September 27th, 2013
06:43 PM ET
10 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. dikelmm1

    My strategic error: letting someone record what I really believed about half of the population.

    September 28, 2013 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
  2. Ed

    Calling nearly half the country essentially deadbeats didn't help you either.

    September 28, 2013 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  3. dikelmm1

    My strategic error: letting someone record what I really believed about 47% of Americans.

    September 28, 2013 04:55 am at 4:55 am |
  4. Steve in Seattle

    Romney would be president today if he hadn't been LDS/Mormon. Rightly or mistakenly, people are put off (at least) by Mormonism's perceived polytheism, cult of secrecy, and hyper-aggressive recruitment of new members. Despite the best efforts of LDS PR, moreover, their church is still seen as (at least) sympathetic to polygamy. People are uncomfortable with these traits - and not just Hispanic people. Sad perhaps, but true.

    September 28, 2013 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  5. W.

    Really, you seriously think that is what lost you in putting on a Cardigan sweater? You may want to come down from your prized pony and see how the ramen soup society is doing to pay its bills. Although as someone who visits their wealth is Switzerland or some obscure island in the Caribbean, it is doubtful that Mr. Romney will ever be able to empathize with the serfs that comprise so much of America. We will just eat cake.

    September 28, 2013 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  6. J.V.Hodgson

    Romney has it right i.e the GOP should concentrate on trying based on policies and ideas to win the 2014 election in the house and senate and then pass a bill which repeals the law. The problem is that would be vetoed by Obama, until 2016 and then not doable.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    September 28, 2013 05:13 am at 5:13 am |
  7. kenny g

    Now let us beat a dead horse. He don't amount to much anymore.

    September 28, 2013 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  8. Andy25Name

    Romney still doesn't get it. He had tons of ads targeting hispanics.His failure was in his stupid male chauvinist, anti immigrant remarks like wanting "self deportation", women in their cages (not with equal pay for the same work) and throwbacks to the 50s McCarthy era ad nauseum.

    September 28, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  9. Cynthia Gurin

    Still clueless...

    September 28, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  10. NoMoreRetoric

    "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."

    Notice how it never occurred Romney that it was his own lack of ethics, honesty, leadership and integrity that cost him the election, This guy is really full of himself, in his mind he is kIng.

    September 28, 2013 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  11. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    Oh ok

    September 28, 2013 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  12. chuck

    His biggest error was being Mitt Romney

    September 28, 2013 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  13. skytag

    In my opinion his biggest errors were refusing to release more tax returns, which made it obvious he had something to hide, and insulting 47% of the electorate.

    September 28, 2013 05:49 am at 5:49 am |
  14. Equality is for Everybody!

    His biggest strategical error was becoming a Republican.

    September 28, 2013 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  15. J.D.

    Ahhhh, Mitt, as delusional as ever. Remember that pesky little thing about your income tax returns? You know, the ones that you refused to disclose to the public? THAT was your biggest blunder. Average Joe could neither trust nor relate to you.

    September 28, 2013 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  16. Dennis

    Please Mitt give it up-you lost because you didn't stand for anything but making sure that the rich didn't pay taxes...please go away, you have nothing to add to the people of the US!

    September 28, 2013 06:01 am at 6:01 am |
  17. JD

    Your biggest strategic error, Romney, was being a rich leader in a religious cult who thought he could manipulate anyone he wanted with big money.

    September 28, 2013 06:02 am at 6:02 am |
  18. zenthrop

    ROMNEY: father was president of American Motors and three term governor of Michigan and worked with MLK, mother ran for senate, he was unpaid missionary for two years in France (long, hard, discouraging work days), valedictorian, Harvard MBA (top 5%), Harvard JD (with honors), unpaid Mormon bishop (to the 99%) unpaid Mormon stake president (to the 99.9%), gave away inheritance, Staples (89,000 jobs), Sports Authority (15,000 jobs), Domino's Pizza (7,900 jobs), quarter-billionaire, wealth placed in blind trust (no one owns him), saved Olympics, Massachusetts Governor where half of his staff were women with equal pay (four years of balanced budget and surplus), five very successful sons (three with MBAs from Harvard, one in medical residency), 18 grandchildren (cares about US future, not his own power), long happy marriage, turnaround artist for the nation.

    September 28, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  19. zenthrop

    OBAMA: Harvard funding unknown, Transcripts and thesis not released, Mentored by Frank Marshall Davis (card carrying, FBI tracked communist), Community Organizer (3 or 4 jobs), 20 years with Jeremiah Wright’s black liberation theology (class warfare), one term senator who was never there, mortgage paid by Tony Rezko (now in prison), Bill Ayers friend (radical terrorist), “The Food Stamp President” (touts the ‘workers paradise’ lie), Solyndra (-1100 jobs),War on coal (-9000 jobs),Stimulus (-100000 jobs),"The most dangerous president in modern American history" (Marxist behind a huge federal power grab.), “After my election, I’ll have some flexibility”, “We can’t wait on Congress”, Tyrant above the law.

    September 28, 2013 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  20. alvin

    republicans care about rich people-very simple.

    September 28, 2013 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  21. Marsha Fly

    The Republicans just don't get it. Until they get forward thinking and stop wanting things to be "the way they we're" they will lose. You can't go backward. It's a minimal hard core base that seems to be running the party.... it's that base that will ruin it.

    September 28, 2013 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  22. herekittykitty

    You're kidding .......right?

    September 28, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  23. J

    Why are we still inundated by excuses of a wannabe?

    September 28, 2013 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  24. GOP = Greed Over People

    Color me confused?

    I thought the whole reason Mitt the twit lost was because the white "chriStians" stayed home.

    So, which is it, the whites stayed home or the browns were "paid" to vote for the "socialist" with his "gifts"?

    September 28, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  25. dsangiovanni

    No, your biggest mistake was to say what you said about the 47% ...It will go down in history about how a big mouth can make you lose an election..

    September 28, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
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