Rubio: Romney's Latino comment was 'joke'
September 19th, 2012
05:51 PM ET
10 years ago

Rubio: Romney's Latino comment was 'joke'

(CNN) - Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was joking when he said at a Florida fundraiser last spring that he would have a better shot at winning the presidency if he were Latino, Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday.

On a conference call with reporters, Rubio said that the comments - recorded secretly and published earlier this week along with other clips of the same event by a left-leaning magazine - were intended to be a line of humor.

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"Well I think he meant it as a joke," Rubio said. "At least, that's how most reasonable people would take it."

In the fundraiser, Romney said, "My dad, you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company, but he was born in Mexico.

"Had he been born of Mexican parents, I'd have a better shot at winning this, but he was unfortunately born of Americans living in Mexico," Romney said to laughter at the fundraiser. "They'd lived there for a number of years, and I mean I say that jokingly, but it'd be helpful if they'd been Latino."

Rubio, who is Cuban American and a rising star in the GOP, and Romney acknowledged the candidate was on the list of people he was vetting to join his presidential ticket.

The Senator from Florida said Romney has made a similar reference or joke like that in the past.

Romney is to speak Thursday evening at a forum hosted by the Spanish-language television network Univision, then hold a rally in Miami, Florida.

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Filed under: 2012 • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney
soundoff (111 Responses)
  1. John holland

    If this was supposed tone a joke, can someone please explain to me what makes it funny?

    September 20, 2012 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  2. Boooo

    Of course the first generation American of Cuban descent finds these Mexican remarks funny. Might I suggest that had Romney been born to Mexican parents, his father would not have been an auto industry CEO or state governor and that he probably would been one of those "victims" he ridiculed, needing loans for college and paying no income tax due to not having daddy's fortune to fall back on.

    September 20, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  3. Vic

    Latinos think Rubio is a joke.

    September 20, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  4. 200 TON HAMMER

    Yeah romney is the joke

    September 20, 2012 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  5. Asturiano

    The joke is Rubio. You cannot coverup what came out of Romney's mouth.

    September 20, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  6. Q

    Good joke. Bye Bye Mitt

    September 20, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  7. Jay Dee

    Funny how his father George was born in Mexico, ran for governor in Michigan and won, and then ran for President of the USA and lost, yet he still jokes about the "Birther issue" about President Obama, when his father ran for office having a real birther issue that went unnoticed. Talk about a hypocrite.

    September 20, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  8. chris

    Jesus Is Lord.

    September 20, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |

    Yeah sell out your own people for your career

    September 20, 2012 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  10. WVirginia

    36% of Hispanics/Latinos identify their race as white. Most Hispanics/Latinos don't see themselves fitting into the standard racial categories used by the US Census Bureau. Remember, Hispanic/Latino refers to an ethnicity not a race. When it comes to race, according to the Pew Hispanic survey, half (51%) of Latinos identify their race as "some other race." Meanwhile, 36% identify their race as WHITE, and 3% say their race is black.

    September 20, 2012 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  11. Grandpa Simpson

    Yeah, roll out your token hispanic to tell voters that yet another one of Mitten's dumb statements was "just a joke". Damage control is becoming an overtime job for the Romney campaign.

    September 20, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
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