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. Yikes

    It was a joke. And we are all laughing at you mittens

    September 19, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. John Q.

    And Who in the world said that Rubio is Latino!!!! He can talk all he wants about his Cuban heritage... but He will never in his live can comment about Latinos.

    September 19, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. Name Penguin

    If it was a joke, please explain it to me. What's the punchline? What phrase was funny- the implication that Latinos are given every conceivable benefit by the government and are too lazy to work for a real living wage. Rubio, you are a laugh a minute

    September 19, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. USA

    This tape tells America all we need to know about Romney & Ryan Corporation

    September 19, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  5. Ex-GOP Con

    that's nice. i'm glad rubio likes being laughed at my rich money.

    September 19, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  6. manesh

    Had his parents been Mexican, then his father would not have been governor nor head of a car company. More importantly, our amigo mitt, would not have been grandfathered into an ivy league college or come anywhere close to running a private equity company with his parents' friends money.

    September 19, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  7. Shannon

    A lot of people laugh at racist jokes, that doesn't make them right. Shame on you Mr Rubio, what is wrong with you

    September 19, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  8. Bob

    Rubio will lose his senate seat next election.

    September 19, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. politicalgumhockey

    His comment was bigoted and Rubio knows it.

    September 19, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. Jose Jemanes

    Romney is the JOKE!

    September 19, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. Cooper green

    I'm pretty sure everyone tool it as a terrible attempt st a joke. The problem is, he is an equally bad comedian and presidential candidate. I think everyone also realizes that this was an attempt to put down hispanics. If he is about equal opportunity e should patiently wait on Asian and black jokes.

    September 19, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Ahucs

    If it's a joke, what makes it funny? Is it self deprecation because he's making fun of the idea that dumb republicans actually think being white is a disadvantage in this country? Otherwise I don't see how it could mean anything other that what he said

    September 19, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  13. demrules

    Well Rubio, you don't speak for ALL Latinos!

    September 19, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. Name

    Romney is a joke. GOP is a joke. Not a funny joke, bad joke. they are trying to destroy America for 99% of us.

    September 19, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. Ernst Leitz

    Was Romney joking when he said, "If the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting bloc has in the past, why, we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation [...]"??

    September 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. josh

    Romney didn't mean it as a joke although it sounded like a joke. He really believe being a latino will help, note the "but" in "but it'd be helpful if they'd been Latino."

    And that is the most racist thing for a presidential hopeful to say. Its terrible,

    September 19, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  17. Joan in MS

    Apparently Rubio didn't hear the real so-called joke on the Latino community. Romney said that the growth of Latino voters was bad for the (GOP) party, and bad for the nation. Ouch! Not much of a joke there ...

    September 19, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |

    The same Marco Rubio? That Talks Big but Fails to Deliver?

    cuban medicare fraud and marco rubio is silent about

    South Florida is known as the capital of Medicare fraud,

    Feds in Miami: Millions stolen from Medicare wound up in Cuban banking system In an unprecedented case, federal prosecutors have charged a Miami man with engaging in a massive money laundering scheme that moved millions stolen from the federal Medicare program into Cuban banks.

    I want to protect Medicare. I want to save it," Rubio told CNN.
    "It's going bankrupt. And so the only way to save it is to come up
    with a solution that allows our parents and our grandparents to see
    absolutely no changes to their Medicare," Rubio added.

    what a joke

    September 19, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  19. Donkey Party

    Good job at defending your master, little lapdog.

    September 19, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. Donkey Party

    Rubio should just be honest, and state what most "reasonable" people believe, that the Romney campaign and the GOP is a joke.

    September 19, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  21. 1twinsfan

    Yeah, really funny, haha. I just fall down in stitches when the GOP encourages America to think all the brown people are illegals here to steal their jobs. All the browns, those born in Juarez, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Los Angeles, San Diego, El Paso, Denver, Milwaukee. Those are the ones you really have to watch out for - the ones crafty enough to have been born in the US. They even try to claim their citizens. The nerve.

    September 19, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. kierthos


    What a kidder you are, Mitt.

    September 19, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  23. Name

    Rubio is Cuban and other Latino do get along with them because the Cuban think they are this elite Latino. Remember it was the rich Cuban that fled Cuba when Castro took over.

    September 19, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It was a joke that doesn't seem very funny. How does one nationality get you better odds to win? Just because you are one group or another doesn't make you a better candidate. Kennedy proved that with speech about being Catholic.

    September 19, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. Sojourn

    Ha! Ha! Yeah! I GET IT! Rubio is to the Average Latino as Romney is to the average middle class white guy!...anyone have a fork? These guys are DONE!

    September 19, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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