Trying to explain away his decisive, sweeping, and very expensive rout to his disappointed supporters—those one-percent Republicans—Mitt Romney offered a new version of the discredited “47 percent” argument that was so ruinous in its original form. In a Wednesday afternoon conference call, the defeated Republican nominee told donors and fundraisers that President Obama had won by lavishing generous “gifts” upon certain groups, including young voters, African-Americans, and Latinos.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” said Romney, after apologizing for losing what he called a “very close” election that he lost by more than 100 electoral votes and no less than three percent of the popular vote (as indicated in “The Ass-Whuppin’ Cometh” by James Carville and Stan Greenberg).
“Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008… Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”
It’s amusing that at this late date, the Republican who distanced himself from health care reform — and constantly vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act even though he knew that would be bad policy — claims that Obamacare helped Obama to win.
Now, before dispensing with Romney for good — as most Americans (including many Republicans) are understandably eager to do — it is worth noting that these churlish excuses to his donors represent the ultimate falsification, not only of his campaign, but of his own character.
Recall how he disowned the “47 percent” remarks when he realized how damaging they were to his chances for victory, telling Sean Hannity on Fox News that what he had been caught saying at a $50,000-a-plate Boca Raton fundraising event was “just completely wrong.” That mea culpa was factually accurate, of course – as we have discovered again lately with the news that so many food stamp recipients reliably vote Republican.
But as a matter of feelings rather than facts, Romney evidently cannot stop himself from sneering at society’s struggling people and the politicians who seek to improve their lives. It is not as if the donors he was addressing don’t want “gifts” from government – such as the big new tax breaks that Romney had promised them, the huge increases in defense spending that would swell their profits, or the various individual corporate favors that they regard as their very own “entitlements.” Just don’t expect that kind of honest introspection from Romney or his crowd.
Photo credit: AP/Charles Dharapak