Politico has an item on what they call "Romney's risky immigration play". [By Maggie Haberman, October 4, 2011] They seem to say that Romney, by taking advantage of a rare opportunity to get to Perry's right, will be damaging himself with the "Hispanic vote" by passing up the opportunity to get to Barack Obama's left.
"But the tactic is not without risk, and some strategists — and even some Romney supporters — are beginning to worry that he could damage himself as a general election candidate with the fastest-growing population of voters who are up for grabs: Hispanics.
“Mitt Romney has definitely adopted [a hostile] tone, and needlessly,” said Ana Navarro, the national Hispanic chairperson of Jon Huntsman’s campaign who served the same role on John McCain’s 2008 campaign.
“Barack Obama’s basic vulnerability was that he made Latinos a promise on immigration that he has not delivered and Latinos remembered,” she added, referring to the president’s pledge for immigration reform. “We have a unique opportunity to capitalize on a broken promise to the Latino community, and instead of capitalizing on that, we are fighting over who is tougher and meaner and stricter when it comes to immigration. We’re completely missing the boat.”
However, the whole problem here is that it's treating the Hispanic vote as if were (a) "up for grabs" and (b) essential, when it's neither. White voters, apparently, count for nothing. Hispanic voters are very largely Democrats, Republican voters are very largely white—and there are many times more white voters than Hispanics or any other minority.