Heller Throws Himself, Romney Under The Bus At Hispanics in Politics Breakfast

January 6, 2012
Contact: Zach Hudson, Comm. Dir., NSDP
(702) 737-8683

Reconfirms Opposition to DREAM ACT, But Calls Out Romney
For Calling It a “Handout”

Las Vegas, NV – This just writes itself.  Unelected Senator Dean Heller began his damage control tour with Nevada Latinos today after cancelling a meeting with the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce last October because he was too scared to talk about his repeated votes to throw the Latino community under the bus.  But today at the Hispanics in Politics breakfast — he ended up throwing himself and GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney under the bus instead.

He must have realized the damage he was doing to his campaign with Latinos by repeatedly expressing his opposition to the DREAM Act, because when one questioner threw him a life line…he jumped at the chance to take it.

Questioner:  “Good morning. My question: Do you agree with Governor Mitt Romney that the DREAM Act is a handout for students? “

[Cue crickets and a deer in headlights expression]

Heller’s Answer:  “Well, no, I wouldn’t categorize it that way, but I do disagree with the DREAM Act… with the DREAM Act.”

Of course, the questioner is referring to Mitt Romney’s statement on CNN this week calling the DREAM Act a “handout.” But that makes sense, given his previous commitment to vetoing the legislation if elected President.

Apparently, Mitt Romney is even too extreme for Republican Senator Dean Heller…who’s own extreme positions on Latino issues rival those of Sharron Angle (just without the goofy rhetoric of course.).

“What does it say about Mitt Romney’s immigration views that even someone as extreme as Dean Heller can’t embrace Romney’s position?” said Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Zach Hudson.  “But no matter how hard he tries to distance himself from Romney’s extreme immigration positions, Heller can’t hide his own anti-Latino voting record.  Nevadans will have a clear choice next November between Democrats like President Obama and Shelley Berkley who are committed to creating jobs and passing the DREAM Act, and Republicans like Romney and Heller who are throwing Nevada’s Latino families under the bus.”

From the Berkley Campaign:

On what was supposed to be the first stop of Dean Heller’s apology tour after snubbing the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce in October, the unelected senator did very little apologizing.

Here was the AP headline that came out shortly after the meeting ended:  “Dean Heller tells Hispanics he won’t back DREAM Act”

By doubling down again and again on his opposition to the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform, he sent a clear message to Nevada Latinos: if these issues are that important to you — take your vote elsewhere.

You got it, Senator!

Heller’s remarks were politely met with silence from the civic-minded crowd at the Hispanics in Politics breakfast.  But you could tell the audience was not pleased to hear that a Senator — whose state is one-third Hispanic — would take such an out-of-touch position with such a critical constituency.

“Whether it’s opposing the DREAM Act, supporting Arizona’s draconian immigration law or opposing comprehensive immigration reform,  unelected Sen. Dean Heller has sent a clear message to Latino voters: take your votes elsewhere.  So much for his apology tour,” said campaign spokesman Eric Koch. “Luckily, Nevada’s Latino community has a clear alternative to Heller’s extremism with Shelley Berkley’s commitment to creating jobs, passing the DREAM Act and securing comprehensive immigration reform.”


Romney Would Veto The DREAM Act As President. In January 2012 the Associated Press wrote, “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Saturday that he would veto legislation that would allow certain illegal residents to become American citizens. ‘The answer is yes,’ Romney said during a campaign stop here in western Iowa, when he was asked if he would refuse to sign what’s known as the DREAM Act.” [AP, 1/01/2012]

In May 2011, Heller Said, “Just So You Know If I Was A Legislature In Arizona I Would Have Supported That Arizona Bill.” [Heller Tele-Town Hall, 5/05/11]

Heller Said He Would Support An Immigration Law Like Arizona’s In Nevada. In March 2011, Heller said he would support a policy similar to Arizona’s immigration law in Nevada. He said, “I am talking to members of the Arizona delegation about immigration policy down there. I think we need a similar policy here in NV and I would support a similar policy and I am surprised that this legislature isn’t talking more about immigration reform based on the size of the debt we have.” [Nevada Newsmakers, 3/21/11(video)]

Heller Voted Against The DREAM Act. In 2010, Heller voted against the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal residency for hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants first brought to the United States illegally by their parents.  While Republicans criticized the bill as de facto amnesty for undocumented immigrants and payment to Latino voters, Democrats argued the bill was a way to avoid punishing children for the acts of their parents and to strengthen military readiness and national competitiveness. The House measure would apply to adults under 30 who were brought to the U.S. prior to their 16th birthday and who had been in the country for at least five years. The bill would grant conditional legal status to qualifying young adults to completed at least two years of college or military service. It also required background and medical checks and the submission of biometric information. “The DREAM Act is about our nation’s cherished values of equality and opportunity. The DREAM Act would have strengthened our military readiness and national competitiveness. And it is the right thing to do. That is why this legislation passed the House with bipartisan support,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after Senate Republicans blocked the bill’s passage. The bill passed, 216-198. [CQ Today, 12/08/10; Pelosi press release, 12/18/10; HR 5281, Vote #625, 12/08/10]

Heller Opposes Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In October 2007, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported that Heller. “…spoke Saturday of his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, saying no new laws are needed. ‘I don’t support amnesty. I don’t support benefits for illegals. I don’t support the Dream Act. I don’t support anchor babies. No sanctuary cities and no North American Union,’ he said.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 10/14/2007]

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