I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.
Part XIV: The Hispanic Vote:
Here Romney gets real: "If the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting bloc has in the past, why we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation..."
The "in trouble as a nation" is, I presume, simply a reflection of the Republican believe that a dominant Democratic Party is a very bad thing.
Now it used to be the case that politicians thought otherwise.
For example, in the 1920s Dean Acheson was a stalwart of a Democratic Party that was far from dominant in any sense. Yes, it won occasional congressional majorities. But Woodrow Wilson had only attain the presidency because of the spite of Teddy Roosevelt for W.H. Taft. And the only other Democratic president since Andrew Johnson had been that triangulating bastard Grover Cleveland.
But Dean Acheson did not see the United States as "in trouble as a nation". He saw a healthy political system with useful partisan alternation, even though his faction's share of the alternation was much less than 50-50. In his view, the Republicans were the party of enterprise--of people who had something for themselves, expected that they were likely to get a good deal more, and so wanted to arrange America so that their enterprises would prosper and they could get rich. The Democrats, by contrast, were those who were losing out and not getting their reasonable share from the growing market economy, and so needed it to be adjusted. The Republicans in power could do useful things the Democrats could not. The Democrats in power could do useful things that the Republicans could not. Acheson preferred the New Deal order in which Democrats held office most of the time. But he did not think that America in the 1920s when that was not the case had been "in trouble as a nation".
Now Democrats today do not agree with Dean Acheson. But that is because the Republican Party today--the party of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Tom DeLay, George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Rudi Giuliani, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Paul Ryan--is the party not of those who expect to benefit from economic growth and creative destruction, but instead the part of those who have something to lose. And they have no clue how to make the American economy grow.
Maybe if Mitt Romney, John Kasich, and company were dominant figures in the Republican Party we would think differently. But they are marginalized. So we don't.
Still, it is good that Romney is willing to let his hair down and tell this audience that the Republicans have a Hispanic voter problem. But the solution--"Rubio!" "Great Hispanic leaders..."--is not, I think, what any of us would see as adequate.
Romney: We can capture women's votes, we're having a much harder time with Hispanic voters. And if the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African-American voting bloc has in the past, why we're in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation.
Audience Member: Rubio!
(Different) Audience Member: Exactly.
Audience Member: Pick him up!
Romney: And so…[Audience laughs.] We have some great—we have some great Hispanic leaders in our party who will help communicate what our party stands for...