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. joshua Hyman

    Bottom line he had to pander to the Tea Baggers to get the nomination. He would have been left of Obama had he won. Too bad. Obama sure has been disappointing.

    September 28, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. angeson

    Maybe you should self deport and run for president of Russia. Take your shirt off and take on Putin

    September 28, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. angeson

    I think the hispanic maid that taped your 47% comment made you waste millions on a fools bet.

    September 28, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. William Eddy

    Mitt Romney lost the white vote. That is what cost him the election.

    September 28, 2013 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. RealTVCritics

    Really? Does any give a damn? Are we still regurgitating this election.? Obama won you moron!!!!!! This is part of the problem with Mitt Romney and the media. No one cares about the losing team in the Super Bowl or the World Series. We all care about the winner. To re-live anything with Mitt Romney is deplorable.

    September 28, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Red Team

    Why can't there be a happy news story about him like doctors found a tumor in his brain that will swell and rob him of the power of speech?

    September 28, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. China Doll

    His error was his choice for Vice President.

    September 28, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. ShelInGA

    No, Mitt, there were many reasons people did not vote for you. I voted for you in the Primary, but not in the General. Why? I couldn't figure out which Mitt we would get. The one that campaigned to the Far, Far Right or the one that campaigned in the Middle. To me, the change was so stark that it came across as lying. Also, as someone who grew up poor then worked with top executives and politicians (Conservative Republicans) for over 40 years, I realized you had no clue about the lives and needs of the people and businesses that were not in the top 10%. There were many of us and we are not Latinos.

    September 28, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Carie DeWeerd

    Could it be that your true colors showed through and you just didn't give a damn about the Hispanics? I would say Mitt Romney, your stance was heard loud and clear.

    September 28, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. Vpcam

    Why spent time on the looser as if people did not know what his policy was to gut the immigrants (in several debates he had the opportunity to differentiate from his fellow-thugs, yet chose to associate with the thugs to clinch the nomination).

    September 28, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Paul

    Mitt is a Hippocrates on the deepest level as most all republicans are: 'render unto Ceasar what is Ceasars'. Mitt moves what is 'Ceasars' to offshore accounts then hides behind the law ignoring the higher moral standard his personal lord and savior has called him to do.

    September 28, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. CJPA

    Sorry, Mitt! There are many reasons why you lost, but you are just not likeable and have no idea what it means to struggle to pay the bills. Your 47% gaffe turned out to be more truth than fiction when you speaking with your rich buddies, turning your nose down at the "common" man. Just keep lining your pockets and ride your horse, dressage style, into the Massachusetts sunset!

    September 28, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. Steven Gold

    They don't get it. It is not the delivery of the messages, it is the messages.

    September 28, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  14. Shawn

    one might argue his biggest error now is thinking that was his biggest error then 😉

    September 28, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  15. James

    His " largest strategic error " , was running for President in the first place. ; )

    September 28, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. LAU

    His TACTIC was true to his failed STRATEGY of dismissing the Hispanics' interests.

    September 28, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Garry

    I've lived in Massachusetts for a long time. We made a mistake electing him Governor – beats me why we did. He didn't get it then.. he still doesn't get it. That's why we didn't make the same mistake twice. Go away "Mittens," we've all had enough.

    September 28, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Ramon F Herrera

    There are THREE kinds of Republicans:

    (1) One group is busy spreading hatred

    (2) Another group is busy denying that the first group exists

    (3) The 3rd. group is Colin Powell

    September 28, 2013 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. WobblyWob

    Oh don't you be bothering your pretty head now Mitt. Them people understood well your stance on Immigration: Minus 40%.

    September 28, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  20. Glory

    No, that is not why Romney lost. He lost because he changed his opinions and stances every day. He had no core.
    You didn't know what he believed. Romney, also, was uncomfortable with the average American and it showed. His comment are the 47% nailed his defeat.

    September 28, 2013 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. TruthSeeker

    Romney's strategic error was veering far to the right to pander to the extremist Tea Party and the Evangelical voting block. These guys might be a significant portion of the Republican party, but most people find their views alienating, including the Hispanic community. Had Romney remained the moderate he was before the primaries, the election might have turned out differently. But then again, he probably wouldn't have won the primaries in the first place, losing instead to one of the other crazies of last years republican primary.

    September 28, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  22. Texas

    Hello, people just didn't like you or your religious right wing politics. Get over it and move on dude.

    September 28, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  23. Mateo

    He lost becasue the middle class is tired of being screwed and he underestimated the intelligence of the American people.

    September 28, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  24. The Other Bob


    Romney's BIG mistake, among many, was stating he'd abolish Affordable Care Act. and that corporations were same as people! DUH When I was drafted NO corporations were seen – when I was at Ft Dix NJ for basic training NOT one Corp was seen . NONE was with me when I was shipped overseas. either! Of course BIG BUCKS wouldn't know that because he kept himself out of harm's way along with Bush,Cheney, and the other yellow bellied gutless cowards neo-cons ~!
    So much for the right-wing propaganda that you have to be a right-wing nut job to be a patriot and serve your country. Thank you for your service.

    September 28, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  25. geno marcello

    Mitt Romney ran a good campaign. If he had chosen a different vice president like Mario Rubio, I think his ticket would have won. The people of the United States are now seeing what happens when you put a total amateur in the White House, and it isn't pretty to watch.

    September 28, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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