Washington: Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, has said he is confounded by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s decision during the GOP primary to align himself with hardliners on immigration, and questioned whether he realized, or even cared about, the message it would send to Latino voters.
“He himself has immigrant [roots]. I don't understand -- why this position?” Fox said.
“Maybe they have figured out that without the Hispanic vote they can make it. And let''s say that is true. But what is going to be the capacity of the nation during the next four years if there is a divide?” he added.
According to the Huffington Post, he has not made an endorsement or said which of the two candidates he thought would better serve the country, and equally criticized President Barack Obama along with his worries about Romney.
Fox said that both Obama and Romney seem to be more interested in fighting each other than showing how they would lead the country.
"If they keep spending their energies on trying to convince public opinion that the other guy is wrong, if they keep debating the negatives, I don''t see leadership there," he said, adding: "I cannot go for either one. But I think they can change."
On the Latino vote and immigration, though, Fox offered a strong critique of Romney for what he said were either unclear or disrespectful positions.
According to the report, Romney has a major problem with Latino voters, despite having increased the amount of targeted advertising and outreach directed at them over previous cycles.
“I really think that Mitt Romney started on the wrong side [on immigration],” he said.
"He started creating a negative evaluation about what Latinos, Hispanics, Mexicans can bring to the United States," he said, referring to Romney's statements during the primary.
"He has not changed completely his point of view," he added.
According to the report, during the GOP primary, Romney advocated for ‘self-deportation’, which involves making things difficult for undocumented immigrants until they decide to leave.