Clueless to the end and beyond, defeated Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney asserted last week that he lost the election because of the “gifts” President Obama gave voters in various demographic groups: African-Americans, Hispanics, young people, women. Mr. Romney’s condescending view of the democracy he wanted to — and almost did — lead is breathtaking.
In remarks reminiscent of his earlier denunciation of “47 percent” of Americans as freeloaders addicted to government handouts, Mr. Romney told campaign donors that the Obama campaign’s strategy was to “give a bunch of money to a group, and guess what, they’ll vote for you … Giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with.”
Mr. Romney attributed the President’s support among Hispanic voters to his backing of legislation that would create a path to citizenship for some young, undocumented immigrants, which the GOP nominee opposed. The fact that Mr. Romney encapsulated his approach to immigration in the word “self-deportation” evidently had nothing to do with it.
Black and Hispanic voters supported the President, Mr. Romney said, because of Obamacare. The notion that large numbers of voters of all demographic groups think the expansion of health coverage to tens of millions of now-uninsured Americans is a good thing for the country is evidently inconceivable to the nominee who vowed to repeal the law. There’s always the emergency room, he reminded voters.
Mr. Romney might want to discuss the issue with the former Massachusetts governor who laid the foundation for Obamacare in his state. Oh, wait…
Mr. Romney’s own proposed “gifts” to the wealthiest and best-connected voters in the form of tax cuts and gutted regulations were, of course, just good public policy. No political payoff there.
Mr. Romney may actually believe his electoral analysis, although it’s always hard to tell what he really thinks. But there appears a simpler, less sinister explanation: Mr. Obama was re-elected because more voters concluded that a second term for the President would better serve not just their interests, but also the nation’s. Even Republican officials are dissociating themselves from Mr. Romney’s narrow world view.
President Obama’s campaign assembled a broad coalition of voters who agreed with his agenda and positions on key issues. Mr. Romney lost because he chose to base his campaign more on division and fragmentation than on his positive message of economic growth and opportunity for all Americans.
You might say, he didn’t build that.