add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );This week in Election 2012: Awkward tans and tax returns - BANG.

This week in Election 2012: Awkward tans and tax returns




Welcome to the Election 2012 blog, where each week I will do a recap of important things happening in the 2012 presidential race.

1. Romney awkwardly attempts to win over Latino voters

Wednesday, Sept.19 , Mitt Romney appeared on Latino television channel Univision's "Meet the Candidate" event. He was there to discuss issues relevant to Latino voters, including immigration, foreign policy, and education. Instead of a gaffe or misquote that received the most attention, it was rather something unspoken that sparked the most discussion on social media.

Romney appeared with a suspiciously tan face, even more tan than the night before. Blogs and social media erupted with discussion, and some even called it a desperate act of "brownface" to appeal to Latinos. The makeup artist, Lazz Rodriguez, responded to the criticism, saying that Romney was already tan from campaigning outside for a long time. "What they [bloggers and commenters] have done is all a bit sad to me," Rodriguez said to ABC News. "I also don't want this to jeopardize a career I've worked so hard to build in this field. He was tan from being out in the sun on the campaign trail—that's the only possible explanation."

Regardless of whether it was intentional or not, Romney may want to look in the mirror next time he tries to woo an entire racial group.

2. Paul Ryan is booed by the AARP

GOP Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan made a campaign stop in New Orleans on Friday, Sept. 21, but instead of the usual crowd of Republicans cheering for his conservative rhetoric, Ryan addressed the AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons. Seeing that Ryan's signature issue is a makeover of Medicare, we knew that this would be interesting.

Not unexpectedly, Ryan was booed during almost all of the speech. The boos were particularly loud while Ryan outlined his plan to repeal Obama's health care plan, which was endorsed by the AARP. Ryan has proposed an overhaul of Medicare where it would be a voucher-like system instead of the current entitlement program. The controversial plan was expected to be a hard sell to seniors.

3. Romney finally releases his tax returns

On Friday, Sept.21 , Romney finally caved to pressure and released his tax returns from more than the last 20 years, which revealed he paid a 14.1 percent tax rate in 2011. Over the course of the campaign, Romney has received criticism from both sides over not releasing more than two years of returns. But before he receives praise, it is worth noting that he decided to release this big news on a Friday.

Friday is sometimes referred to as the news 'dump day' because big news released right before the weekend is likely to get less attention from big news outlets as well as viewers since the news shows aren't on a normal schedule. So without reading too much into this maneuver, what does it all actually mean? The national average income tax rate is 20.2 percent, which means Romney has been paying a lower rate than most Americans. This news doesn't help with Romney's problem of appearing too elitist and out of touch with regular Americans.

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Meghan is a member of the class of 2013 from Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She is a Political Science major and Faith Peace and Justice minor. She joined the Gavel her sophomore year and has been an editorial assistant, News Editor, and Managing Editor. She spent her junior spring semester studying abroad in Granada, Spain. She enjoys writing political stories and covering campus events for the Gavel.