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. jdinblankets

    He just doesn't quite get it, does he...

    September 27, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  2. Jeff

    This man should just give up, his 15 minutes of fame are over, No one really cares why he lost, or that he didn't spend enough money, no one is buying it, you are not credible it's your policies that stink, unless you are in the 1% until you understand that you and your party are done in national elections. And if you couldn't gerrymander in state elections you would be done at the state level as well.

    September 27, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  3. hrdwrknjoe

    The largest (according to the voters) error Mitt made was running. The second largest error was the TEA Party.

    September 27, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  4. LCSWquilter

    The GOP just doesn't get it. They want the Latino vote, but are totally clueless about how to relate to this special, contributing segment of our society with basic respect.

    September 27, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  5. runner305

    Romney's largest strategic error of 2012: running for President in the first place.

    September 27, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. Dr Incognitus

    The problem was the relatves that didn't understand the benefits of "self deportation"? I think he's wrong. I think the 47% who "think they are victims" might have more to do with his loss. Or maybe both groups, along with those that don't think "corporations are people". And perhaps also those that got fired for providing services to him. The list could go on!

    September 27, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  7. bailee

    I have a good chuckle when guys like Romney try to throw out some excuse for losing! The plain truth is he LOST! No need to justify it!! He deserved to lose! How funny he's bashing Obama Care, when originally, he proposed the same type of health care insurance for Massachusetts when he was Governor and he signed it into law!! Mitt Romney will never be President of the United States! He simply is not qualified for the job!!

    September 27, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  8. Patrick Henry

    The reason why the Hispanic community is such an issue in elections is because Clint-face (i.e., Bill Clinton) dropped our border security and invited millions of illegal immigrants to flood across the border in order to use a foreign power to influence elections in his treasonist favor.

    September 27, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  9. Patrick Henry

    The key reason why the Hispanic community is such an issue in elections is because Clint-face (i.e., Bill Clinton) dropped our border security and invited millions of illegal immigrants to flood across the border in order to use a foreign power to influence elections in his treasonist favor.

    September 27, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. Famsden

    His largest strategic error was being a phony that everyone saw through. He still doesn't get it.

    September 27, 2013 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  11. Robert Gichuru

    Political parties are founded on certain fundamentals or policies. In case of the GOP, how do these relate to the Hispanic community… maybe that last word (community) is the issue? A search for this word on the free dictionary, brings up words and phrases such as ‘joint possession’, ‘social’, ‘community interests’, sharing, participation, and fellowship. Does anyone else get a feeling of communism? Do the Hispanics really care only about immigration? Even the voting citizens?

    September 27, 2013 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  12. Eric Rivers

    Mr. Romney you lost because you have no clue what the average American has to do to make ends meet and the fact that you hide millions of dollars in tax shelters and refused to show you tax returns you alienated all middle class Americans and we all voted against you.

    September 27, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  13. Really

    Clue. Less.

    September 27, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  14. Dave n CA

    No Mitt- it was being completely out of touch with reality. I see you are continuing in that today. America dodged a bullet. I shudder to think how you would have further destroyed this country. The GOP are doing their best to finish what GWB started. Thank GOD we did not have you as our POTUS.

    September 27, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  15. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    I think the latin community understood very well where Romney stood. And they voted accordingly.

    September 27, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  16. Don McCarthy

    Oh, yeah...that part where you got caught on video saying something about the 47% had nothing to do with it...

    September 27, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. Drew

    Romney's largest strategic error was in running.

    September 27, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. Brian P

    I have no words.

    Speechless.

    September 27, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. Midwest Guy

    To me, the biggest gaffe was disparaging "47%" of America as grasping takers. He is a straight plutocrat with an apparent lack of empathy in his statements. I came from a privileged background too (attended the other private school in Bloomfield Hills), but I have empathy for the working poor.

    September 27, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  20. Larry L

    What a pile of B.S. Romney's greatest mistake was trying to be a right-wing radical in the primary and a moderate in the general election. In reality, he's an elitist, corporate stuffed-shirt who didn't know that dressage horses weren't a good pet for the working man. He said, when a person asked about college costs, "just borrow $20,00 from your parents". He was the only fairly normal person in the Republican Clown Car – yet a terrible choice for America. They are about to make similar mistakes in the 2014 Congressional election. Radicals just don't get it!

    September 27, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  21. LouAZ

    IThe Hispanic community clearly understood the Romney and Repub/TPer "position" on immigration, and pretty much everything else. Let them eat cake !

    September 27, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  22. kelly

    He thinks the single biggest problem is that Hispanics are too stupid to understand what the GOP stands for without him making a bunch of commercials? That is truly special.

    September 27, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Guest

    If you can not properly explain your plans the people it involves, you don't need to be leading them in the first place.

    September 27, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  24. Robert Dupuy1

    The strategic error was in running for the presidency. You didn't win, and it cost a lot of money.

    September 27, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  25. Johnny Boy

    Romney's biggest mistake is that he failed to realize that he's an IDIOT.

    September 27, 2013 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
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