Mitt Romney Demands Right To Stack Univision Audience, Still Can't Fill Studio

Mitt Romney clearly going for that all-important Boehner bronzer vote

You can process this information through whatever filter you deem relevant. For me, this seems ominous for the Romney campaign, but I'm wary of getting overly confident. It is the sign of an insecure candidate to demand that they be able to stack the deck of a town hall audience with supporters, yet that is just what Mittens did for his last Univision appearance:

Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas told Buzzfeed that while both candidates had agreed to distribute their share of tickets mainly to students, Romney’s campaign reneged at the last minute, demanding to bus in activists to fill the seats.

But even with that demand, wouldn't you know? Mittens had a hard time finding enough Latino-looking supporters to fill out the auditorium:

But after exhausting the few conservative groups on campus, the Romney camp realized there weren't enough sympathetic students to fill the stands on their night — so they told the network and university that if they weren't given an exemption to the students-only rule, they might have to "reschedule."

The organizers relented. One Democrat with ties to the Obama campaign noted that Rudy Fernandez, the university official charged with coordinating the forums, is a member of Romney's Hispanic steering committee. Fernandez did not respond to BuzzFeed's questions about whether he gave preferential treatment to Romney's campaign.

In any case, Romney's team was allowed to bus in rowdy activists from around southern Florida in order to fill the extra seats at their town hall.

Whew! That was a close one for the Romney campaign. I won't rub it in that the Obama campaign had no problems with the first Univision arrangement. Maybe it was the few Latino conservatives they could find that precipitated Romney's need to go orange for the event. The more faces of color, the better, amirite?

Still, Romney worried that he didn't make the best impression, and demanded that he be able to re-shoot his intro:

When co-anchor Jorge Ramos noted, in Romney’s introduction, that he would only be available for 35 minutes, versus the full hour that President Obama had promised, Romney refused to come onstage until Univision agreed to re-shoot the introduction. ”Our president of news was talking to the Romney campaign and negotiating it,” Salinas told Buzzfeed. “But at that point, you can’t really argue with that. The candidate is there, everyone is in their seats, the show must go on. There’s a limit to how much we can object to it.”

They re-shot the intro, noting the time discrepancy at the end of the broadcast.

President Obama, by contrast, adhered to the original agreement, and threw no hissy fits.

This is hardly the first time a candidate (at any level) has tried to paint him or herself in the best light, trying to finagle the most favorable coverage. What is unusual is that the media isn't playing along and letting us know about all these behind-the-scenes drama. And when the media isn't helping you, that's a very bad sign.

Support Crooks and Liars:


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.