0

Romney starts outreach to Asian-American voters

I wrote a story last month about how Asian Americans could prove to be a crucial voting bloc in certain battleground states this November, and noting that while the Obama campaign had some structure in place for outreach to this community, the Romney campaign really didn’t.

Today, the Romney campaign announced its Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders for Romney community.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have wonderful cultures that enrich all of America,” Romney said in the news release. “For generations, members of this community have contributed to our country, started new businesses and invented new products, and served with honor and distinction in the fight to protect freedom all around the world. I am honored to have the support of such great Asian Americans, and look forward to working with them to get our country on the right track again.”

Former U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said she’s honored to be the effort’s national chairwoman.

“Having worked in previous presidential administrations, I know Governor Mitt Romney has the experience and the character to tackle the problems that are facing our nation,” she said in the news release. “Americans are suffering, and it will take new leadership to put this country on a path to prosperity and full employment.”

One of the seven national co-chairs is said Universal Health Care CEO Akshay Desai of Florida, who said he knows what it takes to make it in the private sector. “Mitt Romney is the change we so desperately need, and I look forward to having him in the White House.”

The other national chairs are Rep. Steve Austria, R-Ohio; former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Viet Dinh; former Rep. Charles Djou, R-Hawaii; former U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy; former Rep. Patricia Saiki, R-Hawaii; and former Ambassador Sichan Siv, who was the U.S. representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

They have their work cut out for them. As I’d reported in my story, a poll conducted in April for three national Asian-American advocacy groups found Asian-Americans self-identified as Democrats rather than Republicans by more than 3-1. Seventy-three percent viewed President Obama favorably; 27 percent viewed Romney favorably.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.