RNC Hispanic Outreach Director: Romney Is ‘Still Deciding What His Position on Immigration Is’

Felicia Sonmez, Washington Post, May 8, 2012

A Republican National Committee roundtable on Tuesday aimed at highlighting the GOP’s Hispanic get-out-the-vote effort ended up backfiring as the RNC’s director of Hispanic outreach struggled to explain to reporters Republicans’ message to Hispanics when it comes to immigration.

Part of the reason for the RNC’s difficulty: Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) is “still deciding what his position on immigration is,” as RNC Hispanic Outreach Director Bettina Inclán termed it.

The episode underscored the difficulty for Romney and Republicans more broadly as they seek to court a key constituency this year.


Polls show President Obama currently besting Romney among Hispanics by as much as a 47-percent margin; adding to the challenge for Romney is the fact that he has emerged from a GOP primary race in which he tacked to the right on immigration.

While Republicans are aiming to woo Hispanic voters with a scaled-back version of the DREAM Act spearheaded by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Romney has yet to take a position on the proposal.


As Republicans and the Romney campaign have emphasized more broadly, “the number-one issue is jobs and the economy,” Inclán said.


“I know that you want to talk to (Hispanic voters) about being disappointed in Obama about the economy,” asked a reporter. “Is that something that you’ll address on immigration, and what would that message be?”

Inclán responded by slamming Obama for failing to enact immigration reform—and also for his administration’s record number of deportations.

“Hispanics are incredibly disappointed on President Obama and immigration,” Inclán said. “This is a president who as a candidate promised immigration reform; promised it in his first year. Three years later, we still don’t even have a plan. He talked about uniting families and all he’s done is deport more immigrants than any president in American history.”

Asked how the RNC would respond if Hispanic voters said that the GOP’s policy would be to deport even more people, Inclán did not answer but instead turned the focus back on Obama, who she argued “didn’t make the issues he promised the Hispanic community a priority.”

Did that mean that the GOP’s position is that Democrats have deported more people than Republicans would, asked another reporter.

Inclán responded that when it comes to immigration policy, she “can’t dictate what’s going to happen in the future.”


Later Monday afternoon, Inclán said via Twitter that she “misspoke” and that Romney’s “position on immigration is clear.” She linked to a page on the Romney campaign Web site that lays out the GOP nominee’s immigration stance.

That page, however, is at odds with at least part of the RNC’s message on Obama and deportation. It states that “instead of taking a strong stand on illegal immigration, (Obama) has ordered immigration officials to enforce immigration laws ‘selectively,’ leading to the dismissal of many deportation cases.”


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  • Fakeemail

    I pray to God that Romney in reality has some anti-illegal inclination.  He’s too smart and too white to be completely blind.  Than again, he is rich enough to be blind to what middle class whites have to deal with.

    Its possible to chock up his campaigning wishy-wash stance and his likely pick up Rubio as an acknowledgment that he needs 5% more of the mestizo vote in order to win.

    Even though Obama is a disaster, remember that he has the black vote, the brown vote, the woman vote, the labor vote, etc.   

    A Republican has to moderate his message in order to win.  But than the key is to quietly close the border after they have won.  Let’s just say, I have my doubts.

    • The__Bobster

      Moderates like Dole and MexCain got blown out because Whites didn’t like their wishy washy stances and stayed home. Reagan won in a landslide by not moderating his message.

      • Fakeemail

         Yes, but Reagan won when America was 80% or more white!

        I personally don’t think a Republican can win unless he BSes his way to an extra 5% of the mestizo vote.

        But you may have a point.  If Romney just came out and said he was going to *really* close the border and end welfare for illegals, it’s possible that it could fire up whites to vote en masse for a win.

    • Just got this link from a friend.

      Tax refunds for illegals claiming dependents that live in Mexico. LARGE REFUNDS.


    •  He will at least enforce the law with more regularity. Obama is a zealous anti-American where Romney is not. Romney is better contrasted with Bush, and I think he will be better than Bush by a long shot.

  • Bobby

    It’s essentially up to Republican voters. Many, so very many, are CLUELESS. Give up the cheap lawn service, maid service, masonry work, etc. The problem is it’s not cheap, because cheap means being supported by any number of leftist tax draining programs, that so many hard working Americans have to pay for. You know, the ones that always wonder if they are going to be able to “send their kids to college”.

  • haroldcrews

    I’m all in favor of re-uniting families…….in Mexico.  Send them back!

  • RJS

    I honestly don’t know who would be worse during the next four years…Obama or Romney

  • IKantunderstand

    I’m not making a comment. I’m asking a question. Seriously, how many people do you know who have hispanic gardeners, nannies, housekeepers? I don’t know any. If people are using these folks as a cheap source of labor, I would venture to say that rich democrats are right up there with republicans in taking advantage of them. Fact is, we don’t need  them. By we, I of course mean we White middle class (for now) people. I admit, I have a lawn service guy. He’s White. I clean my own house. Nannies? No longer needed. Actually, never needed.  And honestly, the White lawn service guy? My complete indulgence. (As a White, I know, I should be doing it myself, I’m capable). But what the hell.

    •  Exactly… in my house we do all of our own yardwork (besides for a single guy who does seeding everyother week), and our occasional housekeeper is a Jewish girl from Georgia (the US state) that my brother and I grew up with.

      It is all just a lazy excuse. However, when there are so many of them in the country it does serve to drive down wages.

  • anmpr1

    If he looks to the Mormon church for guidance, it’s all over for any immigration restrictions.  His chumming up to Marco Rubio, and Ann Coulter’s damage control of late is telling.

    • The Mormon laity seem, I think, to be much stronger on the immigration question than the hierarchy. The same goes for the majority of whites who attend normal churches.

  • NM156

    The Hispanic vote means nothing compared to getting back the working and middle class white male vote, who either voted Democrat during the Bush era or didn’t vote at all. Romney does not need the Mestizo vote. He needs to stop pandering or else find whites abandoning him in droves on election day by sitting at home. How stupid are his advisors? They haven’t calculated the voting power of the disenfranchised white male vote yet? No one in his camp noticed what annihilated the 2006 & 2007 attempts at an amnesty? Romney is a douchebag, but he’s the only choice we have.

  • Mulder

    Romney is in a no win situation on this and other hot button issues because the MSM carries Obama’s water and massages him on a daily basis. It is true, even Hispanics of legal status are against illegal aliens, but enough negative press on the issue will fire up the left base. That’s all they have is to fire them up which is why Barry came out for gay marriage.

    Mitt was not my choice, but he’s the only guy to vote for. Another term of Obama, no matter who holds the senate and house, will be the end of the republic because he will use Cass Sunstein, the EPA, the FDA and every other A to usurp congress and dictate the course of our lives until we die. These are dangerous times in which we live.

  • JohnEngelman

    Like President Obama on gay rights, Mitt Romney is licking his finger, and holding it above his head to see which way the wind is blowing. The President’s task is easier, because public opinion is shifting rapidly in favor of gay marriage. 
    Mitt Romney has the more difficult task of trying to reconcile white working class Republicans, who are economically jeopardized by a high rate of immigration, rich white Republicans who benefit,  and the sizable minority of Hispanic voters he will need in what is going to be a tight election. 

  • Exactly. Romney does not have a zealous hatred for us the way Obama and most Democrats do.