This Thursday, in an unexpected change of script from the GOP’s leadership, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus surprised reporters by slamming former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, saying his rhetoric on immigration during the 2012 campaign was “racist” and “horrific.”
According to a report from Business Insider, Priebus commented on Romney’s use of the term “self-deportation” during Thursday’s “Rising Stars” presentation at the RNC’s Summer Meeting in Boston.
“Using the term ‘self-deportation’ — it’s a horrific comment to make,” Preibus reportedly said. “I don’t think it has anything to do with our party. When someone makes those comments, obviously it’s racist.”
Romney repeatedly used the term during his campaign to talk about how his immigration enforcement policies would be so unbearable, immigrants would leave the country on their own rather than allowing themselves to be deported.
At the event, Priebus insisted to reporters that the GOP’s efforts to become more attractive to Latino voters are on track. When pressed about Rep. Steve King and the recent controversy regarding his comments about immigrants, saying they have “calves the size of cantaloupes” from hauling drugs over the border, the RNC chairman continued his condemnation, saying that the comments were “hurtful” and “not good.”
“I think these are important issues,” Priebus said. “But you have to admit — the fact that the GOP is having a serious, high level conversation about immigration reform is something that’s very different. And it’s something that we’ve embraced.”