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. badcyclist

    Who is this guy? I feel like I should know him....

    September 27, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  2. Mike

    His biggest mistake was not sticking with his moderate views and deciding to listen to the Tea Party.

    September 27, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  3. Bill in Florida

    "I think my position and the position of our party is not well understood at the Hispanic community," said Romney. "

    On the contrary, Mitt, Hispanics completely understand the GOP's position on immigration. That's why you lost decisively. Quite watching Faux Noise and learn what the real world is like.

    September 27, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  4. Dennis

    You lost because your were arrogant, out of touch, elitist, and pick the wrong running mate – plus the far right politics of the GOP........had nothing to do with immigration!!!!

    September 27, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  5. Gallup

    Strategic error? Running for President.

    September 27, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  6. Shaun

    His largest strategic error was ever running in the first place

    September 27, 2013 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  7. andres

    Romney is still clueless. He was as much a victim of the right wing of the republican party as the rest of the country has been. Had Romney promised the Hispanic voters a new car and open borders he still would have lost. About 30 years ago the REPIUBLICAN pary put the first immigration amnesty into place and did not gather a single Hispanic vote for their efforts. Unless the Republican parts changes its spots and dam n soon they will not only gain the white house in 2016 but lose the majority in the house.

    September 27, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  8. greyhackles

    The list of mistakes by Romney, Inc. is actually long and distinguished, but at the bottom of it is, Romney being Romney. And America wasn't buying Romney this time around...

    September 27, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  9. China Nolan

    Mitt, be serious; get out of denial. You lost because you represent rich, vainglorious people who don't give a damn about the average man and the people found out about you. Bet you just hate democracy now.

    September 27, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  10. mkat2

    Your largest error was, continually telling people what a nice guy Obama is!! Being terrified to challenge him for fear of being called a racist!

    September 27, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  11. Vaughn

    "I think my position and the position of our party is not well understood at the Hispanic community," said Romney.

    Romney is so delusional.. NO ONE understood the positions you had because they were constantly changing every month. Romney was fake, and swayed at the whims to his party instead of standing firm on his beliefs. Not that his beliefs were even that great to begin with but it doesnt help when you have vids everywhere saying 1 thing here then another thing there. Voters are much smarter and informed than before information is everywhere that should be the lesson for the next republican president who decides to run.

    September 27, 2013 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  12. PamHill

    Mitt Romney's biggest error: being Mitt Romney

    September 27, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  13. Michael Benjamin

    Largest strategic error: Opening your mouth.

    September 27, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  14. Joe Brunner

    Mitt – you know what to do in 3 years... RUN RUN RUN..

    the US is broke. we need a business man to turn America into a country where business comes first... all the borrowing, crying and giving free stuff away has to stop...

    September 27, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  15. Cassidy S

    um. Actually Mitt, I think it was the dog, to be honest with you.... Obama's dog gets his own helicopter....

    September 27, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  16. Bob

    He messed up when he chose Ryan over Rubio. He went with someone that was more right winged than himself and did nothing to appease the people that were undecided in the middle. If he had chose Rubio he would have won Florida and captured the Hispanic vote. He lost the very moment that he did not diversify.

    September 27, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  17. Person

    Mitt Romney's largest error was not strategic at all. It was his belief that underprivileged folks are shiftless and lazy, as revealed in that fund-raiser video, and the realization that so many others in his party's echo chamber also believe that nonsense. His heartless disconnect from reality colored many people's perception of all his positions, not just one stance on one issue.

    September 27, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  18. Doug Ramerth

    Miit, Your greatest strategic error was failing to disclose tax returns. It would be even better to know your total net worth and how much you've paid in taxes over your entire lifetime.

    September 27, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  19. John

    Whay is anybody listening to this loser?

    September 27, 2013 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  20. mikeymo74

    All the ads in the world wouldn't convince Hispanics you're on their side when your party cowtows to extremists. They won't even get on board with tough sensible immigration reform, all because it has the possibility of amnesty (after steep hurdles) and doesn't just try and round up and deport every Hispanic in the country.

    September 27, 2013 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  21. mikeymo74

    All the ads in the world wouldn't convince Hispanics you're on their side when your party cowtows to extremists. They won't even get on board with tough sensible immigration reform, all because it has the possibility of amnesty (after steep hurdles) and doesn't just try and round up and deport every Hispanic in the country.

    September 27, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  22. skins2153

    I think we understood you just fine, Mitt. You were two-faced.

    September 27, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. msosborn

    Wow, now we know. Now go away a contemplate your navel and come up with the other 47% of the reason.

    September 27, 2013 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. skins2153

    We understood you just fine, Mitt. You are two-faced.

    September 27, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. jon

    Sure he does! Then they can work cleaning up the backyard of his new mansion in La Jolla, CA. Nice.

    September 27, 2013 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
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