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. Anonymous

    We needed a president who did not need magic underwear to make thru life.

    September 28, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  2. moe

    You just had a terrible personality.

    September 28, 2013 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. nwcommenter

    Your original error was entering politics, and thinking your ideas and positions would actually hold water with the middle class and minorities.

    September 28, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. Paganini

    No, Mitt, your largest strategic error was releasing just one year of tax returns, then telling the American public to "take it or leave it, that's all your getting". That made it obvious to the public that Mitt has a lot to hide financially.

    September 28, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  5. Wanda

    Sorry, but that was the least of your problems. Glad you did not get elected!

    September 28, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. nwcommenter

    Your error was in thinking your ideas actually mattered to the middle class and minorities. Boy, were you ever off base.

    September 28, 2013 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  7. memcats

    Mr Romney you don't attend a Hispanic event and insult the group by telling them if they were looking for free stuff to vote for the other guy.

    September 28, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  8. Work Til They Die

    ""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."

    "...not investing sufficiently...". Still the investment banker and looking at people like they do not understand exactly what the GOP wanted. It is really the other way around. People understood what Romney and the GOP wanted which was more tax cuts for the rich and let the others WTTD (Work Til They Die). No thanks.

    September 28, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. scarshapedstar1

    Gee, I can't imagine why the "illegals" didn't love him – after all, he was "running for office, for pete's sake!"

    September 28, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. scarshapedstar1

    I can't imagine why the "illegals" didn't flock to him after that endearing anecdote about firing his gardener.

    September 28, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. The Other Bob


    ROMNEY: father was president of American Motors and three term governor of Michigan and worked with MLK, mother ran for senate, he was unpaid missionary for two years in France (long, hard, discouraging work days), valedictorian, Harvard MBA (top 5%), Harvard JD (with honors), unpaid Mormon bishop (to the 99%) unpaid Mormon stake president (to the 99.9%), gave away inheritance, Staples (89,000 jobs), Sports Authority (15,000 jobs), Domino's Pizza (7,900 jobs), quarter-billionaire, wealth placed in blind trust (no one owns him), saved Olympics, Massachusetts Governor where half of his staff were women with equal pay (four years of balanced budget and surplus), five very successful sons (three with MBAs from Harvard, one in medical residency), 18 grandchildren (cares about US future, not his own power), long happy marriage, turnaround artist for the nation.
    September 28, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |

    OBAMA: Harvard funding unknown, Transcripts and thesis not released, Mentored by Frank Marshall Davis (card carrying, FBI tracked communist), Community Organizer (3 or 4 jobs), 20 years with Jeremiah Wright’s black liberation theology (class warfare), one term senator who was never there, mortgage paid by Tony Rezko (now in prison), Bill Ayers friend (radical terrorist), “The Food Stamp President” (touts the ‘workers paradise’ lie), Solyndra (-1100 jobs),War on coal (-9000 jobs),Stimulus (-100000 jobs),"The most dangerous president in modern American history" (Marxist behind a huge federal power grab.), “After my election, I’ll have some flexibility”, “We can’t wait on Congress”, Tyrant above the law.
    You know, you can get sick drinking too much tea. Give it up, loser.

    September 28, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  12. Napoleon

    YOU LOST!!! Stop complaining and making excuses!

    September 28, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. ffferocious

    Your being of the Mormon faith caused you a lot of problems. Your odd and unusual given name detracted many.

    September 28, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    I'm surprised... I sincerely thought he lost because heand his promoters were all a bunch of idiots. True yes ??

    September 28, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. JDM

    I'm pretty sure Mitt's biggest error was simply being Mitt Romney.

    September 28, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. Bob

    I am not sure who was responsible for stragedy on Romney's team, but he is the one thank for his loss. Romney was ill informed, and had flawed stragedy. Although, Hispanics now make up a large part of the electorate he proceeded to igonore them. I am not sure what he was thinking when he made the comment seld-deportation on live tv in front of millions of people. He must have been drunk!!

    September 28, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  17. Not Too Hard To Understand

    Correction, Mitt. The strategic error was being a dbag and failing to convince the country otherwise. Your error was much more fundamental than failing to connect with the Hispanic voter.

    September 28, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. UrAverageJoe

    Please Jennifer Ny, YOU may be terrified of a Mormon president, but don't pin your discomfort on all Americans!

    September 28, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  19. The Other Bob


    i love it how you bash romney that he was the worse canidate, because obama is just such much better let me tell ya....i mean obama is just doing wonders for this country eh? You guys are so blind no wonder are country is the way it is and other country's are laughing at us...
    Despite the efforts of the Republicants in the House, yes, the country is in much better shape than it was before Obama took office. The blind one is YOU.

    September 28, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  20. What a hoot

    Oh this is hilarious, still after all this time he is not content with the horrible way he represented himself and his party. Your boat house on Lake Winnie cost more than most Americans will make in a lifetime Mitt. You will never get it. American understood all too well. Thank you for being yourself, your arrogant elitism never ceases to amaze us peons.

    September 28, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  21. Blue

    Mitt get over it, you lost. The American people do not want their jobs shipped overseas like you have done for many years. One of one of the reason that American has gone broke.

    September 28, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  22. Tony

    Republicans are in a bind: how do you convince people that you want them to be in your party when everything you do penalizes them in some way? How do you convince people that you want to reach out to them when nothing that you do helps them?

    September 28, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  23. Dave Long

    Methinks the largest blunder made by Republicans is the apparent failure to recognize that they can live their values (principles might be a stretch) to the fullest even with aspects of the government they dislike. For well over 200 years, the bulk (pardon the expression) of us accepted that 1/2 the time we'd get our way politically. The hyperpartisanship now in place means we can no longer be a role model to any other nation, or even non-state actors, until we re-learn the ability to compromise.

    September 28, 2013 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  24. Lela

    Mr. Romney, your largest strategic error was that your "true" character shone through all the fake prepared speeches.

    September 28, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  25. Mark

    His biggest mistake was running for president. Everything else is just another excuse.

    September 28, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
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