Elise Foley Posted: 05/08/2012 1:06 pm Updated: 05/08/2012 3:17 pm
A Latino-vote outreach program on Tuesday plans to stress to voters that the president has failed on immigration reform and deported a record number of people, said the Republican National Committee’s top Hispanic outreach coordinator.
But so far, it doesn’t have a message on what Republicans would do on the issue themselves, and specifically the plans of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In fact, coordinator Bettina Inclan told reporters, Romney didn’t have his immigration policy mapped out and the RNC would not yet be able to talk about it to Latino voters.
The RNC quickly tried to take back the statement, telling reporters who tweeted it that Inclan’s words were misunderstood — or that she was misquoted. Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC, said message coordination between the RNC and the Romney campaign is still in its early stages because challenger Rick Santorum only dropped out of the race two weeks ago.
Still, the statement by Inclan seemed to indicate the RNC’s lack of message on immigration, despite an increased effort to turn out Latino voters. Below is the full quote from Inclan, that Kukowski would later say was misconstrued:
I think that as a candidate, to my understanding that he’s still deciding what his position on immigration is, so I can’t talk about what his proposal is going to be because I don’t know what Romney exactly — he’s talked about different issues, and what we saw in the Republican primary is that there’s a diverse opinion on how to deal with immigration. I can’t talk about something that I don’t know what his position is.
A few minutes later, after apparently reading tweets from reporters on the phone and in the room, Kukowski said they were misreporting the statement.
“I want to clear something up. As far as what Governor Romney’s positions are on immigration, that is for him and his campaign to talk about, and they will tell you what their policies are,” she said. “In this room right now, and what we do at the RNC from a Hispanic outreach perspective, is on-the-ground community outreach in the Hispanic community.”