"Candidates and elected officials dictate immigration reform. We at the RNC don't create policy," she said. "It's an important issue. But we also know that the No. 1 issue is jobs and the economy."
She also caused the Romney campaign some heartburn when she responded to a reporter's question about whether or not his support of strict immigration policies unpopular with many Hispanic voters will be difficult to overcome, saying, "He's still deciding what his position on immigration is."
"I can't talk about what his proposal is going to be because I don't know," she said.
The Romney campaign responded to the comment by saying Inclan "misspoke."
Republicans are also working at a grassroots disadvantage, as Democrats and the Obama campaign have been building support among Latinos for months. The Obama campaign just announced a multimillion-dollar buy of advertising in Spanish-language media in key states on Tuesday as well.
- Read: Why Hispanic voters matter in 2012
- See a slideshow of cities with the largest Latino populations
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Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.