Daniel Doherty
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At a time when 23 million Americans are unemployed and unemployed, the national debt is exploding, and poverty rates are the highest they’ve ever been, the national media should be focused on issues of paramount importance. That didn’t happen on Friday. Instead, at a “Meet the Candidate” event in Florida sponsored by Univision, a bunch of Lefty bloggers accused Governor Romney of “darkening his skin” in order to curry favor with Latino voters. Appalling:

Mitt Romney appeared on Univision's "Meet the Candidate" event on Wednesday evening to talk about issues of importance to Latino voters, including immigration, education and foreign policy. But thousands of bloggers, Facebook subscribers and Twitter users across the country focused more on the candidate's complexion than on his message.

Social media platforms were abuzz on Wednesday with the insinuation that the GOP candidate had somehow darkened his skin before coming on Univision's forum. The accusation was reported on by The Huffington Post, Gawker and Wonkette, among others, receiving thousands of comments on the sites combined.

So is it true? Of course not:

Here at ABC/Univision, we wanted to clear the air a bit and find out what really happened.

So we asked the man who saw it first hand -- makeup artist Lazz Rodriguez, who applied powder and concealer to the candidate's skin that night. The verdict?

"When he walked in, I remember thinking, 'Wow this is tanner than I thought he was,' but I think he's just been outside a lot lately for his campaign," Rodriguez noted. "It was definitely a real tan."

Rodriguez has been a makeup artist for 25 years, and has applied cosmetics to hundreds of famous faces, including many celebrities and politicians, and a handful of presidents.

….

Rodriguez says that his makeup of choice for the evening was MAC NW30, a medium-range loose powder that he applies to "cut the glare" of stage lights.

The ABC/Univision News team decided to investigate the claims that Romney was wearing powder that was too dark, stopping in at the local Miami MAC store after Thursday's "Meet the Candidate" event with Obama to test out the exact make and model. Indeed, we concluded after various trials that the NW30 was a medium-ranged hue that looked natural on a range of beige skin tones. The color was perhaps a tad too dark on Politics Editor Jordan Fabian, just about right on reporter Julia Saenz, and a shade too light on Miami-boy and Managing Editor Fernando Rodriguez-Vila. But, even when we caked the stuff on, NW30 wasn't notably dark on a range of skin tones under harsh lights.

"I also don't want this to jeopardize a career I've worked so hard to build in this field," he said. "He was tan from being out in the sun on the campaign trail -- that's the only possible explanation."

I’m a bit surprised by the frivolity of these accusations. Then again, if the guy I was supporting for president (a candidate who campaigned on the slogan “Hope & Change” in 2008) admitted during a Q & A session “you can’t change Washington from the inside,” it’s easy to understand why liberals are freaking out. Forward!

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Daniel Doherty

Daniel Doherty is Townhall's Deputy News Editor. Follow him on Twitter @danpdoherty.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography