Romney's Hispanic chairman says candidate made mistakes
November 11th, 2012
11:09 AM ET
9 years ago

Romney's Hispanic chairman says candidate made mistakes

(CNN) – The man who led Mitt Romney's outreach to Hispanic voters said Sunday the candidate "made some mistakes" during his campaign that ultimately led to a precipitous drop in Latino support.

Carlos Gutierrez, the former secretary of commerce, blamed the Republican primary process, which he said forced Romney to harden his immigration stance in an appeal to the far-right wing of the Republican Party.

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"Mitt Romney made some mistakes," Gutierrez told CNN senior congressional correspondent Dana Bash on "State of the Union." "I think he is an extraordinary man, and I think he made an extraordinary candidate. I think Mitt Romney's comments are a symptom. I think the disease is the fact that the far right of the party controls the primary process."

On immigration, Romney often sought to balance his positions in ways that appealed both to Hispanic voters and the base of the Republican Party.

In December, Romney vowed to veto the DREAM Act if he became president, saying instead he would support a path to residency - not citizenship - for undocumented immigrants who served in the military, but not other DREAM Act proposals.

Later, Romney gave a more detailed version of his stance, telling supporters at a fund-raiser in Florida that Republicans needed to offer their own version of the DREAM Act.

At a Republican presidential debate in January, Romney said he favored a system of "self-deportation," a policy that involves making economic conditions so difficult for undocumented workers that they choose to leave the country to find better opportunities. That stance was derided both by Democrats and his Republican rivals.

Speaking Sunday, Gutierrez said Latino voters were scared of a Republican Party they regarded as anti-immigrant and downright xenophobic.

"They were scared of the anti-immigration talk. They were scared of xenophobes. It's almost as if we're living in the past," Gutierrez added.

The proof, he said, was in the way Latinos voted: 27% cast ballots for Romney, compared to 31% who voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008 and 44% who supported George W. Bush in 2004.

"I would lay the blame squarely on the far-right wing of the Republican Party," Gutierrez said.

Evangelical leader Gary Bauer said Sunday that the opposite was true, pinning Romney's loss on a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters.

"I think it's due, at least in part, to folks in our party that seem intent on attacking the fact that we're the conservative party in the United States," Bauer said, pointing specifically to the issue of abortion, which he said should have played a larger role in the 2012 campaign.

"There's no yearning by the American people for a second pro-abortion party. I mean, we've already got one of those," he said.

Filed under: 2012 • Latinos • Mitt Romney
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Fox News can't sell a message of compassionate conservatism. Limbaugh can't make 10 million a year by providing honest and rational analysis of American politics. The extreme right-wing can't accept a message of tolerance without rejecting what has become their core values of bigotry and hatred. Will any rational people remain in the Republican Party?

    November 12, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Keith in SoJax

    "Evangelical leader Gary Bauer said Sunday that the opposite was true, pinning Romney's loss on a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters."

    This way of thinking is an anathema to small government. They should be re-branded the "Big Government wing of the Republican Party" because thats really what they espouse. I hope the reality based Republicans find a way to shut these people up. This isn't a Christinist nation, its a nation where Christians are welcome. Thats the way it should remain.

    November 12, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Carol

    That's what he gets for pandering to the far right and changing his position on everything under the sun depending on who he was talking to and where.

    November 12, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. meetings with not-as remarkable men

    at best Mitt is an introverted human that makes money instead of real friends, Jesus said to would be hard for a rich man to enter into heaven and likened it too a camel passing through the eye of a needle. ..."for the love of money and no one else" Sad for Mitt good for us, but thanks for the show and tell Mitt.

    November 12, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. conrad

    The biggest mistake is the GOP party platform. They've alientated far too many people – promise to make life more difficult for many groups, promise to protect the wealthiest, and expect to get voted into power? Laughable!

    November 12, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. genb

    Watched a post interview on CNN which included James Carville's wife (a gop contributor to CNN). She was downright mean and hatefull in her personal attack against Pres. Obama. This the menatity of the current gop/tp movement.

    November 12, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. Buckhippo

    Why are we still talking about irrelevant people?

    November 12, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. Russ

    Bauer is delusional and in denial, and there will never be a far right conservative who gets enough votes to be elected president. Not with alienating every minority group in the country when whites will be a minority by the mid 2020's.

    November 12, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. John K

    "blamed the Republican primary process, which he said forced Romney to harden his immigration stance in an appeal to the far-right wing of the Republican Party" Really? No one or process "forced" Gov. Romney to do a darned thing...he made the choice to cater to the radical right of the Republican party and paid the price for it. Hey, I have an original idea for all candidates for the next about standing up for what YOU believe in, and stick to it regardless the fallout?

    November 12, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. biggins

    Gary Bauer has apparently already started smoking MJ because he is off his rocker! If the GOP wants the Dems to get bigger and stronger and continue to marginalize Reps then by all means continue to put even more conservative candidates out there. Abortion is a very small social issue compared to all the other ones out there, and ppl are generally smart enough to not vote just based on one issue but the candidate as a whole. If the christian conservatives have any balls, and really want the country to be anti-abortion, then every christian should take a public vow to pay the health care costs and adopt the babies of women who would normally have chosen abortion. Until they do something serious like that then all the talk from the christians is B.S.

    November 12, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. Name alethe

    I think it's nice this is all over. Now the mitt can go spend some time with his money and his cars. Wow- and who ever applies for a job using their middle and last name only! First sign the the guy can't be trusted!!!!!!

    November 12, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Sotzume

    The Republicans lost and will continue to lose because they are sexist, racist, and homophobic. When elected, they are obstructionist. They depend on hate and hateful rhetoric to attempt to bully the American people into returning to a "golden" time that never really existed. They have no new ideas to help this country navigate in the 21st century. They disregard reality and the truth. And in 2012, they nominated a phony and his phony wife whose saw everyone but billionaires as "you people". Did they really expect to win?

    November 12, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. C. of S.

    Santorum / Palin 2016

    November 12, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. alloydflanagan

    "which he said forced Romney to harden his immigration stance in an appeal to the far-right wing of the Republican Party."

    Nobody FORCED Romney to do anything. He chose to alter his positions to fit his audience, over and over again. Beyond any one issue, why would we want a man like that for President?

    November 12, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. John/kc

    The mistake the republicans made was mixing religion with politics. What a turn off for this voter and I am sure others. Nothing like going to church and having the preacher tell you who to vote for and what the country and the sheep in the church should do with their bodies. What is wrong with going to a church and talking about God and the bible only. Jesus knew nothing about abortion, and back in his day he helped the poor and condemned the rich. Now the churches are preaching the opposite. Thirty years ago the evangelicals were pro choice and not pro life, but now they do a flip flop.

    November 12, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Jorge U.U, Boosh

    Miit Romney= SHAPE-SHIFTER that held NO CONVICTIONS.

    November 12, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. blindbear

    If there are a few moderates left in the Republican Party, they're probably all quaking in their boots at the prospect of the next primary. Now's the time for the Democrats to reach out to these folks and present them with the hard facts. If they allow the Tea Party to continue to control their party, they're doomed by dogma and they're doomed by demographics. The Democrats should be able to either turn some of these moderate Republican lawmakers either into allies in a sanity coalition or into actual Democrats. If these guys stayed in the Republican Party and took it back from the Tea Partiers, they would rightly be considered as the saviors of their party.

    November 12, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  18. Derek

    They have learned nothing.

    November 12, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. solex

    It seems clear that the extremists on both sides of the aisle – tree-huggers on one side and the Tea Party on the other – have never learned the lesson that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few – Captain Kirk and Spock not withstanding.

    I also think that our uniquely American ideal that individual agendas are just as important as national ones can only lead to disunity.

    I also think that many moderate repubs held their noses and voted for Obama – with their need for personal relilgous and relationship freedom outweighing the need to keep as much money as possible in their wallets.

    The real lasting outcome from this election is that people of color will now be as vilable as whites in the electing of our representatives. No amount of voter suppression is going to stop that. I am a 50 year old white male and I know that by the time I shake this earthly coil – white people will be the minority – I can only hope they govern better than we have.

    November 12, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Ken

    The reason he lost: decades of free hand outs have made this a nation of takers.

    November 12, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. Frank

    Oh, all the excuses for alexithymic Mitt losing the election-–LET US COUNT THE WAYS.

    November 12, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  22. JJ

    the latinos are the people who keep america together

    November 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. i'm confused

    Today's republican party is nothing but a cult full of religious & ideological extremists that has no place in the 21st century!

    November 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    I'm amused by the internal investigations that the Republicans have launched to understand why the lost. They don't realize that they're conducting INTERNAL investigations of the BOX tin which hey've enclosed themselves. And, they need to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX in order figure what that they've trapped themselves within their own artificial reality. It's actually pitiful scary and funny to watch.

    November 12, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. sgurdog

    And this is supposed to be the party of personal responsibility?

    November 12, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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