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Mitt Romney and Meg Whitman: Together Again, but Immigration not on the Menu

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Tonight, Meg Whitman, who lost the 2010 California gubernatorial race, is hosting a major fundraiser for presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to the San Francisco Chronicle:

The former Massachusetts governor’s fundraiser is co-chaired by billionaire Meg Whitman, his former employee at Bain Capital and the 2010 Republican candidate for California governor who promised to produce 2 million new jobs if elected. Now Whitman is CEO of Hewlett-Packard, which said last week it plans to lay off 25,000 workers.

Whitman is a co-chair of the Romney campaign. Apparently, he’s a big fan of hers:

Romney, in an interview in the current edition of National Review Online, defends Whitman, a national finance co-chair of his campaign. He argues that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who beat the former eBay CEO in a landslide, is taking the state “in the wrong direction.”

Yes, she lost in a landslide in a year when Republicans scored major victories across the country. Meg was stopped by the Latino vote — and she brought that on herself.

We followed Whitman’s race pretty closely. Although Mitt could have learned a lesson about Latino voters from Meg, he didn’t. As we noted back in 2010, Meg ran to the right on immigration during her primary campaign, adopting all the ugly nativist talking points. After the primary, she desperately tried to pivot back to the center, only to fail miserably.  Just look at the numbers: Whitman’s hard line on immigration during the primary battle left her image with Latino voters in tatters – a major reason she lost Latinos (and the general election) to Jerry Brown by a whopping 86%-13% margin.

Right now, it seems that Mitt isn’t even going to try to pivot back to the center. He’s going to try to avoid the immigration issue on the campaign trail, and let Super PACs and surrogates do his dirty work to suppress the Latino vote.  You see, it’s too late for him to have an “etch-a-sketch” conversion– he made his anti-immigrant positions abundantly clear during the GOP primaries, just like Meg did.

Romney’s unrelenting hard line on immigration has become a looming – and perhaps insurmountable – obstacle to winning in battleground states like Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Florida and Arizona. His only hope is that Latino voters stay home.  That’s probably what Meg Whitman wanted too.