Romney: GOP Must Focus On Minorities To Win General Election

| by Edward Arnold
Mitt Romney.Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney gave a speech to a crowd of Mississippi State University students on Jan. 28 in which he recalled his shortcomings in the 2012 presidential election and spoke on what he thinks the Republican party should do differently in 2016.

"During our campaigns for the primary vote, we tend to go to the audiences that vote in a Republican primary and tend therefore not to be as involved in minority communities as we need to be to win the general election," Romney said. "And so we got to stop thinking so much about the primary and start thinking more about making sure we have people that support us in the general election."

Romney could be referring to how grueling the Republican primary process is for candidates. Romney battled several opponents who arguably pushed his policies farther to the right than he would have liked. Once he entered the general election against Barack Obama, Romney had no chance to make up the lost ground in the middle.

Romney continued to explain that he wants Republicans to devote equal attention to all audiences, instead of just a few conservative groups. 

During his 2012 campaign, Romney was often criticized by his own party for focusing on entrepreneurs instead of working class Americans. Now, he says, his focus is on poverty and believes marriage is one way to combat the problem.

"If marriage ... is essential to helping people to stay out of poverty, then we want to do the opposite," Romney said. "We want to create incentives for them to get married, not to not get married."

Romney also went on to bash the potential Democratic challenger, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "How can Secretary Clinton provide opportunity for all if she doesn't know where jobs come from in the first place?" he said.

He attacked Clinton's economic positions as well as her foreign policy and personal wealth. Romney criticized her “timid” approach to foreign affairs by allowing Russia to invade Ukraine. Having a wealth problem of his own, Romney went on to say that “Clinton is no model for modest living, either.”

The speech did not mention any update on his plans to run for president for a third time. The past few weeks have been shaky for the one-time Republican nominee as many in the GOP have spoken out against him, saying he had his chance and lost. His recent tour has sought to rebut those concerns as he decides whether or not to compete for center-right donors to start a campaign. 

Sources: CNN, The New York Times / Photo Credit: Rogelio V. Solis/AP via The New York Times