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The GOP’s minority outreach delusion

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 3/28/2013, noon

It was evident even in the wake of the 2012 defeat, when a parade of GOP hardliners wailed that Romney and GOP candidates lost because they weren’t conservative enough, or their self-inflicted gaffe wounds did them in. They denounced any talk from the GOP party leaders of re-messaging, mounting an aggressive outreach to minorities and reversing their stance on immigration, and they won’t let up on that.

There’s a well-worn history for this. Every conservative GOP candidate since Barry Goldwater’s loss to LBJ in 1964 has spouted a hard conservative line in the primaries, and then moved to the center when they want to win.

Romney much too belatedly did the same. He softened his positions on immigration, was silent on gay marriage, soft pedaled his touted cuts of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and did a photo-op at a black inner-city charter school. If he hadn’t done that, he would have come close to being the Goldwater of 2012. It would have been an Obama landslide.

Even if Romney had won, the 2012 election would likely have been the last national election in which a GOP white male candidate could’ve won by relying primarily on conservative white males, and rural and outer suburban white voters.

The RNC understands that, and is trying to do something about it at least verbally. But millions like the GOP just the way it once was, and their bull-headedness virtually renders the GOP’s minority outreach campaign little more than a delusion.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst.