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. LarBear

    No, Mitt's biggest mistake was dissavowing his own healthcare plan: Romneycare – the once dreaded and now beloved Obamacare.

    September 29, 2013 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  2. Dick46

    The Latino Community did just fine understanding Mitt's policies. That's why he lost that vote by 40%. The guy is Thurston Howell III. What a D-Bag!

    September 29, 2013 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  3. lisa capra

    May it was the 45% comment, or how he happened to mentioned that his wife have five Lincolns during a down turn in the American economy, or his lack of support for our drops

    September 29, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  4. juan alvarado

    The reason that he lost was that ( in my view) he thinks that most important thing to latins is inmigration when in reality like the rest of americans is jobs and the economy. Most latins are conservative, go to church, anti abortion and civic minded. The picture he had in mind was the recent arrival (who by the way, can't vote) with little or no english and uneducated. The comments about women and the 47% did not help. He had this plan for America that only he knew and never told the voters what it was. He came across whisy-washy, and the fact that he his a mormon, made give my vote for Obama. Where is Reagan when you need one.....those days of a presidents with a real agenda and blueprint for the country are over.

    September 29, 2013 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  5. Boohincus

    You lost because you are a zealously conservative white male. That is, you believe fundamentally in the ascendance of your own kind–for no other reason than that you are–at the expense of everyone unlike you. Kudos to Hispanic voters for picking up on that and to everyone else who didn't put a vote in your column.

    September 29, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  6. dfwmom

    Yeah. Sure. Voters who don't vote for Romney are just too dumb to understand they are supposed to vote for Romney, and they need to have Romney explain it to them.

    Voters have demonstrated that they understood Romney quite well. A thousand speeches on immigration was never going to be enough lipstick on that pig.

    September 29, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  7. Capone

    I'm pretty sure that calling half of the country a bunch of freeloading moochers didn't help either.

    September 29, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  8. jeanie

    There were many reasons, some of which had nothing to do withanything Mr. Romney did or did't do..#1 is that pres O is a great liar and I believe many who voted for him this go round, already regreat that. #2 is that Dems were relentless in going to the people. #3 Dem's likely cheated at the polls – main reason they get so bent out of shape about having to show ID at the polls. #4 Mr Romney was too stiff and too honest – an honest man will never be elected. #5 Mr Romney was too mannerly and polite – a polite person will never be elected. I don't think it was being a Mormon and I don't think it majorly was immigration– as it turned out – again. pres O lied and Mr. Romney was just too up front!

    September 29, 2013 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  9. Tilbury

    Mitt. .....it's like this
    We get too soon old and too late smart

    September 29, 2013 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  10. Jason

    Your largest error was thinking you could win. You're out-of-touch with voters and you have the personality and charisma of a piece of rotten wood.

    September 29, 2013 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  11. michael in houston

    Sure Mitt.... blame this on uninformed voters in the Hispanic population rather then admit your elitist and completely iggnorant of the realities of a shifting demographic you and the GOP are utterly incapable of recoginizing let alone serve

    September 29, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  12. Dave

    Mittens your biggest mistake was you were phony and plastic. It was like watching a talking manincan.

    September 29, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  13. SouthernFriedInfidel

    When will this idiot finally stop grousing and whining about how he lost the election and finally seek the solace of swimming in his limitless pools of money?

    September 29, 2013 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  14. sandvichmancer

    He lost because he ran Republican. That brand is damaged beyond repair.

    Wanna win with a conservative in 2016? Run as your own party, do not caucus with another one. It's happened before in the past, we could use another Bull Moose Party style election.

    September 29, 2013 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  15. Jim

    Romney, you and people like you are still spinning lies. You have no interest in immigration reform. Your sole interest is your wealth. What you allow and advocate for the multinational corporations you own or have financial interest in – THE FREEDOM TO CROSS BORDERS – you deny to ordinary people. You don't get it – you never will.

    September 29, 2013 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  16. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    The Guns Over People tea potty simpletons are still parroting Mitt the twit's 47 % lie.

    September 29, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  17. John

    Not hardly. More like the total absence of sincerity and the false assumption that American citizens are all ignorant.

    If he's thinking of running again, he'd better pause. It'll simply be a further waste of his money and time.

    September 29, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  18. didwa

    good hispanic outreach would be at the border with a long distance projectile

    September 29, 2013 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  19. karrie_SW_PA

    He lost because he is a rude and clueless clod...

    September 29, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  20. Foxrepublican

    Can you imagine after all this time after he lost he still doesn't have a clue what went wrong? This is stunning.

    September 29, 2013 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  21. LWJR

    Largest error is being part of the Mormon Church.

    September 29, 2013 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  22. realist512

    Duh! He wanted to make them self deport.

    September 29, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  23. Ed

    I guess that explains why he lost the Asian and Jewish vote by almost the same margin.

    September 29, 2013 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  24. Fr33d0mhawk

    Yeah, you tell 'em Mitt! The problem was those Hispanics didn't understand "SELF DEPORTATION" was compassionate conservatism, and anything with compassion in front of it has to be good. And when Romney characterized the lower 47% of income earners, 85% of our enlisted military people included, as governmental parasites, it was meant in a loving way. or hard love way, that Romney and the GOP measure an American's worth not by their service to their country, but by their income level meaning just about every recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor is considered a dirtbag parasite by the GOP. Romney thinks that if he could have better sugar coated the GOP's hatred and bigotry it would have made it easier for American's to swallow a Conservative BIG GOVT that was designed to oppress the very idiots that voted for it. A rich GOPers idea of patriotism is not serving on the front lines, its wearing a US flag lapel pin and whining about the lower 47% while nibbling caviar and sipping fine wine.

    September 29, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  25. SW

    He lost because he's COMPLETELY out of touch with all people except for the wealthiest segment of our population.

    September 29, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
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