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. NC

    Romney just please stop talking. Face reality we did not want you for our President. We know you are phony and did not have what it takes to care about anyone but the cult you belong to.

    September 28, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Who me?

    Is this guy still here?

    September 28, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. bluedogsvoice

    Dear Romney,

    You are in Denial. You lost, not because hispanics didn't understand you, but because they did understood you. They understood you to say they were in the 47%. They understood you to say to them to "self-deport". They understood you to be anti-immigration. They understood you to care for the 1%.

    Romeny, you refused to tell the truth. You lost because you lost the entire good working americans.

    September 28, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  4. Libsrtyrants

    Liberal idyot.

    September 28, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. James

    So hispanics support illegal immigration , is this the conclusion ? Any candidate against illegal immigration doesn't get the hispanic vote ? What does this say about a vast majoirty of hispanics in the united states, its obvious that they all have illegal relatives.

    September 28, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Fantod

    Romney lost because he's an out-of-touch lunkhead. All the other reasons stem directly from that.

    September 28, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Mark OHIO

    His largest error was speaking at that donor conference about how he doesn't care about half the electorate. Why won't this stooge go away already?

    September 28, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. Steven Hackbarth

    What's wrong with those ignorant people anyway? To know me is to love me.

    September 28, 2013 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. hZ

    He talked down to minorities and then expects them to vote for him. That's a mental disorder.

    September 28, 2013 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. leah

    His biggest problem is that he isn't human.

    September 28, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Justin Case

    Way to go Mitt, blame the voters. Clearly it's not the voters who don't understand, it's you!

    I very glad to hear Mitt's point of view as it continues to confirm that voting AGAINST Romney was the right move.

    September 28, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Woman In California

    "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,
    What is it about this tax evading cultist that makes him think people don't understand what he's saying? Don't worry Willard. We understood you perfectly and then we rejected you and your mentally disabled wife. Do YOU understand that?

    September 28, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. Dave, CA

    Wait 2 days- Ole Cashmere Mittens will come up with a completely DIFFERENT reason why he lost his pre-bought bid to run this country into the ground.

    Besides- weren't you all butt-hurt and decided that you really didn't want to be POTUS anyway Mitt? Just go away already and take Palin, Cantor, Bohner, DeMint, your VP pick and the rest of the greedy, lying sacks of GOP with you.

    September 28, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Violet

    He is basically saying that the Hispanic population is too stupid to understand his brilliant policy proposals. Boy, this guy is a piece of work. The electoral beat-down he got was a thing of beauty.

    September 28, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Phil

    (Video doesn't correlate to headline). The "understand" wording is inflammatory. If indeed the use of that word emphasized by Romney, it suggests he's out of touch in his current effort. That would be insulting. Delivery is critical. Hispanics are familial in general. A leader who can empathize verbally is who they want. I supported Romney on his position during the race because he had the right policy–not because of the Bushist boneheadedness in him.

    September 28, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. Shan

    I disagree
    Thank God you were not selected.

    Praise the Lord

    September 28, 2013 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Rod

    Mitt, your biggest regret should be your 47 percenter comment. It "outed" you as just another rich guy who made his money on the backs of working people and couldn't conceivably understand how the rest of us live here in the Land of Opportunity. Stop crying about your lost election, Mitt. You're still a 1 percenter...

    September 28, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Simon

    Axelrod and Biden didn't need to lie. Romney just isn't a candidate for anything but asset stripping. He's good at that. "Party of Opportunity" my behind.

    September 28, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  19. Bob

    You were the last guy left in the clown car so you got the R's nomination-other words the smartest idiot in the villiage.
    Then you proceeded to insinuate that you had no use for anybody that worked for a living, that's why you lost.

    September 28, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  20. MIJohn

    He also lost because while the GOP deluded itself into thinking that courting old white males in middle and upper management, bible-waving Southern whites whose grandparents are related, and racial purists so extreme that even die-hard KKK thought they were crazy would give them a majority of voters. Then lumping everyone else into a group and demonizing them.

    And years later they still can't figure out why things blew up in their face.

    September 28, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  21. RodBinNC

    II think his largest mistake was being himself....a money hungry moron who looks down at everyone else.

    September 28, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Michael Bylebyl

    Mitt's major mistake was Seamus and his corporate vampire image. Americans love dogs and they would never elect someone who had wantonly abused his pet pooch. They also don't look kindly on bullies, especially the rich corporate kind.

    September 28, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    his biggest flaw was being himself

    September 28, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  24. bob

    This boy still doesn't get it. He went wrong because he's rich and doesn't care about the poor, because he's called Mitt, because he's a Mormon, and last, but not least, because he's a Republican.

    September 28, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. roy

    Mitts big stragetic error was when he ran for president.

    September 28, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
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