In case you missed it, maybe you were living in a land far away, Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential election. And he really lost because he IGNORED minorities, leaving votes on the table for President Barack Obama’s gorging. But for some reason the Republican National Committee is acting like he won, hiring former campaign staffers who “managed minority outreach” for Romney to do the same for them. As a friend once said, “If you lose big time why not double down with the losers.”
Aside from being a weak candidate, Romney lost the election because he refused to ask for the minority vote in a meaningful way. Romney “leaned in” to whites and won 60% of their vote, the highest of any candidate since 1988 and “leaned out” from the minority vote and bombed the election. Obama won 73% of the Latino vote at 27%, Blacks 3% and 71% of the Asian vote.
This week the RNC announced it hired Stephen Fong, “a longtime Republican political and grassroots operative” as the RNC National Asian and Pacific Islander Field Director. The illustrious Fong worked on Romney’s Asian outreach and helped him lose the Asian vote. During an inclusion panel at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, Fong said the best way to attract more Asians to the Republican Party is: “You have to like spicy food because you’re going to be eating a lot of it.” You can’t shake your head long enough on that one. A liberal journalist asked me, “Well was he trying to be funny?” Yes, Fong was trying to be funny just like when Michael Steele said he was going to recruit more blacks to the GOP with “fried chicken and potato salad.” Racist stereotypes never work as a marketing tool for votes or anything.
The RNC also announced Jason Chung as RNC National Communications Director for Asian and Pacific Islander Engagement. Chung, a Republican consultant with “fifteen years of experience”, sat on Virginia Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Romney board, created October 25, 2012, two weeks before the election to pander to the Asian vote. No wonder Romney lost minority vote across the grid. He didn’t bother to build relationships with any group but whites. Blacks got the NAACP speech. Latinos got few surrogates. People can spot a fake when they see one.
The RNC's press release touts both hires but conveniently omits Fong and Chung’s work with Romney. “It’s no secret that Republicans have ground to make up among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. To earn voters’ trust, we must be present in their communities,” declared RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in the press release. Priebus should have said, “To lose even more votes in 2016 we should keep hiring the same people in the consultant merry go round.” That would have been more honest than the RNC trying to pander to voters with its Growth & Opportunity Project, which should be dubbed “Dead and Decaying” Project.