Monday, January 30, 2012

Romney carved a lechón in Hialeah

The Miami Herald reports: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received a warm, Cuban-American welcome -- complete with the requisite lechón -- Sunday afternoon in Hialeah, Miami-Dade County's most heavily Hispanic, Republican stronghold.

Speaking to a crowd of a couple hundred outside Casa Marin, a traditional Hialeah political spot, Romney spoke about his love for his family, the military, freedom and the United States, repeating important themes for older, Cuban-American voters that form the base of Miami-Dade's Hispanic Republican electorate.

"Gifts to people who are fundamentally evil are always accepted and never returned," Romney said, criticizing President Barack Obama's policy toward Cuba, which allowed for more remittances and travel to the island.

The president is full of "excuses" for the stalled economy, Romney said -- and accused his chief GOP primary rival, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, of relying on "excuses" to justify his apparently slowing momentum in Florida.

Before his 10-minute speech, Romney was introduced by his wife, Ann, who spoke about the importance of family, and their youngest son, Craig, who has appeared with Romney all week, speaking Spanish to the Hispanic crowds. "My father doesn't speak Spanish," Craig Romney said in Spanish. "But he does speak the language of the economy."

After the speech, Romney was invited to carve a slow-roasted, suckling pig -- Cuban lechón -- which he did, with a knife and tongs. He posed for photos next to the pig and gave a bite to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

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