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. Zondit

    I think wearing brown face on univision was his worst, if not funniest mistake.

    September 28, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  2. jennifer in Houston

    His inability to relate to ordinary Americans was his problem.. he made a huge amount of money at the expense of the middle class then talked us down..

    September 28, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. The Other Bob

    Patrick Henry

    The key reason why the Hispanic community is such an issue in elections is because Clint-face (i.e., Bill Clinton) dropped our border security and invited millions of illegal immigrants to flood across the border in order to use a foreign power to influence elections in his treasonist favor.
    BZZT! Oh, so sorry! Non-citizens can't vote. As a consolation prize, you get a year's supply of aluminum foil, just perfect for making those festive hats you are apparently so fond of wearing.

    September 28, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  4. Tim

    His largest blunder was in not releasing his financial information and tax returns. We the voters understand that anyone in the race for the office of POTUS is very likely a member of "the 1%". Present your financials to the public or lose the race, period.

    September 28, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. The Other Bob


    Poor Romney... still thinks the Democrats play fair. He said, "I want to make sure we have a legal immigration system that brings, in my view, more people legally to our country." Unfortunately that noble and good stance is not as good as what Democrats, their DoJ, and Obama were offering – a free for all system that gives illegal immigrants everything they want paid for by working citizens and legal immigrants, and also chance to vote for democrats multiple times due to no accountability of the voting system.
    Poor Comen..still believes the nonsense the Republicants tried foisting off on the voters in a lame attempt to get Romney elected.

    September 28, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. CaliforniaAC

    GOP party of opportunity for Hispanic?. Romney is still in a delusional state of mind. Party of voter suppression, hatred, racism, anti immigration, anti-everything that has to do with Hispanics... and the list goes on.

    September 28, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Elliott Carlin

    I didn't vote for you or Barry, but the truth is, you'll never compete w/the Dims handouts and goodies.

    September 28, 2013 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Nieue

    mitt is that why you are showing pics of your newest grandbaby whom is Black? The baby is a "cutie pie"-but mitt it would not make a difference-you are still clueless & do not like the 47%!

    September 28, 2013 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. Amy

    Latinos just want open borders.

    September 28, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  10. Gawiser

    He put the wrong dude on as a Veep candidate. Coulda put Rubio or Bush on and taken FLA since he only lost that state by 80,000 votes. Instead, he put a big government spending career pol on from Wisco and lost both Wisco (12 electoral votes) + FLA (26). That one decision lost him 26 min electoral votes, but that the good news. The bad news is Oblamer got those votes! In other words, that caused a 52 vote electoral vote swing. I thought Robmey was a math guy!

    September 28, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. Maine liberal

    the lies of Steve Axelrod .... who is steve axelrod ? lol

    September 28, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. smather2175

    You lost because of your hair.

    September 28, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  13. wjs

    He lost because he is delusional, and people noticed.

    September 28, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. Minneapolis Bill

    Mitt, time to strap the pooch to the roof of your car, and take a nice long road trip. Think things through real good, cuz you still don't have a clue.

    September 28, 2013 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  15. Raj

    Another strategic error in analysis. It is not just Latino vote. It is ALL Minority vote. GOP does not get ANY minority vote. And it is not just immigration that is at the heart of the problem, but their policies. they in general favor white male christian policies. Will not work anymore. They have to be lot more inclusive. Their policies should focus on economy, foreign relations, climate and progress. Forger gay marriages, and abortion. These are lost causes for GOP.

    September 28, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  16. Maine liberal

    His biggest mistake was to run for republican candidate as president on a "democrat" healthcare law he passed

    September 28, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Only Liberals can gripe about someone thats not even in Office

    September 28, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  18. Eugene Becker

    Poor Mitt, he just doesn't get it!! The American people just didn't want the kind of right wing government he was advocating.

    September 28, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  19. adibese

    Your biggest mistake.... and that of the ENTIRE GOP was to be a religious nut job.

    September 28, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  20. Mariposa

    Romney's "major strategic mistake" was first opening his mouth! Everything after that was downhill – and fast! He is NOT his father.

    September 28, 2013 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  21. K

    Yes, Mitt, your biggest mistake was simply not getting your message out. Did it ever cross your mind that you might have just been on the wrong side of too many issues? Introspectivity is clearly not your strong suit.

    September 28, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  22. Angel

    Take lost...The People voted..Not just one nationality.

    September 28, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  23. Marla

    No, Mitt, your biggest tactical error was lying daily, on video, and then lying about what you said, also on video. Party of opportunity my fat aunt Harriett. To you, anyone making less than 250K annually is lazy, and you said you don't care about lazy people. Shame on you for being such a liar. If you were Pinocchio, your nose would reach to the moon by now.

    September 28, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  24. vlvoguy

    This pathetic personality still does not understand what happened to his "party". Maybe he should look right now at the House GOP majority and their plans to shut down our government. "Ship of Fools". His loss in the election wasn't just because of Hispanics, but the loss of almost all areas, except the south and a few western states.

    September 28, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  25. OnTheRoad

    Largest error: Running in the first place and opening his mouth!

    September 28, 2013 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38