Remember the leaked “47 percent” video in which, among other things, GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney joked about having a better shot at winning the presidency if he was Latino? Well, it wasn’t funny to some show business figures who are speaking out in a series of videos titled “Actually.” It features a host of celebrities taking on Romney. Other include Sarah Silverman, W. Kamau Bell and Lizz Winstead.
The “Actually” series is a partnership between the Jewish Council for Education, or JCER, and the SuperPAC American Bridge. The first in the series features actress/community activist Rosie Perez, who said the Republican nominee had a better shot at being president if he was a gay Latina.
Here’s how things went down.
In the “47 Percent” video leaked about a month ago, Romney was heard telling a group of rich donors, at a May fundraiser, about his Mexican heritage, so to speak. This is what the presidential hopeful said:
“My dad, you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company, but he was born in Mexico. And had he been born of Mexican parents I’d have a better shot at winning this, but he was unfortunately born of Americans living in Mexico. They’d lived there for a number of years, and, uh, I mean I say that jokingly, but it’d be helpful if they’d been Latino.”
Fast forward to Oct. 14, just three weeks before the Nov. 6 election, and Romney is back on the radar for the controversial video.
Romney has been struggling to identify with Latinos and women voters. And Latinos are now knocking Romney on many of his stances from women rights to gay issues. Even his wealthy upbringing is once more an issue among some Hispanics. Here’s what Perez had to say, in full:
“Actually Mitt, that is so true. All you have to do is look at the statistics and Mitt’s point becomes crystal clear. Hispanics represents 17 percent of the population and account for less than 2 percent of all elected and appointed officials. The advantage is obvious. Think of all our Hispanic-American presidents from Jorge Washington to Jorge Bush uno y dos. And who could forget Presidente Jimmy Smits? Boricua! I mean, all Mitt needs is a little Sassoon. But just a little bit. I mean you didn’t need to go full John Boehner on the spray tan. Oh God! But a clean cut Hispanic-American like Julian Castro or Ricky Martin (gasp) Oh. My. Goodness. What if you were just a little bit gay, Mitt? Think of all the advantages that would provide. No. Wait for it! What if you had a vagina? If you were a gay Latina this election would be in the bag for you. Unfortunately for you Mitt, you were cursed with the hard knock life of growing up as the son of a wealthy governor and auto executive? And when your father paid your way through private school, Harvard, Harvard Law and bought your first house? I just can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for you. But the truth is, the reason why Latinos aren’t voting for you is because your policies suck. Being Latino wouldn’t win you the election. But saying jokingly that you wish you were might actually lose it for you.”
The organization behind the video is not Latino, however, but Jewish. In a press release, JCER, which has been behind other pro-Obama efforts since 2008, stated that it is supporting the President’s re-election. It is also looking to bring others on board.
“Recognizing that the Jewish community is not one-size-fits-all, JCER is creating cross-platform initiatives to develop the community’s narrative about Obama and to shore up support for his campaign in key swing states,” the statement read.
As for the video uploaded to YouTube by SchelpsLabs, a work of JCER, the description stated that “When lies go unchecked, we all lose. Actually.org spreads the truth, because the truth matters – even in politics.”
Here's a short video of other celebrities you can expect to see:
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...