September 27th, 2013
06:43 PM ET
1 year 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. NoCommentCNN

    Oh yes Mitt, you had trouble connecting to the Hispanic community, LOL. How about you couldn't connect with anybody but those who blindly support the GOP. I wish my Daddy gave me 10 Billion dollars to start my own business....

    September 28, 2013 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  2. John Stredkal

    Sorry, Mitt, but "self Deportation" will not likely endear you to Hispanic voters. I rather doubt that this was due to lack of understanding your outreach.

    September 28, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  3. none

    This crying loser is still contemplating his loss ? GEt over it dumney, you sux and did not stand a chance in hell of EVER being president of this country.

    September 28, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  4. BostonFred

    Bring more people into the country? Just what we need with record unemployment and stagnant wages.

    Why don't any politicians think about what is best for the people instead of what is best to keep corporate profits high and wages low?!?

    We need less immigration – not more if wages are ever going to rise again.

    September 28, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  5. Bill Francis

    The real problem for Romney is that he is an honest man who cannot lie, cheat and steal, and vilify his opponents.

    September 28, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  6. Michael

    "Self Deportation" is not difficult to understand. You're wrong again Mitt.

    September 28, 2013 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  7. liberal disease

    you should of disparaged Obama they way he disparaged you, you were to much of a gentleman for these nasty liberals who will say anything to get elected.Now look where we are. We needed you Mitt!

    September 28, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  8. Joe

    His biggest mistake was the same that his party continues to make: lack of new ideas and refusal to let go over antiquated policies.

    September 28, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  9. liz

    No it was not his biggest error was thinking poor and middle class people care about the same thing as the ubber rich.

    September 28, 2013 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  10. andrew

    Man this guy is still 'non compis mentis'..His largest error was that he had no clue what he was doing and managed to prove that fact every time he opened his mouth...typical GOP'er..blame everybody but yourself.

    September 28, 2013 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  11. Dan

    "Hardware stuff"

    September 28, 2013 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  12. Guest

    The problem was Mitt....nobody trusted you. You flip flopped so many times that nobody knew exactly what your policy was.... on anything.

    September 28, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  13. Gregory

    How more condescending can he be? To say that the Hispanic voters didn't understand is pathetic. He didn't and still doesn't understand them.

    September 28, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  14. Just Sayin'

    Romney's greatest strategic error is he was in the wrong political party – as we can see with daily current events, that party continues to collapse into an incoherent mass of nothingness.

    September 28, 2013 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  15. YeahRight

    It's not that the Hispanic community did not understand his immigration policy – it is that he did not explain it well enough. Why must he always find fault in the "other" person or group rather than with himself.

    September 28, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  16. George

    Could he just walk away and never be heard of again? His biggest error was the way Bain disseminating American companies, put people out of work, liquidated pensions, put his billions in offshore accounts, had Bain buy Clear Channels and expect Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, etc. sell him to the American people.
    Well, it got him the Republican nomination, but Americans are not that stupid, we're not Italy.

    September 28, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  17. Bighead

    In other words, Hispanics simply aren't smart enough to understand Romney's position. Keep on yapping, teabaggers. Your sick twisted ideology is doomed to failure by its own stupidity.

    September 28, 2013 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  18. Sane Person

    wow, he still doesnt get it. Your largest error was trying to convince 95% of the population that the top 5% needed more bailouts, tax breaks and investment incentives and all the bottom 95% had to do was work harder and save better.

    September 28, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  19. Rx774

    Gee Mitt... ya think???

    September 28, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  20. Jeffrey Reel

    After all this time reflecting on his loss, you'd think Romney could come clean. The Hispanic population - as well as the rest of the voting public - knew all too well his position and that of his party. His position? Self-deportation. His words, not mine. What a joke.

    September 28, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  21. Brent

    Man, this guy sure isn't much good at image rehabilitation. He just didn't explain himself well enough? Really? People don't forget. Light the "self deportation" plan. Basically "we are going to unleash a bunch of bubba cops on you who will make your life so miserable you'll leave". What kind of a cowardly, nasty plan is that? How about the 47% moochers – you know who – those on Social Security or in the military or on military VA benefits – you know – all you moochers. What a nasty person he is. Now he says he just didn't explain it well enough. We get it. You're a Republican and you couldn't give two cents for anyone who doesn't have a car elevator in their garage. No one likes you Mitt – because you are a cold hearted jerk – and a VERY good fit for the Republican party.

    September 28, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  22. No Crap

    Oh we understand his party's position all right...we only care about you if you can donate to us, and allow us to use you for your vote, then make laws that cripple you, and finally turn around and blame you for your predicament while we continue to rape the country. Pretty much sums up the republiclan party...Romney is a non-issue!!!

    September 28, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  23. memememe27

    no that would be disrespecting the people you were aiming to represent...as John Leguizamo said "Latinos for Republicans – it's like roaches for Raid."

    September 28, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  24. Facts of the Matter

    Hispanics/Latinos are right in that the Republican Party has absolutely nothing to offer to them except more headaches and woes. Never has. Never will. So, don't try to create an illusion that suddenly Republicans are the miraculous panacea to Hispanics. They're not. All they want is the Hispanic/Latino vote and then under the bus they go! Let's just call a spade a spade.

    September 28, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  25. Chan

    I think the root cause was not releasing tax forms early on in the campaign. It created distrust in everything Romney said.

    September 28, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
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