Romney: Obama won with 'gifts' to minorities
Candidate's first analysis of defeat blames President's handouts
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Friday 16 November 2012
The Republican Party is still grappling with its electoral trouncing last week. But its vanquished nominee, Mitt Romney, has already worked out why he was thrashed: Barack Obama's "gifts" to minorities and illegal immigrants, college-loan waivers to young people and free contraceptives to college-aged women.
The microanalysis came during a conference call between Mr Romney and donors who had dug deep into their pockets with the hope of installing a Republican in the Oval Office. It was the first time Mr Romney has spoken publicly since his defeat last week.
He had failed them, he said, because the President who talked about the "bonds that hold" the country together on election night had, in fact, pursued a policy of targeting certain interest groups with lavish sops (in contrast to his strategy of "talking about big issues for the whole country").
Particular attention was devoted to "the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people" in Mr Romney's post-mortem. "In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups," he said during the call on Wednesday.
He spoke, for example, of the administration's offer of what he termed an "amnesty" to the children of illegal aliens, a reference to the proposed Dream Act, which would bestow legal status on a small group of illegal immigrants who arrived in the US before the age of 16.
"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."
Obamacare also brought out the minorities, he said, all the while failing to mention campaign missteps such as his comments, taped secretly, that 47 per cent of Americans were government-dependents who would vote for Mr Obama no matter what.
"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," he said. "Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus."
Although the defeated nominee displayed some contrition – he told donors he was "very sorry we didn't win" – it took little time for his observations to stir controversy. Louisiana's Republican Governor, Bobby Jindal, seen by many as a potential GOP presidential nominee for 2016, said Mr Romney was "absolutely wrong".
A closer look at Big Apple's bite
President Barack Obama travelled to New York yesterday to view the recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy. He met those dealing with the effects of the deadly storm that hit East Coast states last month, killing more than 100 people and leaving millions without power. AP
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
Justin Bieber's unfinished monkey business
World news in pictures
Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
Revealed: Eerie new images show forgotten French apartment that was abandoned at the outbreak of World War II and left untouched for 70 years
- 1 Tears and cheers as David Beckham ends glittering career after helping PSG to final win
- 2 Heading for America? Prepare for the longest US immigration queues ever
- 3 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 4 Cameron goes to war with press over 'swivel-eyed loons' slur
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + bens: Progressive Recruitment: C# WEB DEVELOPER Le...
£240 - £260 per day: Progressive Recruitment: WPF Developer (C#, VB.Net) North...