September 27th, 2013
06:43 PM ET
7 months ago

Hispanic outreach: Mitt Romney’s largest error from 2012

(CNN) – Mitt Romney has had some time to reflect on what went wrong last November. His main conclusion: the Hispanic community didn’t understand his immigration stance well enough.

"The largest strategic error was not investing sufficiently, particularly in Hispanic TV and Hispanic outreach to help Hispanic voters understand that ours is the party of opportunity," Romney told CNN’s Jake Tapper of the lesson to be learned for GOP presidential campaigns of the future.

Romney lost the Hispanic vote by 40%, a loss seen to be in large part spurred by the perception of the Republican Party as antithetical to immigration reform.

"I think my position and the position of our party is not well understood at the Hispanic community," said Romney. "I want to see immigration reform. I said that during the campaign. I want to make sure we have a legal immigration system that brings, in my view, more people legally to our country. I'd like to do that."

Exclusive: Romney disagrees with House GOP ‘tactics’ on Obamacare

Romney’s comments offer some of the most revealing insight into his thoughts on immigration and its role in his 2012 defeat to President Barack Obama.

Debates on how the GOP should adapt itself in the years to come have found a split between elements who think Republicans need to reach out better to Hispanic voters and those who view any immigration reform or pathway to citizenship as amnesty for lawbreakers.

The GOP has a long way to go if it wants to attract Hispanic voters, according to a new poll released Friday.

Half of Hispanics identify with the Democratic Party, according to the Public Religion Research Institute poll, compared to the 15% who identify with the GOP.

But the problem is more than just party identification, says the survey. Forty-three percent of Hispanics identified that the phrase "cares about people like you" more appropriately describes the Democratic Party, while 12% say the same for the GOP.

–CNN’s Dan Merica, Sherisse Pham and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Immigration • Mitt Romney
soundoff (948 Responses)
  1. just me

    Lol, didn't understand?!? No mitt, they understood perfectly well your positions and those of your party. Hence the results.

    September 27, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Wake up People!

    Come on almost a year later and he's still lying and crying. You lost Mitt. Didn't you want Hispanics to what was it? Self-deport? You're just like the rest of them Mitt or you MAY care about immigration reform but in order to get the nomination you sold your soul to the devil. You took on every nasty aspect that your party stood for.

    Cry me a river Willard, I'm playing the worlds smallest violin. Loser.

    September 27, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. What's in that tea anyway?

    really? I think you lost all minorities and the women's vote....but you did when the Tea foolery vote.

    September 27, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    He still does not understand the logic–it is not Hispanic, it is his stupid comment of 47%. It hurt this nation.

    September 27, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  5. pkMyt1

    Could also be that his position and the position of the GOP is understood by the Hispanic community.

    September 27, 2013 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  6. Thomas

    What was his horses name ?

    September 27, 2013 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Deb in MT

    'I also enjoy sport'

    'Some of my best friends are Nascar Team owners'

    "47% of people think they deserve health care,government help...etc.'

    No, Mitt. Your 'problems' with the voting public went waaay beyond your immigration stance, bud.

    September 27, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  8. The Elephant In The Room

    It was and continues to be the POLICIES Mitt, not the messaging that is the GOP"s problem. Any Latino that votes for a Republican is a fool. The GOP must be thrown out of office in 2014 and kept out of the WH in 2016 IF they are to begin to show latinos some true respect.

    September 27, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. Marie MD

    Oh twit, you are still clueless and blaming everyone but yourself, you dog torturer you.
    I'm pretty sure that wearing a fake can tan didn't do much either.

    September 27, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  10. 1twinsfan

    The GOP strategy of insulting the tan man and then asking for their votes after they realize that some of those tan guys are citizens really isn't much of a plan. And immigration isn't as high on the list for Hispanics as people think it is. After all. Columbus did come over on Spanish ships. Some of them have been here for a few hundred years.

    September 27, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  11. Cephus

    I gave you Moreno! But you preferred to go with plenty boy like it was a men's pageant. I told you to fire Beth but instead you went with binders full of women and at the end of the day you lost for it. Please if there will be a next time be so good listener.

    September 27, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  12. Cephus

    Beth roasted you . I gave you Moreno! But you preferred to go with plenty boy like it was a men's pageant. I told you to fire Beth but instead you went with binders full of women and at the end of the day you lost for it. Please if there will be a next time be a good listener.

    September 27, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Greenspam

    To which I say to Romney, even Jimmy Carter would have done a better job on reaching out to Hispanics.

    September 27, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. amazed2

    What a delusional dude.

    September 27, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. JRJ

    No Mitt. It was running at all. You don't have the stuff.

    September 27, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. phil

    He was a fat cat executive stripping industry to ship jobs overseas and making,not millions, billions in profits. And the voting public found out. That includes Hispanics I guess.......Einstein.

    September 27, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  17. Humanity4ALL

    Don't think so.
    Romney's strategic error is 47% miss-calculation.
    Bush won without Hispanic votes.

    September 27, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. Mike Martinez

    My family has been in what is now the Southwest US for centuries, before there was a US. Self deport? Oh, yeah, we heard willard loud and clear.

    September 27, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Brian A Smith

    Though I understand the point of this article, I find the largess of it just as close minded as the Republican party itself (yes, I know me generalizing there). Since is Hispanic synonymous with immigration, immigrants or immigration reform? The majority of LATINOS are and have been born in this country ESPECIALLY TO BE ABLE TO VOTE and that's who you care about. Puerto Ricans, over four million strong in the UNited States and over 20% of the population of New York City can care less about immigration reform: WE ARE CITIZENS!!!! So, when you want to get the "Hispanic" vote in New York City, talk about affirmative action, talk about getting small business loans, talk about better living standards in inner cities, talk about paying for college – we aren't thinking about immigration reform.

    September 27, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  20. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Actually, your largest error is that he's in the GOP bafoons party!!!!!

    September 27, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  21. Conservative

    he lost because he;s a Rino...Alot of conservatives stayed home ...Romney is old news, it's CRUZ time now!!!
    Ted for President!

    September 27, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  22. liz48

    My largest error – being myself!!!

    September 27, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  23. Gary

    His biggest error was thinking that he could be elected President,

    September 27, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. The ".....trash" is at it again.

    The "party of opportunity" huh? Mittens might think so, but what about the rest of the trash with the code name calling and insisting in stereotyping every non-white person in the country?

    September 27, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. Tom

    Come on, Romney, you lost because your message was all over the place. No one knew whether you were a moderate or a severe conservative, aka a nutcase.

    September 27, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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