September 27th, 2013
06:43 PM ET
12 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. Mike

    Your biggest error started years ago when decided that you would make money screwing average working joe's with your buyout strategies that line your pocket and managements while you load up companies with debt that results in their cutting jobs, salaries, benefits, moving to China, etc. no your flaw Mitt was when you said I can never have enough and do not give a rats ass about any working class Americans. Don't worry there buddy you will be answering for your greed when you meet your maker.

    September 28, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  2. WOW

    The GOP's biggest problem is that no one believes much of anything you say. Saying no is not an answer or alternative. For the past five years, the true GOP agenda has been on display for all to see. Opposing EVERYTHING the President brings up is not leadership. It's the playbook of a child. Time and time again you have been too willing to sacrifice the good of the country in exchange for the benefit of your party. No thanks.

    September 28, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  3. The Lord of Excess

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

    I think that says it all. Even that is a patronizing statement. The Latino community understands Romney well, Republicans are banking on Latino voters to turn Republican en mass at some point because there are large numbers of Catholics in the Latino community. Yet, Latino's have been kicked around by privileged white guys like Romney for 200 years now and they are very wise to the game. So Romney could have made an "investment" in trying to reach out to Latinos but it wouldn't have changed a thing. The Republicans will get any demographic they want, as soon as they cut the crazy religious zealots, and the insane Ayn Rand set lose and go back to representing middle class America. Until then, its going to be all down hill for the Republican party. And for the record I consider myself an Eisenhower Republican, and I've been registered Republican for years, though I do not vote the party ticket really ever anymore.

    September 28, 2013 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  4. Mendicant Bias Two

    lol romney got owned by Obama

    2012 never forget yolo

    September 28, 2013 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  5. Andrew

    I think his largest strategic error was his "rich man" thought process. Romney acted like some giant fake Ken doll. He just seemed like a sleezy used car salesman spouting off crap trying to tell himself as something he was not.

    September 28, 2013 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  6. Brian

    Oh Mitt, Mitt, Mitt. The list of mistakes from your campaign is long and prestigious, but lack of Hispanic outreach is definitely not the top item. That belief, in fact, is part of what probably was your biggest mistake: utter self-delusion regarding the mood and reactions of the country to your campaign (see hugely inaccurate polls, for starters).

    September 28, 2013 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  7. Seriously

    Oh. I thought it had something to do with that absolutely ridiculous spray-on tan he sported before making several major Mexican tv appearances.

    September 28, 2013 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  8. John

    Writing history now Mitt?
    I think it was the undercover recording of your fund raiser that nailed your coffin

    September 28, 2013 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  9. Skip Glanz

    While his lost of the Hispanic vote hurt him terribly, his biggest mistake was flip flopping to satisfy the Tea Party. He is not their type of conservative and by trying to be that type, he cost himself votes of many of those that are moderate.

    September 28, 2013 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  10. Leroy

    Didn't ol' Mitt say the Hispanics will self deport?

    September 28, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  11. Kam

    No one is listening to you or any of the fools they force us to elect anymore. You are all liars. What you are basically saying is that you didn't manipulate the Hispanic audience as much as would have if you could do it over again. Hey! Too late! You can't neither can America have it's glory days back bc no politician Stan's up for what is right... All sellout a to fed reserve and the globalist. Romney could have had some business sense but he would have wasted it on doing what the bankers would want him to do. When will the people wake up and throw the crooks out??!?

    September 28, 2013 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  12. Fed Up With Feds

    Lol Captain Hindsight strikes again... Or was it "Self Deportation???" I don't remember

    September 28, 2013 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  13. my10cents

    After all this time it is truly amazing that Mitt Romney still doesn't grasp that the issue his campaign had with Hispanic voters wasn't that they didn't understand his position on immigration. Quite the opposite, I believe that Mitt Romney's percentage of the Hispanic vote clearly indicated that they very clearly understood his position on immigration.

    September 28, 2013 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  14. Bill

    The GOP does not want immigration reform and path to citizenship because it will only add voters to the roll of the Democrat Party. Most people who come to the United States are from countries that lean left. With them comes their ideological understanding of how they think government should be and that s not reflected in the GOP.

    September 28, 2013 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  15. rosethornne

    Romney's biggest error: attempting to impersonate a human.

    September 28, 2013 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  16. Linda

    That and his remarks about the 47%. I'm sure he doesn't want to consider just how badly he screwed up with those comments.

    September 28, 2013 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  17. matt houston

    This dude still has no clue.
    Matt, your biggest error is thinking you are anywhere close to the common citizen.

    September 28, 2013 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  18. Travis

    Didn't Mitt say illegals should "self-deport"? So his lack of getting that message out was why he lost Hispanics?

    September 28, 2013 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  19. gary baroni

    i still think he won

    September 28, 2013 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  20. Belseth

    Yep it was the hispanic's fault that Romney lost. They just didn't understand his "get out and stay out" immigration policy. I'm sure if he tipped a little better more people would have voted for him. I mean who doesn't love a 1%er??? The middle class and poor waste their money on food and shelter. 1%ers spend their money on third houses and vacations in the south of France. Honestly, who gets more enjoyment out of the money? We're talking starvation against over price hotels. How can you compare the two???

    September 28, 2013 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  21. Todd Munroe

    Maybe it was less a "strategic error" and more a political stance error. I feel this country is moving in a progressive direction and lacks respect for the closed minded bigots that run the Republican party.

    September 28, 2013 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  22. to

    The real problem was that Willard proved himself to be a complete ass hole who changed his views at every turn. No one could trust that weasel. HIspanics have more intelligence than to vote for a human turd. His big do in was the 99$ audio tape which showed the world what that damn rat was really all about. He like Sarah need to drop off the face of the earth.

    September 28, 2013 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  23. Carl Hudson

    It's been almost a year and we're still lamenting with Mitt? Hmm.

    September 28, 2013 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  24. Andy Rosenberg

    Are you kidding me!!!! How about Romney suggesting "self deportation"? That might have had a small part in him getting his clock cleaned by Hispanic voters. Every time he opens his mouth these days it makes more people glad he was not elected.

    September 28, 2013 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  25. yourmom

    it saddens me we could have had this great leader in command. i hate our current president. useless moron

    September 28, 2013 03:05 am at 3:05 am |
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