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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

"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.

Also see:

– Eastwood: If they were 'dumb enough to ask me…'

– In new tape, Romney casts doubt on peace in Israel

– Obama camp wastes no time highlighting Romney tapes

– Hatch might 'die before his term' ends, opponent charges

– Biden on Romney tape: 'words speak for themselves'

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

    Of course it was a joke. Everyone knows that he would do WORSE if he was actually Latino, especially since he'd still have to somehow get his base to vote for him. And let's just say that a large part of his base isn't exactly colorblind.

    September 19, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Craig RB

    It was not a joke, he meant every word. Romney has total disdain for everyone except rich white people. Period.

    September 19, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  3. 2020


    Sadly, your hands stuck in his pants

    September 19, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Pete

    Rubio thought Romney was joking about being Latino,he didn't mention the family relatives in Mexico that Romney never met did he...How his father was born there to one of four wives his grandfather had as a polygamist Mormon..He doesn't mention how he fired Latino care takers at his one home years ago for supposidly not being legal because he was caught after having them work there for years..He doesn't have a heart,he's portrayed as a great humanitarian but as a Mormon bishop he made a single mom give up her child or be excommunicated from the church,he said single parents are irresponsible and are not welcome in the Mormon church,she quit the church and kept her child now 27...So tell me Rubio what Romney do you know,if you know him at all,he's a cut throat business man and a pathelogical liar,two threats great in business but lousey in the presidency,just ask Bush,he's on the run now for human rights violations and if caught he'll be tried at the Netherlands Hague,nice republican ,business man also,really pathedic!!

    September 19, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. maf

    He may have stated it as a joke for the crowd he was speaking to but it really isn't a joke. It's the way Mitt thinks. It is not PC in anyone's book these days and he should know better. That's just it, Mitt doesn't know better. He lives in his sheltered rich life where he has called the shots and has not had to adjust one way or another to accept the social reforms that most societies are working through and changing. I hope that Mitt continues to gaffe away. Six more weeks until the election. He should be completely un-electable by then. Does the GOP have a back-up plan? Don't think so, because Mitt was indeed their back-up plan!!!

    September 19, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  6. AL

    "Well I think he meant it as a joke," Rubio said. "At least, that's how most reasonable people would take it."
    Translation: If you don't get that it was a joke, you're stupid. More republicans thinking they can use Jedi mind control.
    If Rubio only "thinks" it was a joke, does that mean he's not a reasonable person?

    September 19, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Thinking Texan

    Romney is the joke.

    September 19, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Marty, FL

    No, Rubio.
    Romney's comment about Latinos was rudo.

    Obama/Biden 2012
    Si se puede

    September 19, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. n

    There are no jokes . . . if you can't tell it in front of them, don't tell it behind their backs. I can just see Romney in front of a latino crowd saying if I was Latino, I bet $10,000.00 that you people would vote for me. Teehee! Rubio, you are no longer valid because you are a straight sell out.

    September 19, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  10. carlos

    the rube is such an imbecile, poster baby, poster boy and now poster man......PHEW

    September 19, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Common Sensus

    A joke...kinda like your candidacy Mr. Romney...

    September 19, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. Nacho Cheese

    Not very funny

    September 19, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  13. Name

    His whole life is a Joke.

    September 19, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. blkpwr817

    Romney is a joke! Good thing is, everyone knows now...Obama 2012!

    September 19, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  15. Joseph

    When Romney says something stupid and nobody is laughing, that is when Romney claims it was a joke.

    September 19, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. lavaughn

    A joke??? What!! That goes to show he's been drinking the white man kool-aid too long.

    September 19, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. gerard thomas

    We just can not trust. Romney he lie too much. And michae rubio forget where he com from. Try to cover for romney.shanm on rubio

    September 19, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Rubio only says that because he is Cuban not Mexican and the remarks were not directed at his heritage. As a Mexican American I do take offence to this comment from Mitt Romney and Mr. Rubio’s comment that “At least, that's how most reasonable people would take it." I feel that I am a reasonable and so do my current clients. I am a the very person they are targeting Hispanic, Business Owner, and Tax Payer, but there is nothing at this point that Mitt Romney could do to get my vote back I know support OBAMA at least he is willing to do the things are closer to my Christian Values

    September 19, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. CBR

    Mr. Rubio should not be speaking for Mr. Romney. When Mitt Romney makes a small mistake he feels he must prove that it was not a mistake but that he was correct all along. this may be Mr. Romney's greatest weakness. He cannot admit that he might be wrong or mistaken. He then turns to whining or else he blames someone's dislike for him that is the problem. Mr. Romney needs to take a long hard look at himself. He needs to learn to admit when he is wrong and to stop playing the victim.

    He is extraordinarily wealthy. He has hoes, cars, 5 sons, and lots more. It should be humbling but it is not. Mr. Romney projects the image of a man who must always be correct and always has to be at the top. This does not bode well for a man who wants to be President. This arrogance may turn people away in the next month or so.

    The Republican Party is so well-controlled that there is no room for people who have any sense of creativity or who have a desire to make changes that would improve our society not turn it on its heel to run backward.

    September 19, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    yeah funny guy that Romney..just like he was joking about the birth certificate in Michigan a few weeks ago. Thing is if the Obama group says something that he doesn't like he whines and wants an apology. Geesh and I though Sarah Palin was thin skinned.

    September 19, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  21. geggyg

    On the wednesday after Romney is defeated in the election , will all all the repubs say his campaign was just a joke and they got the timing wrong, like a bad comedian, and can they do the election again with their serious candidate and real campaign.

    September 19, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. tedcanto

    Rubio is latinoes version of an Uncle Tom. Besides Cubans don't consider themselves Latino, they consider themselves Cuban and exempt from all the crap the other latinoes in Florida have to deal with. Cubans are also put on public assistance when they come to the US. I wonder how they would feel if Obama discontinues their perks when they step foot in florida?

    September 19, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Angel

    A Cuban willing to betray his own people. How sad....

    September 19, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Frank

    Look at the liberal News..... The News is always cover how bad of a person Mitt is and How great of a man Barack is.....It's a joke in it's self!!!!

    September 19, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. GI Joe

    Romney IS a joke.

    Obama/Biden - early voting in some states in 19 days or less.

    September 19, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
1 2 3 4 5