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. SCC

    No Romney you do not understand the plight of Hispanics or any minority in America.
    The Affordable Care Act helps people
    Romney remember Pres. Obama used your man for the Healthcare law

    September 28, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. The Cat

    Wow. He obviously didn't REALLY think very hard about this one if he thinks that this was his largest error. IMHO, his biggest mistake was opening his mouth.

    September 28, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. raymondcarey

    Don't worry Mittens I'm sure Ted Cruz has explained the parties position really well. And then after another loss we can debate it all over again.

    September 28, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Pander Bear

    Yes yes it was the Hispanics didn't "get" you and didn't understand that awesome advantages of 'self-deportation', not the fact you were caught red handed accusing half the country of being leeches or that you flip flopped on every issue six times before election day or that you were a terrible candidate.

    September 28, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. Sam

    On the contrary, Romney's problem was that they understood his position well and disagreed with it. How condescending can you get, blaming your failure on others' lack of understanding. Romney was just plain wrong for the job.

    September 28, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. firenze345

    No Mr. Romney, if you are still searching for the reason you lost, perhaps you should be asking yourself a different question-why did Barack Obama win? He is a statesman politician, you are simply a bad politician

    Your lies were too easy to expose and your doublespeak made it easy for us to out your REAL at all costs.

    September 28, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  7. Quixote

    Yeah......he lost because of strategy, and people didnt understand his message....yeah, that was it........

    His biggest mistake was running. Although to be fair, he was the most qualified and least certifiably insane of the repub candidates. When your party is composed of fools and lunatics you do not get much to choose from.

    September 28, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. Rick

    No Mitt, you and the establishment GOP still don't get it. You have moved away from the Conservative values of the GOP and became nothing more than a "Democrat Lite". No, you didn't lose because you didn't get the hispanic vote, you lost because we conservatives didn't bother voting for someone who is not much better than Obama. You supported government healthcare (albeit at the legal "state" level rather than the illegal "federal" level). You supported "appeasement" of damaging federal policies.

    No, the GOP will never win again until it starts nominated candidates that support conservative family values and the opportunity of the free markets which is what MADE this country as great as it is.

    September 28, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. luke,az

    Mr. Romney's biggest error was entering the race for the president. The guy is emblematic of what's wrong with American society.

    September 28, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. blake

    Wrong again Mr. Romney. Stop listening to the far left fools in the Washington beltway, Your biggest strategic error was not being a consistent conservative.

    September 28, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  11. Larry

    Please, keep telling yourself that it's because you didn't reach out to the minority. It's more because you were a dispassionate, smug, largely unlikeable person. It's comforting I'm sure, to think things could have gone the other way though.

    September 28, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Laz

    This guy was a staged mannequin from the get-go. Quit crying, Mitt. You didn't make any errors. You simply aren't qualified, and your motives are selfish. That's why you lost.

    September 28, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. ANNIER

    WHY is media space still being given to this man? He still hasn't gotten over the fact that HE LOST!! GET OVER IT, MITTWITT!!

    September 28, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Jon

    These politicians are all the same. Whenever they lose an election, the excuse is: "We just didn't get our message out enough. Or our message wasn't clear enough." They're basically calling you "stupid" for not seeing the brilliance of their platform without them force – feeding it to you.

    It will never occur to them that the platform was BAD! Romney lost because his message was in opposition to what this country wants.

    September 28, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  15. COS

    Serious, Mitt? This is how you demonstrate accountability for your campaign? By accusing Hispanic folks of being too stupid to understand your immigration policy? Please. Projection, Sir. I don't think you understand your own policies or their impact on the function of this Nation.

    September 28, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Ron

    Dude really, really just does not get it.... like Al Queda trying to run for office and blaming their loss on "if we only reached out to the americans and told them they are nice people." while suicide bombs go off accross the country and the al queda party introduced legislation to legalize sharia law and bomb vests... Its not your pandering mitt, its your POLICY! HELLO McFLYYYYYY!!!

    September 28, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Dale Harwood

    No Mitt, it was your pandering to oil and highway lobbyists. Your threats to eliminate Amtrak which covers 88% of its costs, and exponentially increase subsidies on highways (which only cover 51% of their costs), all while claiming it would somehow save taxpayer dollars. It made no sense other than to increase oil dependency. I'll vote Republican again when they nominate an honest candidate.

    September 28, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. PtBarnumBoy

    Poor Mittens. I feel so sorry for him.

    September 28, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. teedofftaxpayer

    His biggest strategic error was running in the first place. The Republicans just don't get it. And they will continue to lose elections because of it. Of course with their gerrymandering they might win more state offices but once the people see how badly they screw up they'll lose again. The most important thing to remember IS TO GET OUT AND VOTE. Otherwise we're stuck with the dimwitted mistakes we have in Congress now.

    September 28, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  20. James

    Romney would have been a terrific President. What we currently have is American Amateurism at its finest. Elections have consequences and now the people who voted in Obama will see their hours cut from 40 hours per week to 29.5.

    September 28, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. yeehaw

    yes, because most minute men are democrats....

    September 28, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. srichey321

    @Blake. Well his biggest mistake was not being a consistent moderate and giving lip service to the more extreme elements of the Republican party. The American people saw right through it.

    The Republican party needs to clean house if it is going to win in 2016.

    September 28, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Randy, San Franciasco

    As long as the GOP embraces "trickle down economics", Romney's claim that his party offers more opportunities to Hispanics is false and not genuine.

    September 28, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. laserw

    This article is factually irrelevant – even if Romney had won 100% of the hispanic vote, he would have still lost. You cannot factor in the criminals who are stealing their presence here into being voters – they are not citizens and have no right to vote.

    September 28, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. vinster76

    Romney lost, we get it. His 47% comment was greatly mis-characterized by the usual political assasins, and just cuz you all bought the mis-characterization doesn't validate it.....This country could have installed Larry, Moe, and Curly, and they would look like George Washington, Lincoln, and FDR compared to the current occupant.....

    September 28, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
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