Romney: Obama Won By Bestowing “Gifts” On Voters

In a private call with donors, Romney attempts to explain why he failed to unseat Barack Obama

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Mitt Romney stands at the podium before conceding the presidency during his campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on Nov. 7, 2012 in Boston, Mass.

Over the past week, Republicans of all stripes have been grappling with the reasons for Mitt Romney‘s defeat and the attendant ramifications. The post-election postmortems have been equal parts spin and soul-searching, reasoned analysis and recriminations. About the only conservative leader who hadn’t weighed in yet was Romney himself.

Now we know what Romney made of a defeat that so stunned the Republican nominee that he didn’t bother scratching out a concession speech beforehand.

In a conference call with top donors Wednesday afternoon, report Maeve Reston of the Los Angeles Times and Ashley Parker of the New York Times, Romney ascribed the loss to President Obama’s ability to sway blacks, Hispanics and young voters with “gifts.”

With each cohort, Romney argued, Obama was able to point to a “gift” that motivated them to support a second Obama term. Parker reports:

“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “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.”

Obama’s decision to give the children of some illegal immigrants a path to citizenship “was a huge plus for that voting group,” Romney suggested. The President’s health care overhaul, Romney said, also helped mobilize black and Hispanic voters for the President. His own campaign’s turnout models had assumed the voting rate of those groups — especially African American voters — would plummet after the heady thrill of 2008 wore off.

In the wake of the party’s fourth loss in six presidential elections, GOP elders have urged the party to closely examine its mistakes, including where its messaging veered off track. But Romney’s analysis — that Obama won by doling out largesse to Democratic special interest groups — masks the party’s structural problems. He may have been a killer consultant, able to pinpoint the shortcomings of other people’s organizations, but he has gaping blind spots when it comes to his own.

For one thing, the transactional aspect of politics works both ways. Some of the donors Romney was addressing on the call, as well as at the Boca Raton fundraiser where he made his damaging remarks about the 47% of Americans who considered themselves “victims,” presumably have their own interests in mind when they wrote those hefty checks. Perhaps they are motivated by Romney’s promise to lower their taxes, to reduce regulations on their industries, to preserve elements in the corporate code that benefit them. These are “huge” pluses as well.

Romney’s explanation for his defeat is also woefully simplistic. He didn’t lose Iowa or New Hampshire, two swings state filled with white voters, because Obama gave “gifts” to minorities. He lost, there and elsewhere, because 55% of women voted for his opponent. He didn’t lose African Americans because of Obamacare. Nor did he lose Hispanics because of the law; he lost them because his position on immigration during the primaries essentially boiled down to the words “self-deportation.” He lost because he tacked to the center too late. He lost because voters found him out of touch with their problems, a judgment reinforced by the caricature he paints of Obama supporters as grasping and self-interested. He lost because fewer people found him likable than his opponent. These comments may help explain why.

397 comments
BanKKiller
BanKKiller

Yes. I now have an ATM in my living room that spews cash. I quit work and am getting food stamps, unemployment benefits and got that free phone in the mail. Thanks to President Obama for his gifts. You all got yours, right? Har-har....

No mention of the gifts Mr. Romney would have given? I could have used no income tax, a Cadillac Escalde, free trades on Wall Street and I would have loved trickling down on the poor too. 

captainmike81
captainmike81

Romney did show his real colors this time as he did with his 47% comment. He says on thing to the public and then behind closed doors the real Romney comes out. Thank God he didn't win the election! Here we have a Bishop of the Mormon church that lies like the devil!!! I guess lying isn't a sin in the book of Mormon. He doesn't believe in the same God as I do.

ChristineGolding
ChristineGolding

I meant to say no good criminal who deserves to be in jail.

ChristineGolding
ChristineGolding

Mitt Romney GROW Up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You lost because you are nothing but a no criminal who deserves to be in jail and you make me SICK.  Mitt Romney stop being a sore loser

StanJensen
StanJensen

Romney lost becuase he and his fellow Repulbicans kept saying stupid things......   and listening to the idiots on here saying that Obama is a Muslim.....I realize that Romney followers have not learned a thing out of this election.   Keep it up....and the Republican party will be null and void before the 2016 elections.   Most American's value our diversity and realize it is what makes us strong!  

ItsoktobeNotgiven
ItsoktobeNotgiven

It's interesting that Google has run this story for three days now.  I guess they want to make certain that all of loony left has the opportunity to build itself into a froth.  The gifts were only part of the story.  Divisive politics, envy, and promises of more gifts in the future also played a part.  Given the fact that Romney lost, it appears that he was wrong about the 47%.  It is now 53%.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

@dougsams777 @mantisdragon91 @BenevolentLawyer @merhoff  "He is not a Muslim and if he is, so what?"  --C. Powell

kiyyto
kiyyto

This guy simply cannot stop insulting Americans. I believe he really hates us.

First, 47% of the entire country are do nothing no goods on the dole...

Now he says that the only reason he lost is because Obama cheated and bribed us.

I mean, honestly, is this what is left of the republican party?

Mitt is actually taking pot shots at the American people, the people just days ago he said he loved and wanted to lead.

Well, I guess we know what it was all really about... Mitt Romney just wanted the office to enlarge his bank account. Too bad nearly half the country could not see that. Thank God a majority did.

nonwhiteAmerican
nonwhiteAmerican

Those aren't Gifts dummy. They are Strategies that YOU failed at, and the other guy didn't. Crying over spilled milk is another trait of this Republican party. Maybe you should have thought about the 47% of the population afterall!!

LoraPfundheller
LoraPfundheller

Wait, Obama promised to address issues that are important to the electorate? And then people voted for him and he won? How did that happen?

curt3rd
curt3rd

I saw it coming a mile away. First he started with the gay marriage (not because he believes its right but because he knew he would get votes). Next he did the Dreamers Act( which isnt an act because congress never approved it but he implemented anyways). Then he went after college kids with the loan intrest(which doesnt matter because their will not be any jobs for you after college). And the big one which he probably does believe in is Obamacare( which is economically unsustanable but that never stop us before).

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

The GOP has been burnt by rich boy Bush, entitled Admiral's son McCain and CEO offspringMitt...and lost the WHITE House to a BLACK man two elections in a row.  No doubt the GOP will be looking for a real self made man this time.

 Todd Palin, anybody?

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

Obama bestowed only one gift on the voters: the defeat of Romney.

outsider
outsider

The sore losers clubMitt Romney and Paul Ryan are already starting to channel the last guy who lost to Obama

Sometimes, losing national candidates actually manage to enhance their reputations in defeat. The most famous example of this is probably Bob Dole, who growled his way through the 1996 campaign but then turned in a winning performance on David Letterman’s “Late Show” a few days after the election, giving rise to something of a post-political career as a humorist. Al Gore knows something about this too; his concession of the 2000 election earned him respect that had eluded him throughout that campaign.

Based on their conduct since last week’s election, though, it’s safe to say that the two most recent national losers won’t be joining this company anytime soon.

Mitt Romney has been publicly quiet since his brief remarks on Election Night, but he told his top donors on a conference call yesterday that Barack Obama had won by giving “very generous” freebies to key constituencies, including blacks, Hispanics and young people.“The president’s campaign,” Romney said, “focused on giving targeted groups a big gift, so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”

Romney surely didn’t mean for his remarks to become public, but he probably shouldn’t be surprised that they leaked. After all, the same thing happened when he told donors earlier this year that 47 percent of the electorate would vote for Obama “no matter what” – because they “believe that they are victims” and that “they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.”

A tape of those comments emerged in September, and Romney eventually repudiated them and spent the rest of the campaign insisting that he would be a president for “the 100 percent.” That he’s still disparaging Obama’s coalition behind closed doors all but confirms that his campaign trail pleadings were insincere. It also reinforces the worst image of Romney, as a sneering plutocrat who has contempt for the common man.

But mainly, it’s just bad form. Romney was roundly defeated last week, and the man who defeated him has now publicly saluted him twice. This is the time for Romney to show grace, humility, and maybe some humor too. Instead, he’s coming across like a sore loser, one who’d rather make excuses than give his opponent any real credit.

The same can be said for Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan. During a series of interviews on Tuesday, Ryan offered this backhanded compliment to the president: “Well, he got turnout. The president should get credit for achieving record-breaking turnout numbers from urban areas for the most part, and that did win the election for him.”

This too smacks of sore loser-dom. Ryan’s ticket lost in swing states without major cities, like Iowa and New Hampshire, and won another key battleground – Virginia – by racking up massive margins in affluent suburbs. And if Ryan was using “urban” as a substitute for “black,” he’s off the mark there too. Sure, Obama received overwhelming support from an unusually energized African-American electorate, but he won plenty of states with small to non-existent black populations. The Obama victory last week was far broader than Ryan’s comment suggests, and rooted not just in demographics but also a very basic advantage on most of the issues that mattered most to voters. As with Romney, this is bad form – the sort of thing that might sound good to conservative diehards but that comes across as tone deaf to just about everyone else.

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/15/the_sore_losers_club_2/

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

Barack Hussein Obama when asked last night at dinner what he would like to eat initially asked for Salmon but then changed his mind a moment later to Steak.  HOW can we trust such a corrupt un-American slimeball that changes his story from one moment to the next?!  Will the lies never end?!?  I'm told that later that night he gifted his waiter with a "tip" too.  Surely we must impeach this man.

sgbsse
sgbsse

so sad that he is still not getting "it", no wonder he lost

notsacredh
notsacredh

When does the 1st book about the campaign come out and who blames who? My guess is that Mitt is going to be a punching bag for the next few years. Mitt isn't going to be employing any staffers again and they're going to need some cash somehow.

pdbrsf
pdbrsf

Using Romney's logic, if a Republican won the "white male vote", it's because Viagra is included in their health insurance plans.  That's the same logic as saying single women voted for a democrat because contraception would be included in their health insurance plans.  I'm am so glad I didn't vote for that man. 

HOWitIS
HOWitIS

With Romney, there were SO many warning signs. The Republicans, though, hated Obama so much they were willing to overlook all of them. I guess I have to interpret quite a lot of that hatred as either racist-based or racist-kindled. I think if and when some of those (with that hatred) are honest with themselves, they'd have to face up to some of that.

TheFrog1
TheFrog1

The truly amazing thing about Romney is his ability to spout nonsense and expect the rest of us to accept it because, well, because HE says so.  I have difficulty in believing that he could get through Harvard -- you know, the same elitist school Obama floated through on an EEO scholarshipid -- and speak with such disdain of the rest of us..  Apparently his education didn't take.

The business with the cancelled credit cards confirms for me that he would've been a horrible POTUS.

HOWitIS
HOWitIS

Just based on how Romney is inflicted with GAFFEitis, NOW that the election is over and now that he quite substantially lost, wouldn't WISDOM (if he had any) counsel him best to KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT? ... That way people would only SUSPECT he wasn't too bright.

outsider
outsider

Mitt Romney is one sad sore loser. But in his divisive remarks to donors that became public Wednesday night, he’s not saying anything he didn’t say in his infamous 47 percent video. He and top-tier Republican leaders, from Rush Limbaugh to Bill O’Reilly to Karl Rove and Paul Ryan, believe that President Obama got an unfair advantage by giving “gifts” or “free stuff” to women, African-Americans, Latinos and young people – you know, those people who don’t want to “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Especially in “urban” areas.

By now everyone knows about Romney’s explanation of why he lost on a conference call to donors. Here’s a snippet:With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift. 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…

You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge. 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.

Yes, he called them “illegals.”

Romney and his friends are being intentionally deceptive about the role of politics in people’s lives. We come together to do what we cannot do alone. Throughout American history, that has involved a widening realm of protection and insurance for poor, working- and middle-class Americans – until the GOP convinced a majority of people (particularly whites) that it was all going to minorities, and they began voting Republican.

How can it be wrong to give the “gift” of guaranteed healthcare, if the American people so choose? And we did so choose by reelecting President Obama. Is it really some kind of skeezy gift to change immigration policy? Or reduce student loan debt? Or share the costs of contraception, as well as childbirth, which have traditionally fallen on women but which benefit everybody?

And how can it not likewise be a “gift” to cater to the wealthy for generations, slashing their tax rates as well as larding our tax code with special breaks that only accrue to the top 1 or 2 percent? Those are the gifts the Republicans have been giving to the rich, especially since the Reagan era.

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/15/the_gops_sore_losers/

Fareed
Fareed

Bestowing The Gift of Liberty is the job of the President. 

Willard that is why you lost, people don't like you.  Try being an American and good Citizen.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense,  promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Defending The Constitution is Job One, on the first day, and every day in the White House.

jurbyjunk
jurbyjunk

Romney is nothing but a sore loser with no humility whatsoever. He had the gall to go into election day assuming that he was going to not only win but win by a landslide and when that didn't happen he was shocked and in denial (and i'm guessing his speech writer wrote his concession speech, not Romney). Romney and the rest of the GOP is completely out of touch with the reality that we're no longer living in the 1950's. they are stuck in the rut of being totally out of touch with reality and they obviously have no desire to change nor come into the 20th century. and this election has proven that. even some members of the GOP acknowledged that the GOP is out of touch with the reality of the times and are stuck in that old-school rut. THAT is why Romney lost.

SusanBurke
SusanBurke

Perhaps running on a platform of "I'll explain my plans after the election" isn't a winning strategy--'cause now we don't want to hear it, Mitt!

Perhaps it was the revenge of 'we smalled-minded people' who dared to ask to see you tax returns.

Perhaps it was the fact that you lied about everything.

Perhaps it was your disastrous overseas trip?

Perhaps it was your denigration of the 47%.?

Perhaps it was you disconnect from everyday people.

Perhaps we just wanted you to go away....so please....go away!

HOWitIS
HOWitIS

Those who knew Romney and Ryan best ... their home states (and districts) ALL VOTED FOR OBAMA. I have always thought that the word "IGNORANT" comes from the root "IGNORE". Republicans, when they espouse their taxation and governing philosophy, forget the terrible recession caused by the Republican policies of George W. Bush wherein he LOWERED the taxes paid by the wealthy, citing as his reason that our SURPLUS of money meant that the government was growing too big. Then, they IGNORE the success of the Clinton years in terms of paying down the debt and gaining a surplus.  They would rather PLEDGE allegiance to Grover Norquist than to the U. S. and that's exactly what many of them did.

captainmike81
captainmike81

@StanJensen The Tea party was behind many of the lies spread by the Republicans, the party of lies, misinformation, con jobs and hate.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ItsoktobeNotgiven Nice to see you still think that its the gifts and not your irrational policies that lost the election. Keep believing and keep losing. Might want to look up the Whigs to see what future has in store for your party at its current trajectory.

fitty_three
fitty_three

@ItsoktobeNotgiven  

Well, that's one of the consequences of trying to sell the idea that we get the cuts while you get the perks.

Marky_D_Sodd
Marky_D_Sodd

@outsider2011 

Losing the WHITE House to a BLACK man -- two times in a row -- has, uh...darkened.. the RepubliKKKans' attitude.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@sacredh 

The book - 500 pages long on excuses and can be summed up on less then half a page.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@pdbrsf 

Simpler logic: Romney promised the gift of lower taxes to the rich and the gift of removing Obama from office to the bigots of the party.

TyPollard
TyPollard

@TheFrog1 

Romney is white about everything...oops, I mean right about everything.

HOWitIS
HOWitIS

@TheFrog1  

I have a theory he got through Harvard much the way he got through his campaign speeches. With such a fortune, I'll leave it to you to "fill in the blanks" here. :-)

HOWitIS
HOWitIS

@jurbyjunk  

I think you are absolutely right. As a matter of pretty good guessing, I would be surprised if he WROTE NOTHING of what he used in speeches, just based on how many gaffes he made when he faced interviews ... insulting England and others, including 47% of the American people. 

SusanBurke
SusanBurke

@HOWitIS --Romney even lost his home town of Belmont by over 30 points....those are the people who know him the best, his 5 sons were raised there, his grandchildren go to school there.....that's gotta hurt!

HOWitIS
HOWitIS

@jurbyjunk  

 a little edit ... I should have said, "I would be surprised to find he WROTE ANYTHING of what he used in speeches ... "

HOWitIS
HOWitIS

@TyPollard @sacredh 

Somebody will write a three-volume tome explaining them. [Maybe I'm understating the number.]

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@outsider2011 Another Rove like legend. All created and marketed, all fake and not based on material evidence. Romney used his wealth as some sort of evidence of his "abilities", even though in his first run in MA, it was pretty much accepted that Romney got money from his folks to start his business. 

I wish more people were fortunate to have watched Romney when he first started his run for political office. To us, it was obvious that if Romney had not come from absolute privilege, he would have been shoveling mud in some hamlet. He was bag of hammers stupid. It would have been okay, if he had not acted so SMUG and better than everyone else. He made me sick then, and makes me sick now.