September 27th, 2013
06:43 PM ET
9 years 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. Josh

    Number one strategic error – being a rich white mormon that thinks little of minorities.

    September 28, 2013 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  2. Cadillacjoe

    Look out Iowa and New Hampshire, it sounds like he is gearing up for another run.

    September 28, 2013 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  3. Cadillacjoe

    It sounds like he is gearing up for another run.

    September 28, 2013 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  4. Cadillacjoe

    Look out Iowa and New Hampshire, it sounds like he is getting ready to run again.

    September 28, 2013 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  5. Cadillacjoe

    it sounds like he is getting ready to run again.

    September 28, 2013 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  6. Oh Mittens

    I'd say he's about 47% correct..

    September 28, 2013 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  7. Tilbury

    We get too soon old and too late smart

    September 28, 2013 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  8. Sandy

    Romney's largest strategic error was that he thought the bigoted Tea Party voters would support and vote for him. Instead, they stayed away.

    September 28, 2013 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  9. stevetall

    Yeah, that was it. Not enough money spent advertising to the Hispanic community, eh, Mitt? Seriously, the main problem was your view on life in general, your 1%er, out of touch concept of American society, and your inability to identify with regular people, much less care about them. Other than that, you are smarmy enough to be a politician, and you look good in a suit, so I'd hold out for a reality TV show.

    September 28, 2013 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  10. Matt

    Is this a puff piece for the Republican party? Honestly? A majority of the Republican wants to import every single illegal here immediately and the small minority of Republicans that don't want to do this are too chickensh!t to say anything.

    A little disingenuous to say that you didn't fully explain your immigration, policy, Mitt. Yeah, you explained it more than enough, and it sucked. It toed the Republican party line. Stop insulting everyone's intelligence – you had your a$$ handed to you on a platter by losing the Hispanic vote by 40%. I would say just the opposite – the Hispanic electorate able to vote probably knew the issues MUCH BETTER than the average white person and voted accordingly.

    September 28, 2013 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  11. Dan

    Huh, I thought it was because he painted half of the United States as lazy and a drain to society.

    September 28, 2013 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  12. Lean6

    This guy is absolutely clueless. It's not what you did or what you didn't's you, Mitt...nobody likes you. It's hard to even put into words how out of touch this guy is from he never was one of us regular people. Yes, that matters.

    September 28, 2013 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  13. Mark

    No, Mittens, they did not vote for you because they understand your party all too well.

    September 28, 2013 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  14. worm

    Romney will never get it.

    Could it have been....

    Lay off tens of thousands of people
    Beat the bomb-Iran war drum
    Flip-flop and flip-flop
    Oppose healthcare for Americans
    Be an arrogant jerk

    September 28, 2013 03:44 am at 3:44 am |
  15. .Paul Williamson

    Romney's largest strategic error was telling America only the rich (top 1 %) mattered, and he was going to make them even richer at the expense of the middle class and the poor

    September 28, 2013 03:49 am at 3:49 am |
  16. John

    He thinks his loss had anything to do with "strategy"? How truly out of touch is this guy? His secretly recorded "47%" speech pretty much says it all. Sure, he could have strategized a little better in order to find the correct way to lie his way into the hearts and minds of those he really despises, but in the end the truth came out ,and he was put out to the pasture of the 1950s where is mindset still finds a home.

    September 28, 2013 03:55 am at 3:55 am |
  17. JA

    Mitt, I would say your delusion of assured victory that you clung to until you watched Obama's electoral vote count tick past 270 was your biggest error.

    September 28, 2013 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  18. Faux Scandals

    I guess stealing jobs had nothing to do with it.

    September 28, 2013 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  19. Romulan

    No, Romney. You had many errors that all involved not caring about the people you wanted to represent. Control-Alt-Delete was your biggest mistake.

    September 28, 2013 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  20. David

    As a conservative ... his biggest problem, without a doubt, was being a tool.

    September 28, 2013 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  21. Phil

    Keep his mouth about the 47%, no quicker way to alienate half the voters. It's the Dem's version of Swift Boating a candidate.

    September 28, 2013 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  22. Joy

    It was the first thing I said that Romney did not stand a chance BECAUSE HE DID NOT HAVE THE HISPANIC VOTE...and making matters worse was appearing to be one.

    September 28, 2013 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  23. lore garcia

    2 little 2 late

    September 28, 2013 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  24. Steve in Seattle

    Romney would be president today if he had not been a member of the Mormon religion. It isn't a question of bigotry. Many people are put off by what they perceive, rightly or mistakenly, as a polytheistic, secretive religion obsessed with proselytizing and economic power. It scares people. It scared voters, Hispanic and otherwise.

    September 28, 2013 04:50 am at 4:50 am |
  25. Nick


    September 28, 2013 04:53 am at 4:53 am |
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