He also states he has heard business owners say they spend too much time “dealing with government regulation and not enough time on their products or business – as well as the issue of taxation.”
After meeting with Latino leaders, the Republican presidential candidate’s son also went door-to-door talking to voters in the Charlotte area. When asked if he ended up using his fluent Spanish, he said no, all the families he visited spoke English, though he spoke of how he became so fluent.
“I had a tremendous experience living in Chile from 2000 to 2002, and learned to love the Chilean people and their culture,” he says. As he tours the country talking to some U.S. Latinos, he says he sees similarities between his Chilean experience and Latinos here.
“Whether it Mexican, Cuban or Puerto Rican communities, they share a lot of the same qualities, strong faith, a belief in hard work, and strong families,” says Romney, who did missionary work in Chile. ”Hispanics definitely bring so much to the U.S. melting pot,” he says.
After going home to see his family – he has a four-year-old and a six-year-old – Craig Romney says he is back on the campaign trail for stops in New Mexico, Wyoming and Florida.