During last night’s Republican Presidential debate at the University of North Florida, while working for CNN, makeup artist Paulina Perez had exclusive access to the candidates as she applied their makeup. Aside from a run-in with a not-so-friendly Gingrich staffer, the overall experience was a positive one. A proud Latina, Paulina encouraged Mitt Romney to embrace his Mexican heritage, which he rarely mentions publicly.
“I told him that my mom wanted to vote for him because he was Mexican! He laughed and said that he never thought of that, maybe he’ll have to talk about it more often in the campaign! Sure enough, later on in the debate, he talked about his father being Mexican. Naturally, I told my mother that Mitt Romney was doing that specifically for her!”
During the night, there was a flurry of activity backstage prior to the start of the debate. At one point Paulina and one of the other makeup artists on her team were doing makeup for Rick Santorum.
“Jill really wanted to meet Anderson Cooper and when we were working with Rick Santorum, Anderson Cooper walked by. She was so upset that she missed Anderson, Rick joked that he was sorry he ruined her opportunity. It was just such a girly moment that we completely forgot we were in front of someone who could possibly be the next President of the United States. It was kind of surreal.”
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