from The Huffington Post, published November 29, 2011.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney picked up some vital Florida endorsements this week, securing the support of three key Cuban-Americans. All three supported the pro-immigrant Dream Act, and one is the only sitting Republican in Congress to have come out in favor of repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, both positions that clash with Romney’s stated stances on those issues.
The Associated Press reports:
[Romney] announced endorsements from Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario Diaz-Balart and his brother, former Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, among others. They underscore his strengths going into the Jan. 31 Florida primary and would help him appeal to Hispanics in the state should he become the nominee. The Cuban exile community in the Miami area is an important constituency group for Republicans and the three, who endorsed Sen. John McCain over Romney in 2008, are longtime leaders here.
While their support could help Romney win an important primary contest and put him in a solid position in the Sunshine State if he goes on to win the GOP nomination, Ros-Lehtinen’s position on DOMA, as well as the trio’s broader support for the Dream Act, highlights Romney’s own complex record on the issues of immigration and gay rights.
Romney has come out as an opponent of gay marriage in this election cycle. He signed on to a staunch social conservative pledge drafted by the National Organization for Marriage in August, but earlier declined to attach his name to a stricter document that his campaign claimed contained “undignified” and “inappropriate” provisions. He has since said that he supports gay rights while maintaining that he is against marriage rights for same-sex couples.