Mitt Romney, who blamed much of his loss in the 2012 presidential campaign on his and his party’s failure to connect with Latino voters, said Sunday that he remains opposed to providing a path to citizenship or even permanent residency to illegal immigrants.
“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,” Romney said in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” in his first public comments since the 2012 election.
Romney did clarify that others in his party have different views on that issue and that he hopes a comprehensive immigration reform package gets done.
“I hope that happens,” Romney said. “I believe that will happen.”
Since Romney’s loss, in which he lost the Latino vote by more than 40 points, party leaders have pushed forward with a comprehensive immigration reform package that is likely to include a path to citizenship. It remains to be seen whether the conservative base will accept such a deal.
Romney said the party needs to do better.
“The weakness that our campaign had and that I had is we weren’t effective in taking my message primarily to minority voters, to Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, other minorities,” Romney said. “That was a real weakness.”