September 27th, 2013
06:43 PM ET
11 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. olorintaff

    Maybe his biggest tactical error was running for President in the first place.

    September 27, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  2. Spuds Mackenzie

    Party of opportunity? Does he/they really think so. Is working 40-80 hours a week at minimum wage considered opportunity. Screw his party.

    September 27, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  3. cali girl

    Sour grapes, eh robme?

    September 27, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  4. Dan Bruce

    Romney is still delusional. Like much of the GOP. Maybe Dick Morris can cheer them up again with his predictions.

    September 27, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  5. SecrtSqurll

    He still does not get it. If his partty was the party of reform, what has happened since the election.?

    September 27, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  6. tony

    Sort of a a "why not strap immigrants to the roofs of the cars of returning citizens for a small fee" business opportunity thinking. Oh why doesn't everyone in the US use their huge family inheritances to make themselves more wealthy under a invesments and profits for free tax code. Then they'd be no more poverty anywhere. Jusy like in Atlas shrugged,.

    September 27, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  7. MJ

    Not like there's any difference between the two parties....

    September 27, 2013 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. Alpha Deus

    Mitts biggest error was being a bully when he was young exploiting people to do his bidding, lying about where he lived to run for massachusetts governor, talking about how you can handle blind trusts then saying it cant be done, denying all the dirty stuff he did while governor, taking the credit for the salt lake city games when it was a little matter of hundreds of millions more tax payer dollars, talking about 47% of the people being takers, appealing to the far right by denying the center right to do it, taking his dog for a nice long cold drive on the roof, talking about binders of women...im not sure what the biggest was but this list was just from the top of my head...along with tax avoidance, even down to robbing his church to get even more money....Mutts biggest mistake?...being MUTT ROMNEY!

    September 27, 2013 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  9. EdR

    Funny.. I thought his largest strategic blunder was flipping and flopping like a fish out of water based on what his right wing nut job ultra wealthy backers wanted him to say, and being completely out of touch with the middle class. But what do I know.

    September 27, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  10. bob barker

    –>lose election
    –>claim biggest error was lack of others' understanding

    this guy can sure take accountability for things
    -said no one ever

    September 27, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  11. Monty Python

    Romney just figured this out now? What a dufus.

    September 27, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  12. moxjox

    "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,"

    HUH? That was the largest error??? He's gotta be kidding.... In retrospect, there were SO MANY LARGE strategic errors that he'll be "reflecting" on them way past the 2016 presidential race.

    September 27, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  13. JamacJames

    12% of Hispanics think that the GOP cares about them? I would have thought, perhaps, 1%

    September 27, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. Shelm

    Romney's largest strategical error was being a massive tool for the rich and for wallstreet.

    Perhaps not calling the elderly (to get the 47% number you have to include people on Social Security and Medicare) a bunch of bums depending on the government would have helped as well.

    September 27, 2013 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. JohnC

    wow he still doesn't understand. His biggest mistake was trying so darn hard to act conservative during the primaries then having to moderate that for the general election. He went so far right during the primaries that people didn't trust him when he toned down his talk for the general election. If the country wants a Republican they want a moderate one because half the country is somewhat liberal and half somewhat conservative. Fewer are at the extremes.

    September 27, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  16. Michael

    He still doesn't get it.

    September 27, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  17. John Tater

    I think the Hispanics understood him quite well. The right wing nuts had pushed him into Lala Land on that issue and others.

    September 27, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  18. observer99

    Romney's BIG mistake, among many, was stating he'd abolish Affordable Care Act. and that corporations were same as people! DUH When I was drafted NO corporations were seen – when I was at Ft Dix NJ for basic training NOT one Corp was seen . NONE was with me when I was shipped overseas. either! Of course BIG BUCKS wouldn't know that because he kept himself out of harm's way along with Bush,Cheney, and the other yellow bellied gutless cowards neo-cons ~!

    September 27, 2013 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  19. bobby frank

    Your biggest error was being out of touch with the average American. Most rich live in their own little world and have no idea what it means to struggle in life. I would suggest that you shed the clothes, change your appearance, lose all contact with the life you have today. Try to survive for a year without any assistance from your wealth or your family and see what you can make of yourself. I think then and only then will you see why you lost the election.

    September 27, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  20. Andrew

    Hi biggest error was joining the Party of Crazy.

    September 27, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  21. john

    "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,"

    Romoney thinks the Hispanics are stupid, that all he had to do was throw money at them. His party is the one of the fat, bald rich person that looks down at anybody that is not fat, bald and/or rich, and he knows it.

    September 27, 2013 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  22. Mitch

    Again Romney belittles the Hispanic community. Romney's problem was that the Hispanic community understood his immigration policy.

    September 27, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. john

    The mistake Romoney made was not writing a concession speech. He actually thought he would win.

    September 27, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. HaroldtheBarrel

    The GOP still don't get it. They tried to "galvanize the base" to get out the conservative voters and rely on voter apathy amongst minorities and the young to limit the Democratic vote. That's why both Romney and McCain chose far right running mates. Romney was twisting like a pretzel trying to convince the far right he was a conservative, and the rest of America he was a moderate. When they saw that the strategy might not work the GOP governors started implementing voter ID laws, despite zero evidence of voter fraud. The sole purpose was to restrict the minority vote. This time the American people were paying attention, and turned out to re-elect Barack Obama with a bigger majority.

    America is a multi-cultural society. The GOP cannot be anti gay/anti immigrant/anti anyone-who-isn't-white-and-middle-aged and expect to win elections. If Romney had distanced himself from the rabid right by, for example, acknowledging that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, then the American people would have seen him as his own man, not a stooge of the right.

    Unless the GOP purge all trace of the extremists from the party they will become unelectable.

    September 27, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. Another Oregon Native

    Are you kidding me? Because the youth vote, women vote, and gamut of other minorities OTHER than Hispanic votes had nothing to do with you losing. What a royal clown you are Romney. You lost... and not by a "margin" of Hispanic votes. Get over yourself.

    September 27, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
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