CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- National Democratic leaders sought an all-out push for the Hispanic vote this fall, telling delegates from red states such as Texas on Monday to campaign in crucial battleground states for President Obama.
Latinos will be showcased when the Democratic National Convention opens Tuesday, and party leaders tapped another Texan, Rep. Charlie Gonzalez, for a speaking role.
Gonzalez said his speech would address ''how the president's policies have helped American families, and particularly how those policies have impacted and helped the Hispanic community."
On Monday, Latinos attending a convention caucus meeting were urged by Juan Sepulveda, Democratic National Committee senior adviser, to join grassroots efforts to help re-elect Obama.
The delegates were urged to take a week off and flood into minority neighborhoods in swing states such as Colorado, Florida and Nevada and urge voters to get to the polls.
Other Latinos in high-profile speaking roles at the convention include San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and ''Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria. Castro will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday.
Added to the roster of Democratic speakers is Gonzalez, D-San Antonio, who heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and is an outspoken leader on civil rights in the House of Representatives.
Latinos are considered a voting bloc critical to Obama's re-election, particularly in swing states, where
Republicans have blamed Obama's domestic economic policies for a skyrocketing 11 percent unemployment rate among Latinos, far above the 8 percent nationally.
But a poll released last week by Latino Decisions, a non-partisan research group, found that 70 percent of Republican Latinos are opposed to the Medicare reforms proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the GOP vice presidential candidate.
That same poll also found a majority of Latinos oppose cuts to Medicare to reduce the national debt.