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. Mike S., New Orleans

    Sorry Sir. But your largest strategic error was thinking Mitt Romney was presidential material.

    September 28, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  2. Jim

    What a sore loser! Get over it Mickey. You lost because of YOU.

    September 28, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. Benita

    Hard to believe Romney still hasn't figured out why he lost. He lives in an entirely different world with no idea that anyone struggles with anything more difficult than which color polo short to wear.

    September 28, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  4. Buck from Texas

    You lost because you forgot the 47% vote.

    September 28, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. DOOM

    His main problem in 2012 was writing Obamacare.

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

    Your dancing horse is far better than you.

    September 28, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Robert

    Creo que si, Paco! Right, like that was gonna work. You should have self-deported that large baton from your nether parts.

    September 28, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. Maria Rivera-Carvalho

    Still looking for excuses? Rationalization exercises aside, we understood his message loud and clear: 1. Mr. Romney thinks all Latinos have immigration issues. He and the GOP have to understand that four centuries of history have made some of us as American as they are or even more ... 2. Those with personal or family immigration issues don't like to be treated like sub humans. 3. Hispanics can read. 4. Hispanics understand the concept of social justice very clearly. It's also a tenet of our religion. Republicans don't. 5. Then there is that Republican misogynist streak. Back to the drawing board, Mr. Romney.

    September 28, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. liberty9133

    A few thoughts come immediately to mind. Conventional wisdom rarely is. And why would any conservative ever listen to CNN ideas and commenters?
    The facts dictate that Republicans will probably never get the current so-called latino vote. Nor will it in the foreseeable future. The facts dictate that poor people vote for people who promise them everything. Most Republicans and all conservatives do not want to do that. So forget the latino vote. We need to concentrate on the remaining population who truly cares more about things like the Rule of Law, safety, jobs and the like.
    Unfortunately, the GOP leadership has sold out to the US Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street as well as the globalists. The only reason why Boehner et al haven't pushed the amnesty/permanent residency plan is that the people we represent will turn on them like a pack of hungry wolves.
    The facts tell us that whenever the Republicans do something to limit illegal aliens, they win. When they give into the progressives and the above traitors, they lose. It's as simple as that.
    Romney lost because he failed to convince 4 million conservatives that he had the right goods. We predict that if ever the Republicans vote for anything helping illegals, there will be over 5 million stay at homes thus insuring Hillary's election.

    September 28, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. Elizabeth, CA

    I didn't vote for him because even as a Republican I couldn't trust him or his wife. They flaunted their wealth and he thought it was funny that he got pulled over for having his dog ridding in a kennel on top of their car. If you don't have enough common sense to know that a dog shouldn't ride on the roof, then how can we expect you to make the correct calls in the Oval??? The Republican party is to out of touch!! Scares me to think who we will run in 3 years!!!

    September 28, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  11. larrymaras

    Romney, keep your promise and just go away. You lost because you represent all that is wrong with Republicans. You think you are better than the rest of us. You lie. You deceive. Just go away.

    September 28, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Hispanics got his message, and promptly turned thumbs down. Why can't Mittens get it?

    September 28, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. BeechyKeen

    Hispanics got his message and promptly turned thumbs down. Why isn't Romney smart enough to get that point?

    September 28, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. Chris

    I see tons of people ripping Mitt like he lost by a mile but the polls had him winning and there was lots of shady issues with the IRS last fall. I see people bashing Romney, but I see NOBODY praising Obama.

    September 28, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  15. albert J. Wilson

    Mr. Rhomney stil doesn't get. The US is slowly moving towards a diverse demographic society within thirty or forty Romney apparently overlooked this fact known to people in the know. The largest diverse group iis the Spanish speaking citizen from the western states in addition to the population explosion of a similar Spanish speaking ethnic population in the east. At present the western comprise of 48 million voting Hispanics plus 11 million illegal and legal Hispanics. In addition 418 million Puerto Ricans have immigrated to other parts of the United States and its territories and other countries. That is the sole reason why all the hoopla about the "border" was coined by special groups who opposed immigration reform and all it represents.

    September 28, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. yuma

    His biggest mistake was running for president.

    September 28, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. Jackie Rawlings

    Mitt will lost his profit if the Government shuts down and that is all he is interested in. Now he and Ann are doing interviews for a good reason. Mitt is board casting about his black grandchild in hope of minority votes if they ask him to run for President again. He thinks his black grandson can get him those 2% of minority votes to win. Ann has release a fake cook book that really only dictates to adults on raising their children. Ann said the reason all her sons have matters and respect along with great values is because of how they were raised. She over looked the cursing of her sons during the campaign or the threat her son made to President Obama. She also brought up her black grandchild as to show the Romney's like minorities.

    September 28, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  18. Johnny Two-seater

    He lost because he didn't pander to the leeches suckling at the government teat.

    September 28, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. VJ

    He never and will change. His campaign is full of holes..... 47 % haunted him to the core. Chris Christie played a part too...

    September 28, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  20. AR

    nobody cares Mitt. A loser is still a loser.

    September 28, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  21. VJ

    If he would have been president, I can't imagine that we would have been in Syria and Iran. Thank God save from war monger candidate..

    September 28, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  22. The Contentious Otter

    Correction: Mitt Romney's greatest error in the 2012 election race was being Mitt Romney.

    September 28, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  23. Patricia

    I voted for Obama as a vote AGAINST you. He has turned out to be just a different kind of madman than you. I should have submitted a write-in vote for Elvis.

    September 28, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  24. korkea aika

    Mitt Romney, the Dr Kavorkian of American Jobs, now wants us to think he lost the Hispanic vote because they didn't understand him. boo-hoo. When Romney and his cronies say 'more legal immigration' they really mean, "Allow more RICH PEOPLE TO IMMIGRATE". This means that the hard working Mexican people can look over the boarder and starve to death while rich Hong Kong Millionaires get green cards as soon as they deposit $1M buck in a US account. Romeny should move his money back to the USA and pay his taxes and keep his mouth shut. We've had enough of him.

    September 28, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Leave it Mitt, just leave it there are already enough loose screws in DC now we do not need you as head screw

    September 28, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
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