The next day, Romney aired his firstSpanish-language television advertisementin South Florida. Itâ€™s an uplifting, even gauzy spot narrated by his Spanish-speaking son, Craig. The title: â€œNosotros,â€ or â€œUs.â€ The message: In Mitt Romneyâ€™s America, anything is possible.
And, as in every other Romney ad, it ended with a black-and-white still photograph of Mitt and Ann holding hands on a windswept farm. Again, steadiness and warmth.
These are the ways, overt and subtle, that Romney is sharpening his brand. The Republican presidential front-runnerâ€™s immediate objective is toÂ polish off his rivalsby winning the next two primaries â€” Saturday in South Carolina and Jan. 31 in Florida. But with the race quickly moving beyond the early states, Romney also is trying to market himself to millions of voters in all the other states who are tuning in and forming their first impressions.
â€œAs the megaphone gets bigger, you want to just continue that message that youâ€™ve been building upon,â€ Romney adviser Russ Schriefer said. â€œThis is ultimately going to be a contest between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama â€” the choice between what Mitt Romney will be talking and campaigning about and what Barack Obama has been doing, and competing visions for America.â€
To many voters, Romney is an enigmatic candidate, and the battle to brand him is underway in South Carolina. The consequences are likely to ripple across the country and, if he becomes the nominee, set the terms for the general election fight with Obama.
Some of the other Republican candidates are trying to create a devastating portrait of Romney. They areÂ attacking his workfounding and running Bain Capital, a venture capital and corporate buyout firm, by accusing him of prioritizing profits over workers. Supporters of former House speaker Newt Gingrich are airing a caustic documentary,Â â€œThe King of Bain,â€Â that depicts Romney as a greedy Wall Street raider who traveled the country slashing jobs, pocketing millions and having his shoes polished on airport tarmacs.