The campaign threatened to cancel the televised event unless Univision and organizers met Romney’s demands. Organizers backed down (the University of Miami forum was coordinated by a local Romney campaign official). The bused-in Republican activists proceeded to ignore Univision requests to hold their applause, turning the forum into more of a pro-Romney rally.
But in its efforts to display more Latino support for Romney than any poll has ever shown, Team Mitt may have gone overboard in ways that could bite it later on, forcing co-moderator Jorge Ramos to retape the candidate’s introduction, and then whipping its hand-picked crowd into so much of a frenzy that the moderators could barely be heard.
As Laura Colarusso explained in the cover feature for the May/June issue of the Washington Monthly, Jorge Ramos is a rock-star celebrity among Latinos with the kind of cache Anglo network anchors haven’t had since Walter Cronkite. Visibly disrespecting Ramos–or even intensely annoying him–may not be the smoothest move the Romney campaign has executed lately.