HEMPSTEAD, NY – It’s countdown time here at Hofstra University, as politicians and pundits mix with excited college students hours before the second showdown between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. We spoke to a few Latinos hours before the big debate, and here’s what they had to say.
California Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra says President Obama is ready to take on Governor Romney, especially on his economic plan. Becerra says Romney’s assertions he will be able to cut taxes as well as the deficit without raising taxes on the middle class doesn’t work. “Everyone right now is holding a hand over their pocketbook waiting to see what will happen in the next 4 years, and Mitt Romney owes it to the American people,” Becerra says, adding, “Not disclosing your record and the facts about your economic plan is like not disclosing your soul.”
Michael Rivera, a political science student at Hofstra who was in a student crowd watching Martin Bashir’s MSNBC show live, is pro-Obama. The college Junior says he wants to see an energetic Obama talk about the issues that matter to him. ”We’re still fighting over what women can do with their bodies, which should not be the business of old white men,” says Rivera. “I hope Obama is more of a fighter about minorities, women, and the LGBT community,which Romney is pushing aside,” says Rivera.
Former U.S. ambassador Otto Reich, a Latino Republican who is a Romney campaign spokesperson, has been here throughout the day, giving interviews. He says the debates are a chance to show Mitt Romney as a real candidate and not a “caricature” painted by the Obama campaign. “President Obama has doubled the debt and this is a chance for everyone to see the real difference between the candidates,” says Reich, who hopes the candidates focus on the economy.
More to come once the debate is underway in a few hours.