Romney's Hispanic chairman says candidate made mistakes
November 11th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
1 year ago

Romney's Hispanic chairman says candidate made mistakes

(CNN) – The man who led Mitt Romney's outreach to Hispanic voters said Sunday the candidate "made some mistakes" during his campaign that ultimately led to a precipitous drop in Latino support.

Carlos Gutierrez, the former secretary of commerce, blamed the Republican primary process, which he said forced Romney to harden his immigration stance in an appeal to the far-right wing of the Republican Party.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

"Mitt Romney made some mistakes," Gutierrez told CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash on "State of the Union." "I think he is an extraordinary man, and I think he made an extraordinary candidate. I think Mitt Romney's comments are a symptom. I think the disease is the fact that the far right of the party controls the primary process."

On immigration, Romney often sought to balance his positions in ways that appealed both to Hispanic voters and the base of the Republican Party.

In December, Romney vowed to veto the DREAM Act if he became president, saying instead he would support a path to residency - not citizenship - for undocumented immigrants who served in the military, but not other DREAM Act proposals.

Later, Romney gave a more detailed version of his stance, telling supporters at a fund-raiser in Florida that Republicans needed to offer their own version of the DREAM Act.

At a Republican presidential debate in January, Romney said he favored a system of "self-deportation," a policy that involves making economic conditions so difficult for undocumented workers that they choose to leave the country to find better opportunities. That stance was derided both by Democrats and his Republican rivals.

Speaking Sunday, Gutierrez said Latino voters were scared of a Republican Party they regarded as anti-immigrant and downright xenophobic.

"They were scared of the anti-immigration talk. They were scared of xenophobes. It's almost as if we're living in the past," Gutierrez added.

The proof, he said, was in the way Latinos voted: 27% cast ballots for Romney, compared to 31% who voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008 and 44% who supported George W. Bush in 2004.

"I would lay the blame squarely on the far-right wing of the Republican Party," Gutierrez said.

Evangelical leader Gary Bauer said Sunday that the opposite was true, pinning Romney's loss on a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters.

"I think it's due, at least in part, to folks in our party that seem intent on attacking the fact that we're the conservative party in the United States," Bauer said, pointing specifically to the issue of abortion, which he said should have played a larger role in the 2012 campaign.

"There's no yearning by the American people for a second pro-abortion party. I mean, we've already got one of those," he said.


Filed under: 2012 • Latinos • Mitt Romney
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. MarieMD

    @time – forgot to add – third generation Cubans voted for the President. The age of conservative Cubans from the 60s is long gone also. The rethugs have not really lost the last Hispanic group they had in their pockets.
    I was very proud of Miami-Dade blueness on election day.

    November 11, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. AaaaCccc

    A big hint to the Republican party and CNN. There is no mindless block Hispanic vote. Most posters here have more than adequately explained it is the candidate, hated, lies, and policies that affect America, that lost him the election. Having a Hispanic strategist means you already don't get it. They are diverse multi issue voters like most other Americans.

    November 11, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Kanata

    There are more similarities between the GOP and the Taliban than differences. Now, why are we fighting the Taliban and Not the GOP?

    November 11, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Lamar in Dallas, TX

    Romney did not have to to pander to the extremists elements of his party, but he did. If that's what it takes to win today as a Republican, then that's a sad commentary on the state of that party. What happened to the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, heck even Ronald Reagan?

    November 11, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Larry L

    @ Ray E. (Georgia)

    You feel the President pandered? You think Obama told half-truths? Romney's entire campaign was about pandering to right-wingers and Tea Party extremists. Fact checkers showed Romney and Lyin' Ryan to be constantly telling outrageous lies. Romney gave voters nothing but fluffy generalities and distorted statistics. You are being completely delusional – much like your predictions of the election outcome.

    November 11, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. joejeffrey

    He's half right, of course. It's their primary process. But he leaves out the other half: during that process, any potential Republican candidate has to pander to the most extreme parts of the party, the Tea Party fanatics and the religious fanatics. If the Republicans were smart, they'd re-form themselves as simpy the Part of Fiscal Responsibility and dump the Tea Party and religious fanatics, adopt a middle-of-the-road abortion plank, quit their old-people fussing about gay marriage, adopt a reform-entitlements-AND-raise-taxes plank, and let all the fanatics go hang. They'd beat the daylights out of the Democrats, because they'd get all but the far Left. They won't, of course, because they're don't have the courage and some of their leaders - Cantor, Ryan - are the very fanatics who are the problem. But they'd win every election if they did.

    November 11, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  7. John

    Anybody else love seeing Bauer squirm and bluster while Carlos Gutierrez told him the truth to his face?

    November 11, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. Facts don't Lie

    this was one of the only times I can honestly say that I ENJOYED watching FoxNews and their pure meltdown. They are another part of what is wrong with today's GOP. The FoxNews bubble has swallowed too many of what was once a good decent party. Moderate Republicans were purged..the more far right you are, the more you loathe the president the more welcome you are. I am afraid they would even hire someone like Allen West just to rile up the base some more. I heard a pundit say that the GOP does not have a white male problem but an ANGRY white male problem. Tell me a right wing talk station where half the people on there aren't angry about something. I have tried to listen to many but they all sound alike.

    November 11, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Zelig

    Was it the constant reboots, the lying, or simply supporting the radicalism of modern republicon party craziness tha was the mistake?

    November 11, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Zelig

    And for those of you talking about big and small government. Stop it. If you dont know enough to know those a meningless terms, like family values, then you should just stop talking about politics and stick to things you know, like baseball, or whatever you do for a living.

    November 11, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Larry L

    Republicans can thank Rush, Sean, Glenn, Laura, and Anne for Romney's defeat. Hate media created a large population of fearful, bigoted and poorly informed Republicans. Common sense people didn't support their hateful message. Republicans will never return to power unless they learn to reject those evil and dishonest loud mouths.

    November 11, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Sam

    I have to agree with Mr Gutierrez !! Far right is killing the support for Republicans....they are Anti every thing !! Anti Choice for women , anti gay , anti Jews , anti Immigrants , anti latinos...look at the laws they aree passing in Arizona , Mississippi & Alabama .....how can they win any national election !!! They can't deny the facts...Its a party of Haters & they love stupid people like Sarah Palin & Michelle Bachmann !! Peter King is also a Racist !!

    November 11, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. DERASA

    Illigals don't vote. We don't like Republican Party or GOP members because Its the party of racists, extremists, bigotry, etc, etc, etc. They represent the worst in this cointry...Start collaborating with Obama making thing favorable to create more jobs, and to move this economy againg....

    November 11, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. John

    Here you go -"Evangelical leader Gary Bauer said Sunday that the opposite was true, pinning Romney's loss on a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters.

    "I think it's due, at least in part, to folks in our party that seem intent on attacking the fact that we're the conservative party in the United States," Bauer said, pointing specifically to the issue of abortion, which he said should have played a larger role in the 2012 campaign.

    "There's no yearning by the American people for a second pro-abortion party. I mean, we've already got one of those," he said."

    This is another reason the gopers lost – evangelicals who can't grasp the fact that most people aren't like them and their insistence on calling Democrats "pro-abortion". It's absurd. I don't know anyone who is "pro-abortion". I support a woman's right to control her own body, but I am not "pro-abortion". Most women who have abortions aren’t “pro-abortion”. This kind of stance will keep me away from the GOP as long as they keep bringing it up.

    November 11, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Jmj

    I worked very hard for Romney who is a good smart business moderate who would have been able to reach across the aisle and turn this country around. But sadly that was not to be for many different reasons. What upsets me the most is the conservative Republicans who stayed home. Shame on them! If they had voted Romney would have been president. They will in no way get my support in the future. Go ahead & start your own party...the sooner the better. At least then the future candidates will not have to pander to you and give up any chance of winning.

    November 11, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  16. Act III: 2013 Tea Bag suicide march to the fiscal cliff

    God did not want him president is the perfect explanation.

    Teaches Romney for not handling deadly snakes and drinking poison to prove he had what it takes.

    A couple run ins with rattlers could have made the difference between being elected POTUS and dog catcher.

    November 11, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. Paul

    Romney lost because he thought he was Ronald Reagan, but had no conviction. Reagan said a lot stuff I did not like, but he also did not care and rarely shifted his positions. Romney also ran like we were still in the Cold War

    November 11, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Susan

    Romney wasn't "forced" to do anything. He could have been a leader and come out with his own view and advocated and explained why it was a good view from a conservative stand point. He made the CHOICE to be a flip-flopper and a follower and put aside any convictions he may have had (if he ever had any) to get the votes he wanted for the only true thing he cared about-getting elected. Leaders take risks and stand their ground and don't tailor their message to what people want to hear. Romney's continuous inability to be a leader on any issue is exactly why he never belonged in the White House. T

    ime for the guy who liked to talk so much about taking responsibility to start taking responsibility for his own failures.

    November 11, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Act III: 2013 Tea Bag suicide march to the fiscal cliff

    How about out of touch?

    That is a near majority in America.

    November 11, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Peter

    The elephant in the room is simply TOO MANY WHACK JOBS IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    2012 was a bumper crop year for nuts. Todd Aiken ("a woman's body shuts down after a rape"); Richard Mourdock ("It is God's will to have a baby after you have been raped"); Paul Broun ("evolution and the big bang theory are lies from the pit of hell"); Ralph Hall ("I don't think we can control what God controls")......as Bill Maher said "then why put out a fire?". Not to mention Rick Santorum ("I would like to ban condoms"), Michelle Bachmann (quotes too numerous to mention), and a host of assorted Republican birthers and conspiracy theorists where even the most laughable theory is accepted as fact. Oh, and Donald Trump.

    I really believe that enough of mainstream America got spooked by the fact that this freak show parade would follow Mitt into the White House.

    November 11, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. Danko Ramone

    "Carlos Gutierrez, the former secretary of commerce, blamed the Republican primary process, which he said forced Romney to harden his immigration stance in an appeal to the far-right wing of the Republican Party."

    NO, Romney was NOT "forced" to harden his stance. He chose to do so to pander. He *could* have stood his ground on whatever his stance supposedly was. explained why, and tried to win hearts to his vision. Instead, he CHOSE ro pander to the far-right wing.

    November 11, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. CB

    Give it a Rest-you hit the nail on the head.

    November 11, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. 0termbachmann

    Mittens didn't make mistakes, he truly is a mistake.

    November 11, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. Tucano Fulano

    Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN

    "In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

    Theodore Roosevelt

    November 11, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  25. Courtney

    Maybe it's time for the a third party to take over therepuds have gone too far this time.Here's some advice some stop telling people how to live their lives I sure dont want no rich old dirt bags telling me what to do with my body .Who died and made u guys boss of the human race get real control freaks.

    November 11, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16