Romney is still wooing that all-important brown-hating vote, but why?

Mitt Romney emerged from self-imposed gas-pumping exile to complain about his 2012 clobbering, apparently not having learned his lesson, and instead believing he’s still running in the Republican primaries.  Romney confessed yesterday that he’s still not in favor of a path to citizenship – or even permanent residency – for undocumented immigrants currently in the country.

“People who have come here illegally should not be given a special pathway to permanent residency or citizenship in this country merely because they’ve come here illegally,” he said to Fox News Sunday.

Romney lost the Latino vote to President Obama by a whopping 71 to 27 percent, the lowest percentage a Republican presidential nominee has received in the last three elections. Latinos joined multiple other groups in rejecting the Republican nominee, including gays and lesbians, women, Black, and Asian voters.

As the GOP struggles to find its identity, a significant portion of the party must realize that its survival depends on passing comprehensive immigration reform, especially when considering that Latinos will soon surpass the typical white-bread-voters of the GOP in terms of pure numbers. The Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Eight” realizes it, with Senators John McCain and Marco Rubio favoring some sort of legalization.

So what’s Mitt’s problem?

Mitt Romney

Romney via Shutterstock

Romney’s need to attach himself to extremist principles led to his defeat. “Self-deportation” proved to not be a winning strategy. Tying himself to the creator of Arizona’s “Papers, please” law and calling it a “model for the nation” was equally infuriating to L atino voters. While Herman Cain’s proposition to deep-fry Mexicans was greeted with universal mockery, Mitt did nothing to assuage Latinos after winning the nomination. Appearing on Spanish-language Univision in his best “Latin” orange-face, Mitt’s use of the pejorative “illegal aliens” to a room full of Latinos cemented his apparent lack of self-awareness.

Salon even claimed that a horrified John McCain and Lindsey Graham staged a phone intervention with Romney, urging him to no longer use the “self-deportation” phrase. Latinos agreed, but the damage had already been done, with a full 59 percent viewing him less favorably after his comments.

Romney’s periphery only managed to include the most hardcore of GOP advisers, believing that men like the creator of the “Papers, please” law Kris Kobach and xenophobe Mark Krikorian (one of the originators of the “self-deportation” theory) would help solidify his conservative appeal among a seemingly untrusting base. The plan was flawed, as it only sought extremists in the Tea Party and other minor groups, but made no room for the larger base of independents and Republican voters eager for bipartisanship.

Basically, Mitt Romney made little attempt to woo voters who never asked George W. Bush for his birth certificate either.  And he didn’t get them.

Mitt failed to realize, or flat-out ignored, the overwhelming number of Republican voters in favor of some sort of legalization for undocumented immigrants.  Even the far-right website Newsmax showed a full 66% of GOP voters in favor of “immigration reform that includes a waiting period of several years for illegal immigrants to prove themselves before being allowed to apply for citizenship.” Countless other GOP legislators agreed in some manner.  In the end, party standard-bearer Mitt Romney wasn’t even aligned with the current policies of the majority of his own party.

In the months leading up to Romney’s nomination and the general election, poll after poll showed him tanking with Latino voters, yet a seemingly tone-deaf Romney failed to adapt to the changing demographics of his own party and the nation.

Mitt Romney sporting his new orange "day laborer" tan.

Mitt Romney sporting an orange “day laborer” tan for his town hall meeting at Univision.

If Mitt continues to wonder why he lost Latinos in the biggest electoral landslide in decades, he need look no further than what his own campaign continually ran against. While he committed to voting against a DREAM Act to help legalize undocumented youth, President Obama embraced DREAM youth and won that battle.

While Romney promoted the idea of stopping an American citizen and judging their legal status based purely on the darkness of their skin, President Obama condemned the idea and rightfully won that battle.

And when Mitt Romney explained his superficial experience with undocumented immigrants as firing the “illegal” gardener, he needed no help from Obama to nail his campaign’s coffin shut – he did that all on his own.

Now that his dream of the presidency is gone, Mitt Romney finally finds the one issue he’s going to remain consistent on: Latino-bashing.  Good luck with that in retirement.

Gabe Ortíz is a San Francisco-based writer. He has contributed to the Mission's bilingual newspaper "El Tecolote," and the political blogs AMERICAblog, AMERICAblog Gay, and Veracity Stew. He's also a Stevie Nicks lover and shameless catlady. Follow him on Twitter: @Tusk81.

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58 Responses to “Romney is still wooing that all-important brown-hating vote, but why?”

  1. hollywoodstein says:

    karmanot,, the fact that I can knit your brow or spill your coffee one out of ten times gives me reason to live. thanks for that.

  2. hollywoodstein says:

    she’s already got them.

  3. karmanot says:

    The Greeks knew the nature of tragedy from the get go, and invented the art of comedy to make it bearable. :-)

  4. karmanot says:

    Ha! Reminds me of the old phrase ‘trust fund Maoists.’ I think most of them became Obots.

  5. karmanot says:


  6. Zorba says:

    LOL! Yep. Those are the ones in “the know.”
    But I will also admit, while those in the Meditaerranian regions are the ones who know passion, strong emotion and really good food, that is also the region in Europe that is in the most trouble economically.
    They understand passion, love, emotions, great food, etc, but they do not seem to have a great grasp of economic realities.

  7. EdA says:

    It depends on whether the white man (or woman) is independently wealthy or expecting a substantial legacy.

  8. karmanot says:

    Love that movie. As a genetic exemplar of the Northern European type I must confess that like many before us who understand passion go on the grand tour to the Mediterranean and never leave.

  9. Zorba says:

    LOL! I have to laugh at any mention of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” K. Mr. Zorba swears that it was based on us (yes, he’s not Greek). And I must admit, many Greek-Americans consider many of those Protestants (and sort-of Protestants like the Mormons) to be………how can I say this delicately? Well, “dry as toast” works. I have a friend who basically calls people like these “white guys.” As in, boring people.
    Not meaning any disrespect to those of northern European origin, you understand. I do know many people of such heritage who are, indeed, not “dry as toast.” The Romneys are not such, though.

  10. Zorba says:

    Why do I always think of Marie Antoinette whenever Ann Romney opens her over-privileged, clueless mouth? And everyone knows what happened to Marie…….

  11. karmanot says:

    Spills coffee on keyboard laughing!

  12. karmanot says:

    I bet Ann’s bucket-list includes a white housekeeper, white maids, and Wonder Bread.

  13. karmanot says:

    Republican women are parasites who justify their bloated existence on being stay-at-home-moms, getting a free ride until expelled when some young thing replaces her. It is god’s plan for womenz. It has to be true becuasue soap operas say so.

  14. karmanot says:

    I understand the complexity, but have you looked at the Blue Dog record on women, children elders? Look at the danage Clinton did and the ruin Obozo is about to inflict on social, economic and legal justice.

  15. karmanot says:

    “does it make any sense, from the standpoint of self-interest, for a white man these days to vote for a democrat?” No it doesn’t.

  16. karmanot says:

    I am not a Mexican!!!

  17. karmanot says:

    Sleeping with the Dutchess Ann encourage a certain loathing.

  18. karmanot says:

    A real loser thinks he’s a winner, because a human mediocrity like The Mittster is perfectly realized.

  19. karmanot says:

    Brings to mind a line from ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’: “They’s dry as toast.” Why give any line to these pathetic, white slugs and their beougoise drivel.

  20. lynchie says:

    That is an understatement

  21. hollywoodstein says:

    I blame women for voting Republican. Half of Congress should be women too. Actually it is religious women who are responsible for this state of affairs.
    So I blame religion.

  22. hollywoodstein says:

    She was his secret weapon with the wimmenz. Unfortunately, it seems regular gals don’t like being talked down to by some entitled, out of touch Stepford wife at all, let alone for four years.

  23. hollywoodstein says:

    Fireworks contracts usually require full pay even if you do not go through with the shoot, and the company keeps the fireworks.

  24. hollywoodstein says:

    Sometimes it appears he loathes gays.

  25. Jonathan_Justice says:

    News Nag does get the big philosophical point right, but a little history is needed. Bill O’Reilly let the cat out of the bag back in November when he mourned the failure of the “white establishment majority.” Establishment is exactly what distinguishes established persons and institutions from the majority, white or not. A more accurate description of the situation would suggest that Establishment covers its tracks by asserting majoritarian status and getting a lot of the people it exploits to believe that it somehow privileges them as opposed to a bunch of other people who ought to be both despised and disenfranchised.

    Thus, we have the tragedy of a lot of white folks fighting on the losing side of the American Civil War, even though only a few of them had any chance of holding (black/”nonperson”) slaves, and then fighting another century and a half of insurgency to defend their supposed superiority. The hundreds of thousands of dead, and their heirs, did not benefit by these assertions of the virtue of that sort of white establishment. Some rich folks thought that they would. Many of them were proved wrong. Others lucked out. Many of them were not Southerners. Many of their heirs throw great piles of money at convincing the rest of us that we ought to restore the hierarchical sensibility discussed above despite its obvious failings.

    So, what makes sense for white men is to throw off their versions of the chains that other people are busy throwing off. The gold plated special white folks edition chains are still chains. The distractions they require are still keeping us from even identifying the problems that enriching the Establishment creates for human survival and pretty much anything else we might properly value.

  26. When she opened her mouth in public the first time, I was stunned that they thought she would bring in the women’s vote or even blunt the damage of the women’s vote.

  27. LanceThruster says:

    Did Chris Wallace ask him if he got his fireworks deposit back?

  28. Women, all of us, on the other hand, undermine ourselves and our children when we vote for Republicans. I changed states to improve the chances of my children marrying well educated and intelligent mates who would respect them as full and equal partners; and to avoid living in states where Republicans established laws undermining women’s progress. I’m not the only one.

  29. Ninong says:

    It’s true his father was born in Mexico but he most definitely did not come here illegally, so that part of your comparison does not apply. Both of George Romney’s parents were born in the U.S. and went to Mexico with their extended families in the 1880’s to escape Utah’s new polygamy laws.
    Let’s not forget that Mitt comes from a long line of polygamists going all the way back to the original LDS apostles. He has a great-grandfather who had four wives (Mitt is decended from the fourth wife) and a great-great-grandfather who had twelve.
    However, the question of whether George Romney was considered to be a “native-born citizen” came up when he ran for the Republican nomination for president in the 1960’s and it was determined that he was indeed eligible because he was born in Mexico of parents who were born in the U.S. In addition, the government of Mexico always considered the Mormons in that colony to be foreigners. They were barred by Mexican law from voting or becoming Mexican citizens.
    Mitt Romney is a hypocrite but his father was did not “come here illegally.”

  30. Just_AC says:

    ok , well, I even agreed with Fox News – let’s give Mitt Detroit to turn around! If he can do that …

  31. hollywoodstein says:

    And that they won the real America vote.

  32. hollywoodstein says:

    Typical Republican.

  33. hollywoodstein says:

    None for thee, unless it’s me.

  34. hollywoodstein says:

    The Mormon Church, it wants the Precious.

  35. hollywoodstein says:

    You have to be a selfish fool or a selfish rich person to think it is your interest to vote republican.

  36. hollywoodstein says:

    Because we don’t need one.

  37. BeccaM says:

    Poor Mittens! He still thinks he can win a majority that consists solely of rich white men.

    But seriously, what he’s demonstrating here is his continued blithe ignorance of the actual makeup of the American electorate, in favor of a Fox Newsified Tea-Bagger imagined vision of what he thinks it is. It’s no wonder he was completely flummoxed on election night when he lost in a landslide, because in his delusional version of reality, he truly believed he had it locked.

  38. BeccaM says:

    It’s simple, really. Objectively, the economy as a whole and even the 99% have done better under Democratic majority/presidential rule. (Even as the Dems have drifted further and further to the right…but I digress.)

    The Dem message is they’re trying to make things more fair for everyone. Rebuild the middle class and all that. Equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of race, creed, or gender.

    The GOP message? “Hey, you white guys! Everything wrong in your life is because of those lazy, criminally-inclined brown people, anyone who isn’t fundamentalist Christian, and feminists who don’t know their place. Vote for us and we’ll put them all back in their places.”

    Then the Republicans lose because they are incapable of realizing that brown people, non-Christians, and women do vote, and scapegoats don’t usually vote for politicians who actively hate them.

  39. nicho says:

    Everything in this country that benefits white men — other than those in the 1 percent — has come from the Democrats. It doesn’t make any sense for the ultra-ultra-wealthy to vote Democratic, but everyone else is stupid not to.

  40. nicho says:

    We have one. it starts January 1 and ends December 31.

  41. hollywoodstein says:

    The seclusion, the regular guy doing Disneyworld, the pumping gas, just enough interviews to keep him in the consciousness, a few sops to the base.

  42. hollywoodstein says:

    And the rollout has been perfectly timed so far.

  43. hollywoodstein says:

    And I don’t know why they think they can do it when they couldn’t do it with a black man in the White House presiding over 20% unemployment, but they do.

  44. hollywoodstein says:

    I don’t know what their strategy to suppress the browns vote is.

  45. hollywoodstein says:

    They are adopting Miss Woodstein’s argument that this election was actually a close run thing and without the 47% video and the Ryan pick and those meddling kidz they would have won the thing.

  46. hollywoodstein says:

    Okay, quit laughing, it’s true. And it’s not just Anne making him do it.

  47. hollywoodstein says:

    I forgot to tell you this, but breaking news, wait for it, Romney wants to run again.

  48. hollywoodstein says:

    Ooh, ooh, hand up.

  49. hollywoodstein says:

    Why don’t we have a white male history month?

  50. hollywoodstein says:

    If only our justice system worked that way.

  51. nicho says:

    Poor Mitt — still doesn’t get it. Still think that he and his fellow elites should have no concern for the little people. Still out of touch.

  52. judybrowni says:

    Ooooooo, poor poor baby white menz!

    They be discriminated on always, always, always!

    Will no one think of the the white menz?

  53. News Nag says:

    I disagree. The equal and fair treatment of all people improves my quality of life as a white male; period. I don’t need special advantages or entitlement to have a good and successful life. Only scared men with inferiority complexes can believe the horseshit you postulate; are you one of them? If one person suffers or is discriminated against, it hurts everyone; just as with the law, rather ten guilty parties get away with it than one innocent party go to prison.

  54. monopole says:

    “People who have come here illegally should not be given a special
    pathway to permanent residency or citizenship in this country merely
    because they’ve come here illegally,”

    Like his father:

  55. Lar5 says:

    She and
    Mitt are two of the most ego driven people on this planet. They remind me of the
    wicked Queen in Snow White. “Mirror Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of
    them all? ” Pathetic!!!…

  56. hefetone says:

    I was just reading comments on other progressive sites that reflect the mantra that there is no reason for Blacks and Hispanics to vote for a republican because republicans do not represent their interests. I pretty much agree with those statements. But then I got to thinking whether the same generalization applies to white men in the other direction. That is, does it make any sense, from the standpoint of self-interest, for a white man these days to vote for a democrat?

    We can talk about how democrats will push social justice, etc and that will benefit all, but….from the standpoint of their interests, white men are foolish and fooled into voting for republicans, don’t you think?

  57. lynchie says:

    Well nothing has really changed. He expresses the feelings of the GOP. They may change their talking points to win votes (Romney, though, is not even smart enough to figure that out) but the heart of the party loathes the 99% and all minorities. At least our man Obama only loathes the 99%.

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