Actress and activist Rosario Dawson told The Daily Caller that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney can “use” his heritage to make immigration issues “very personal” in the general election.
Addressing the Latino vote, Dawson predicted that Romney will “draw a lot of people in,” but said he faces some challenges because “the Republican Party has really sort of pushed away the Latino vote” in the past.
TheDC asked Dawson, the co-founder of Voto Latino, if Romney could garner support from the Latino community, given that his father was born in Mexico.
“Having his heritage be something that’s going to be really exciting for a lot of people to talk about and be really important for him to be speaking about what that’s meant to him as an immigrant — part of an immigrant family and story, that’s going to be really important and obviously Obama, who’s done a lot of deportations in his administration, that’s another thing that’s going to be something that people are really going to have to pay attention to,” Dawson told TheDC at a Voto Latino event celebrating “Diversity in the Media.”
“But I think The Republican Party as well has really done a lot to kind of really shut down the Latino vote and talking about immigration in such a negative way during the entire campaigning process, not necessarily Mitt Romney himself.”
She continued: “I think he’s going to have to do quite a lot to kind of bring people back on to want to vote Republican… not just necessarily for him because I think he’ll draw a lot of people in, but I think the Republican Party has really sort of pushed away the Latino vote and the Latino conversation in such a negative way that I think it’s going to be very difficult for him to kind of get them on board. So that will be something that he can really use to be able to make it very personal and that’s going to be important for him.”
Dawson said she will not campaign for President Barack Obama or Romney because her organization is non-partisan.
“I get to just be critical of both, which is great,” she said. “I get to represent I think what the real voter is, which is highly critical and not always wanting to be put in the position of voting for the lesser of two evils.”
Another issue Dawson is focusing on is voter registration. TheDC asked her if she agreed with state laws that require individuals to present photo identification at the polls.
“It’s more complicated than that. You know, right now, even during voter registration we’re being told that we have to have birth certificates for elderly people who don’t even have [one], who have never had one. That really takes them out of the process,” she told TheDC.
“Of course we want people to make sure that there’s not voter fraud and all that, but it’s a big fallacy to say we need to change all of these different laws right now and make it so that so many people don’t get to have and exercise their right to vote.”
Dawson, of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, is best known for roles in Men in Black II, Sin City, Eagle Eye and Seven Pounds, opposite Will Smith.