Mr. Romney was frank in both his policy prescriptions and his obstacles as he addressed donors. He said he expected Mr. Obama to use the immigration issue against him as both sides of the aisle pursue Hispanic voters, a key demographic group in 2012. Mr. Romney said he and other Republicans will have to make the case that they are the party of "opportunity."Romney has said he thinks Arizona's hated SB 1070 is a "model for the nation." He has stood with Republicans as they've stood in the way of the sensible DREAM Act—why punish innocent and high-achieving children for sins not their own?
He said the GOP will have to propose its own initiatives to win support from Hispanic voters, such as a Republican version of the Dream Act. As offered by Democrats, the act offers a path to permanent residency for those illegal immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors and serve in the military or earn a college degree.
"We're going to be able to get Hispanic voters," Mr. Romney said. "We're going to overcome the issue of immigration."
According to current polling, Romney could face an 80-20 loss with Latinos to Obama. And if he does, there is no realistic path to GOP victory. None.
So his response will apparently be to go all-in with the GOP's Hail Mary on immigration—a version of the DREAM Act that would keep those kids from being deported without giving them any hope of actual citizenship; perpetual second-class status with a guarantee those youngsters will never sully the GOP's America with the title "citizens" (or cast votes). Does Romney really believe that he can win back Latinos by telling undocumented Latino kids that there's no way they can ever be Americans, despite being American in every way except for the paperwork?
That would be insultingly too little, and far far too late to have an impact. Republicans have made their beds with Latinos. Actually, it's more like they've burned beds with Latinos on them. Latino anger at Romney and the GOP is palpable, and won't be easily satiated.