Ted Cruz: ’47 percent’ cost us Hispanics

November 30, 2012

In a speech to conservatives in Washington on Thursday night, Senator-elect Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) gave an election postmortem that blamed a messaging failure for GOP losses in 2012.

"Do you want to know why Barack Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote?" he asked the audience at the American Principles Project’s "Red, White & Blue" gala, the Daily Caller reports. "The tone of immigration contributed, but I think far more important was ’47 percent.' " "I think Mitt Romney's a good man, a man of character, a man who ran a hard, disciplined campaign," he said. "But Republicans nationally, the story we conveyed, was 47 percent are stuck in a static world. We don't have to worry about them is what that clip famously said."

The Cuban American Republican said the party should continue to oppose illegal immigration and push for border security, while championing legal immigration. The conservative message, he argued, should be "opportunity conservatism" — the idea that "anybody with nothing can achieve anything."

Romney lagged far behind in polls of Latino voters long before the "47 percent" comments were leaked.

The Atlantic has more on the event, which featured "overcooked steak drenched in melted brie."

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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