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. Rinsewind

    So, if they didn't agree with you it means they must not have understood you? More out-of-touch arrogance from Romney. THIS is why you lost the election, Mitt.

    September 29, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Anonymous

    This is Republican wish list for the USA: deport all minorities, put women and LGBT members in their place (below white, religious male citizens), export as many middle class jobs as possible overseas, convert all remaining jobs here except those for the top 1% to part-time with no benefits, force the poor suckers who still have jobs to work at below minimum wage so they can remain wage slaves who can't afford housing or food, starve them by cutting food stamps, abolish education except for those who are rich enough to pay so that people will stay stupid and be easily manipulated, remove the possibility of the 47% of obtaining decent health insurance and health care so that they can die off faster, poison them with pollution, control their reproduction, and execute all prisoners. This would solve all the problems of our country, leaving only 1%ers to take back "their" country! What a paradise!

    September 29, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. Sadie

    You lost but NONE of the reasons had anything to do with YOU. YOU were amazing. CANDY CROWLEY was a big part of it and Obama should be kissing her ARSS because of her deliberate debate error she handed to him and made a joke out of your "batter up turn". OUR country is in the chaotic mess it is in right now because of the repeat president we have and because Mitt Romney was not given the opportunity to step in and use his financial wizardry to put us back on the right course. I apologize to you Mr. Should Have Been President Mitt Romney for not giving you and us the chance we needed to make America the great country it once was.

    September 29, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. dzerres

    What? I'm sure the Hispanic community knew full well what "self-deportation" meant. Another attempt to rewrite recent history. And don't forget he painted himself brown and went on Telemundo looking like a fool.

    September 29, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  5. Richard

    You lost because you couldn't get even moderate Republicans like me to vote for you. Because you and your smug, lying running mate came across like used car salesmen. Every day that I watched election coverage I saw people running a campaign that I didn't respect or believe in. I saw you manufacture facts and make up things depending on who your audience was. In short you weren't worth voting for.

    September 29, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Michelle

    Woooowwww! After a year's reflection THIS is all he can come up with as a mistake??? I didn't talk to the Mexicans!!! OMG did the 49% thing never happen? What about the car elevator? How about the healthcare waffling??? Self deportation...the tax return thing...Detroit...the voters would be happy to remind him in case he's fuzzy on details.

    September 29, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Anonymous

    The problem is America just didn't like him.

    September 29, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Also on the Republicon wish list is: a concealed gun in every purse and pocket, unlimited ammunition and automatic weapons for every adult and child in the country, a ban on any political party that is not conservative and a ban on all religions except those of Christians. My God, what a great country that would be, eh?

    September 29, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. MightyMoo

    Look at the bright side, your better off then 99% of the people in the country. That has to count for something right? Some guy is out there right now fishing through trash cans for something to eat and your having what for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today? Some woman and her kid are getting thrown out of the place they live somewhere in America and you and your family are nice, warm, and cozy.

    Enjoy it Mitt, you got nothing to worry about.

    September 29, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  10. Rich C

    Clueless man doesn't even get that when he uses the term "error was not investing sufficiently" that is an insulting remark to people.

    September 29, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  11. Larry282

    He lost because he formulated the same old Republican crap that is about to destroy this country. I don't know what happened to "normal" Republicans who put their country first. I guess like the Congress they just gave up to the extreme loud mouth right wing. Great way to destroy a party, but loving watching its death throes. Unfortunately, also watching the death throes of this democratic republic. Congratulations Republicans, you're getting what you always wanted a dead United States! Why isn't Homeland Security defending this country against these Domestic Terrorists.

    September 29, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  12. Wake up People!

    Really Sadie. You're as delusional as Mitt. No one wins a presidency based on one lousy debate. Grow up.

    September 29, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. WebJohnson

    Don't blame Mitt.

    He can't see the real world through his diamond covered sunglasses.

    September 29, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. lex

    Mitt: Shudda kudda. You ran a lousy campaign and should have been aware of these kinds of things up front. Shame on you.

    September 29, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  15. abc123

    biggest strategic error? opening mouth and allowing sounds to emanate from it.

    September 29, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  16. Uthor

    It must be difficult to come to terms with a loss when you run for President. Still, it might be better to confront some of the greater reasons why you lost. There are several reasons, but the lack of enthusiasm from your own party is probably one of the most important. During the primary season, it seemed like the GOP was willing to entertain the idea of nearly anyone but Romney. The cast of character they tossed up as alternatives was eye-opening. Romney's own party grudgingly accepted him only in the end.

    September 29, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Michael

    again another one who blames others for not understanding instead of himself for not delivering. some people are hopelessly out of touch

    September 29, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. Michael

    mitt the twit

    September 29, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. legal joke

    mitt the twitt and his follys had a fit when his shoe didn't fit up america as....e

    September 29, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. gary

    You lost because you represent millionaires and billionaires and big business. You yourself hide you money in overseas bank accounts and refuse to disclose your true wealth which turns out to be in the BILLIONS! And you think you can relate to the average American who is either unemployes, underemployed or working for a minimum wage. Mitt, sorry, but, you still don't get it.

    September 29, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. leftywriteagain

    abc123, nice one!

    September 29, 2013 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. dave

    Hispanics probably didn't vote for Romney for reasons other than immigration. More workers can only hurt the legal Hispanics, they already have an unemployment rate about 3 times as high as the whites. Their incomes are less also, more workers can only mean lesser incomes, lesser pay. Most legal HIspanics probably care about the same things as other voters, most of them work, they need more jobs, more income. Most of them go to school, they need good education. They probably are no enthusiastic about wars all the time, and the huge debt that comes with being at war all the time. They are American citizens, they probably care about the same things that most Americans care about. Just like French, Italian, German, etc., citizens, they don't care about bringing in a whole bunch of Germans, Frenchmen, or Italians, especially when we don't have good jobs for millions of legal American citizens. We probably need about 50 million good jobs, adding 11 million+ to the mix doesn't help that much. We could probably bring in more workers if we had an unemployment rate of 2%. Maybe if we shortened the work week. With automation, technology, trade, recession, 2% GDP, we won't be needing any new workers for a long time, maybe never.

    September 29, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. Donald

    He lost the Hispanic vote because he went too far right to win the party nomination. Then tried to pretend he didn't say any of those things during the general election.

    September 29, 2013 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  24. Mormon Magical Underwear

    Christians did not want to vote for a cultist who wears Mormon Magical Underwear and believes they have magical powers, plus he was a flip flopper....

    September 29, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Timus

    Yeah that self-deportation stuff can be a little!!!

    September 29, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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