The Lesson Romney’s Adviser Didn’t Learn

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Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Mitt Romney’s political strategist, Stuart Stevens, largely a recluse since the Nov. 6 presidential election, resurfaced on a Sunday talk show. He may want to go back into hibernation.

On the ABC News program, “This Week With George Stephanopoulos,” Stevens acknowledged that Romney had a problem with Hispanic voters. He suggested, however, that it had little to do with the position Romney took in the Republican primaries.

Romney lost the Hispanic vote to President Barack Obama, 71 percent to 27 percent, and did even worse among Asian-Americans, according to the election-day exit poll of voters.

During the Republican primaries, Romney staked out the most anti-immigrant posture. He assailed his major opponents -- Texas Governor Rick Perry, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum -- as being too soft on immigration issues. He also called on undocumented immigrants to “self-deport.”

Stevens said the major factor in the lopsided Obama victory among Hispanics was the president’s health-care measure, “because an extraordinary percentage of Hispanic voters are uninsured.” He didn’t mention that his candidate’s attacks on Obamacare may have contributed, too.

(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)