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RNC Hispanic outreach director: Romney ‘still deciding what his position on immigration is’

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
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Mitt Romney (Charles Dharapak/AP)

WASHINGTON—The Republican National Committee is making efforts to target Hispanic voters in key swing states in preparation for the November presidential election. And by their own admission, they're still working out some of the kinks.

When asked during a meeting with reporters Tuesday how Republicans plan to convince Hispanics that their platform on immigration is better than the Democratic plan, RNC National Hispanic Outreach Coordinator Bettina Inclan declined to answer because, she said, Mitt Romney is "still deciding what his position on immigration is."

"I think, as a candidate, to my understanding, that he's still deciding what his position on immigration is, so I can't talk about what his proposal is going to be," Inclan said. "He's talked about different issues. What we saw in the Republican primary is that there's a very diverse opinion on how to deal with immigration, so, I can't talk about something if I don't know what the position is."

Listen to the audio of the exchange with Politico's Ginger Gibson here:

During the Republican primary, Romney took a hard line on immigration, positioning himself to the right of most of his Republican opponents on the issue. The presumptive Republican nominee has outlined his position on his campaign website, promising to expand the availability of visas for high-skilled foreign workers, implement a robust program to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants, increase border security and oppose any efforts to grant amnesty to those who enter the country illegally.

Democrats seized on the quotes when they were posted on Twitter. Moments after Inclan's comments, RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski walked back the remarks.

"We never said the governor is still deciding on immigration, I want to make sure we are exponentially clear," Kukowski said. "We are going to be able to talk about Mitt Romney's position. Right now what we are here to talk about is what our outreach effort is going to be. I would ask that you give us a little time."

The RNC has assembled a team of six regional coordinators to conduct outreach efforts to Hispanics throughout the country and build grass-roots support.

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After the incident, Inclan posted her own clarification on Twitter with a link to Romney's website: "I misspoke, Romney's position on immigration is clear."

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