President Obama will engage a crowd of Latino students in a town hall style event at the University of Miami tonight. He follows Mitt Romney’s appearance at the “Meet the Candidates” forum on Hispanic and educational issues co-sponsored by Univision and Facebook. CNN Contributor and Republican Strategist Ana Navarro attended last night’s event. She joins John Berman on “Early Start” this morning with her take on the GOP candidate’s performance.
“It was a very good event,” Navarro says of the forum. She calls Romney’s series of Hispanic events this week “Latino-palooza,” which Navarro feels Romney has waited to do until being formally nominated at the Republican National Convention. The Romney campaign has also spent a lot of money on Hispanic ads, she says. “We are seeing a sprint-to-the-finish, all out effort by Mitt Romney in these last 40 some days.”
Navarro says the crowd had strong Romney supporters at the forum last night. They also had some tough questions for the candidate at the beginning, “a real grilling on the immigration issue, but then they moved to the economic and education issues. You could see this was a Mitt Romney at ease,” Navarro says. “I could tell that he’s been preparing and briefing for debates,” even though this wasn’t exactly a debate format, “he did well.”
Berman asks Navarro if she was satisfied with how Romney received questions at the forum about his somewhat controversial stance on immigration. Navarro says Romney still hasn’t provided specifics but that “there is a change of tone.”
“There is a change on some of the words he’s using,” Navarro says. “We’ve gone from talking about self-deportation to now him saying, ‘Were not going to have massive roundups and deportations.’ We’ve gone from him talking about a veto threat for a DREAM Act if it were to pass under his administration to him addressing some ways where he could pick up and give legal resources to some those students that would be covered under a potential DREAM Act.” Navarro says, “he’s made progress.”