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. H . D. HARVEY

    Yes Mr. Romney, the Republican party is the "party of opportunity" for hispanics. They want to give them an opportunity to work at low level service jobs, manual labor etc.There is nothing wrong with good hard work for anyone, but anyone with ambition, drive, intellegence should have the opportunity there for them to improve their life and that of their family. Every Republican I hear from including Ted Cruz(a supposed hispanic), do not have a plan, I do not advocate handouts, giveaways etc, I would just like to see honest fair non-discriminatory opportunities. I have seen a situation in a small Texas county ruled by Republicans that minority workers are consistently discriminated against. Even when concerned citizens complain to county authorities about the lack of fairness and reason they are ignored.

    September 28, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. ronjayaz

    Mitt Romney's biggest error was being Mitt Romney.

    September 28, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. amlcpamaine

    Romney's largest "strategic error" had nothing to do with demographics. Those of us who worked with his Bain partners (and a few of us had direct interaction with Mitt) know full well that he cherishes an insulated life and listens only to those who say what he wants. Surprise on election night? - no surprise here. He's had a complete life of always getting what he wants, even when that requires exploiting others. When he DOESN'T get what he wants, he's vindictive and – yes – he really does like firing people. And he really loves making money for a handful of people. He and his partners raped our retirement system while selling our company, and just a handful made millions each. And when confronted with "strategy" that was misleading to investors, he came down hard on those of us who told truth. The man's "biggest strategic error" is NOT having focused on overall society the way his father did. George is turning over in his grave.

    September 28, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Stew

    I'm amazed at the Republican wingnuts who keep harping that their candidates have lost the last the two Presidential elections because they aren't conservative enough. Maybe I'm missing something, wasn't the smoke filled back room eliminated a long time ago in favor of the primary system? Doesn't that mean that Republican voters are picking the candidates? Isn't that an indication that they (the Republican voters) don't want a ultra right wing candidate? That they want more moderate, middle of the road candidates? Just sayin . . . .

    September 28, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. SFRich

    Mitt is the poster boy for all that is wrong with politics in the era of "citizens united" free-wheeling money. That is, pick a nice face and a platform that favors the 1% over what's good for the country, then say whatever needs to be said to win—even if what is said contradicts that which was said days before. Mitt was just too transparent in his deception and his zeal for power.

    However, the main reason he lost was due to the ideas (or lack of) of his party, and the fact that Republican ideology in 2012 scared the hell out of the majority of Americans.

    September 28, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. WhistleBerries

    Mr. Romney, with all due respect – Your "strategic error" is looking back at you in your mirror each time you shave.

    September 28, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. albie

    The fact that he is more religious than Obama was the reason I never even considered voting for Romney – it was the single biggest factor for me.

    September 28, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. wotudezerv

    greatest tactical error by mitt's parents: no birth control

    September 28, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Enoch

    Wow, Mitt. Way to demonstrate leadership. Blame the Hispanic voters. Good job.

    September 28, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  10. are122

    cares about people like you" more appropriately describes the Democratic Party, <~~Boy that's for sure. And Obama has gone on to prove your votes is all he wanted. The other thing Obama has proved is how much better he handles the economy than a successful business man would have. Romney could never have created so many part time jobs.

    September 28, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Moi

    Wow ... he is blaming the Latinos for NOT understanding him? It is the other way around ... he does not understand THEM. Mitt is looking for fault outside of his own reality. So glad he was not elected!

    September 28, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  12. Constantine

    An interesting theory, Mitt. Here's my take on why you lost:

    People don't like you.

    September 28, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. poochlover

    Go away, Mitt. Stop whining and go on with your life. The reason you lost is that you are YOU.

    September 28, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. PK

    The problem with Romney is that he belongs to the GOP! They are, for the most point, like him. When they say "the people" they mean the "rich people". When they say the people want this the people want that, they are not talking about me. I'm a people too, but I don't have a business or investments so I'm not one of THEIR people. The Gop is made up of Pompus people who sit in their comfy chairs with their arms crossed and say NO!. Watch how they do it folks. We'll go down the wire again and again to give us the impression they are saving us! Never happened.

    September 28, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    Yes Mitt, you definitely lost the hispanic vote...and the black vote...and the women's vote. The bigoted old white man vote, that you got.

    September 28, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Chairman Mao

    It's not surprising. Hispanics have hijacked America.

    September 28, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Peter Strype

    Still talking about "HOW TO BE A LOSER".....nice Mittski

    September 28, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    i want to read the article, not comment...yet. fix ur system or its smart phone for me!

    September 28, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Clark

    His biggest mistake was running. There's really no point in Republicans ever running again. We win. Go die.

    September 28, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. donald

    mitt the mitt

    September 28, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Clark

    Why do you even pretend to moderate the comments? They're basically Obama circle jerks. I'm so hard for this administration.

    September 28, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. Eagle495

    Would someone put a cork in this guy... The whining never stops with him!... 🙁 He lost because he is a dishonest, draft dodging rich kid who has never had a real job and has fed off the Republican trough all his life.. Daddy never served either and left him millions thanks to Mommy's Father. Then he took those millions and spent the rest of his miserable life bankrupting solid American companies and putting thousands of hard working Americans out of work!.. Geeezzz!... 🙁

    September 28, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Jack Jett

    The reason he is not President can not be blamed on any one person other than Mittens and Stuart Stevens.

    September 28, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Fjr2009

    No, Mitt. As a Hispanic, I would have never ever voted for you. No matter how much money you had spent on propaganda. The hypocrisy towards Hispanics in America is preposterous, on both sides of the isle. It just happens to be that we chose the lesser of two evils, there wasn't really an option. Your party botched immigration reform several times, chose to build a massive wall dividing the US and Latin America, drove several dozen Tea Party activists to Congress, and you want votes? Insane.

    September 28, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. Stewart


    September 28, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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