- Last Updated: 3:41 AM, November 8, 2012
- Posted: 1:04 AM, November 8, 2012
The scale of Mitt Romney’s defeat — he lost all but one of 11 swing states and he lost big with America’s swelling number of Latinos — was enough to rattle even the staunchest conservative stalwart.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants and a rising GOP star, called on fellow conservatives to do more to bring Latinos into the fold.
“The conservative movement should have particular appeal to people in minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it, and Republicans need to work harder than ever to communicate our beliefs to them,” he argued.
Romney didn’t help the party or himself when he alienated Latino voters by calling for “self-deportations” during the Republican-nomination fight.
Exit polls showed that President Obama won 93 percent of blacks, 71 percent of Latinos and 73 percent of Asians. Obama actively courted Latino votes and named actress Eva Longoria a campaign co-chair.
Romney won big only with white men, capturing 59 percent. But whites are a rapidly shrinking share of the electorate — 72 percent this year, compared with 87 percent in 1992.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted that he and others “misunderstood what was happening in the country.”
“We were wrong,” said Gingrich — who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination before backing Romney — in an interview on CBS.
He, too, urged Republicans to work overtime to bring in Latinos. “Unless we do that, we’re going to be a minority party.”
GOP moderates blamed Tea Party activists and other hard-line conservatives for alienating Latinos with talk of border fences and deportation.