Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus on Thursday strongly repudiated an idea that likely played a role in Mitt Romney's dismal showing among Latino voters.
Speaking at the RNC's summer meeting in Boston, Priebus was answering a question about Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who recently suggested that most young undocumented immigrants are drug mules, when he denounced the concept of "self-deportation," one of Romney's proposals for immigration reform that he floated at a Republican debate last year.
"Using the word 'self-deportation' — it's a horrific comment to make," Priebus said, according to Business Insider. "I don't think it has anything to do with our party. When a candidate makes those comments, obviously, it hurts us."
It wasn't the first time Priebus took on Romney over self-deportation, insisting in March that the idea is not the party's position on immigration reform. But the concept was in fact in the GOP's platform for the 2012 campaign.
Others on the right have criticized Romney on the same grounds. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, said that "self-deportation" and the infamous "47 percent" remark were "fatal" to Romney's chances.
President Barack Obama rode sweeping support among Latino voters in securing re-election, as Romney claimed a mere 27 percent share of the all-important voting bloc.
Correction: Business Insider's report originally said Priebus had called self-deportation "racist." But the website later corrected its post to indicate Priebus actually said "it hurts us."