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Romney campaign manager sorry for immigration rhetoric (but only because it wasn’t necessary?)

by Speranza ( 4 Comments › )
Filed under Elections 2012, Headlines, immigration, Mitt Romney, Republican Party at December 4th, 2012 - 11:18 am

I knew Mitt Romney’s  demagoguery regarding Perry and Gingrich over immigration would bite him in his ass during the general election.

by Matt K. Lewis

During a forum at the Harvard University Institute of Politics yesterday, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades said he regretted the decision to attack Rick Perry over immigration.

But here’s the interesting thing — he didn’t seem to regret the move (which contributed to Mitt Romney’s losing 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in the general election) based on policy merits — or even a change of heart.

Instead, according to reports, his lamentation was primarily based on a the assessment that attacking Perry on the issue was strategically superfluous.

As Jeff Zeleny reported: “‘In retrospect,’ Mr. Rhoades said, ‘I believe that we could have probably just beaten Governor Perry with the Social Security hit.’” (In case you’ve forgotten, Romney attacked Rick Perry relentlessly over comments Perry made about the Social Security program being a ”Ponzi scheme”.)

Having gone to Perry’s left on Social Security, Romney then tried to go to Perry’s right on immigration. In so doing, he played to the nativist fears of some in the conservative base. (Romney presumably needed to demagogue the immigration issue in order to curry favor with conservatives, who never trusted him to begin with.  Sadly, but predictably, his rhetoric worked.)

But it’s not as if Romney experienced a moment of weakness. He had a similar conflict with Newt Gingrich over “self-deportation” — and whether or not we should be kicking grandmothers out of the country.

If you’re looking for a reason Republicans do so poorly with Hispanics — despite the fact that they agree with conservatives on a lot of issues — this is it.

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4 Responses to “Romney campaign manager sorry for immigration rhetoric (but only because it wasn’t necessary?)”
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  1. Speranza
    1 | December 4, 2012 2:00 pm

    Romney was unbelievably stupid to say the things he did.


  2. Fritz Katz
    2 | December 4, 2012 3:03 pm

    I worked with the Romney campaign here in central Florida — and with the Hispanic Republican caucus. His immigration stance actually helped. The majority of Hispanics DO NOT WANT illegal immigration. Amnesty is a losing issue. Every time Republicans (Bush, McCain) pander, we get fewer votes from Hispanics. That should be a clue right there.

    We lost to Obama because the majority of Hispanics want free stuff and the majority won’t vote against Santa Claus. It’s the same with blacks and their Obama phones and with the single women and their free contraceptives. A large number of people think they are entitled to steal other peoples stuff and appropriate it for themselves.

    (Romney presumably needed to demagogue the immigration issue in order to curry favor with conservatives, who never trusted him to begin with. Sadly, but predictably, his rhetoric worked.)

    That “sadly but predictably” is just pure snark. “His rhetoric worked” among conservatives — because it’s a conservative position — and it certainly helped bring out more conservatives to vote. Unfortunately, not enough. Something like 3 million Republican voters just stayed home. In the last days I was on the phone calling 100s of Republican ‘super-voters’ (voters with a consistent history in voting in every election). About five to ten percent started screaming at me when they found I was working for the Romney campaign. We lost by only 70K here in Florida.


  3. Speranza
    3 | December 4, 2012 4:13 pm

    Fritz Katz wrote:

    That “sadly but predictably” is just pure snark. “His rhetoric worked” among conservatives — because it’s a conservative position — and it certainly helped bring out more conservatives to vote

    Getting the yahoo vote does not guarantee his election (as we saw last month). He criticized Perry and Gingrich not over any plans for amnesty.


  4. Fritz Katz
    4 | December 7, 2012 8:41 am

    Speranza wrote:

    Getting the yahoo vote does not guarantee his election (as we saw last month).

    Conservatives are not yahoos. However 3 million Republicans were not inspired enough by the Romney campaign to vote. Obamas vote count was also down by seven million.

    He criticized Perry and Gingrich not over any plans for amnesty.

    Romney won points by attacking Perry on amnesty (Perry was wrong — in-state tuition is a magnet). Romney lost points by attacking Perry on Soc. Sec. (Perry was right). However, Num-nuts, the Romney campaign adviser sees it the exact opposite. From the article:

    “‘In retrospect,’ Mr. Rhoades said, ‘I believe that we could have probably just beaten Governor Perry with the Social Security hit.’” (In case you’ve forgotten, Romney attacked Rick Perry relentlessly over comments Perry made about the Social Security program being a ”Ponzi scheme”.)

    That’s one of the main reasons Romney lost — his campaign advisers were full of shiite. Here in Florida, Romney hired Charle Crist’s campaign staff to get advise on how to lose an election from experts on losing. Romney’s staff spent vast sums of money on the ORCA project instead of getting our conservative message out, instead of countering Obama’s negative ads, instead of countering Obama’s failures.

    When I walked precincts, they did not want me to leave a door-hanger with campaign literature if the people were not home. Now, that’s just crazy — they thought spending 40 cents to sent a letter is more effective than spending zero cents to have vast amounts of literature hand-delivered by thousands of campaign workers that are already walking door-to-door. I personally disobeyed.


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