Politics

11.09.12

Six Absurd Republican Excuses for Mitt Romney’s Defeat

The GOP is predictably casting about for reasons to explain away Mitt Romney’s defeat. From Chris Christie to Hurricane Sandy to a lone Black Panther, see the culprits Republicans are blaming for their loss.

Nobody likes to be called a loser. And nobody likes to be at fault. So after losing the White House to a supposedly socialist, secret Muslim for the second time in four years, the Grand Old Party started its latest finger-pointing campaign: assigning others the blame for losing the presidential election. Here are their top six culprits:

Chris Christie Did It

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Sure, blame the fat guy. Even before Mitt Romney lost the election, pundits and GOP operatives pointed to Chris Christie’s post-Sandy praise for the president as a reason Republicans wouldn’t retake the White House. But the New Jersey governor continually defended his bipartisan approach to disaster relief, telling Piers Morgan “that I am not going to play politics with this issue” just two days after the storm.

It’s Sandy’s Fault

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Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour spared Chris Christie his wrath, but Mother Nature didn’t get away so easy. “Hurricane Sandy saved Barack Obama’s presidency,” he told the Today show Thursday. “It broke the momentum that Romney had coming into the end of October.”

Rove: Obama Suppressed Voters

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In the greatest irony since Alanis Morissette’s song “ironic” wasn’t actually ironic, Karl Rove continued his attack on Barack Obama’s victory by claiming the president “succeeded by suppressing the vote.” Rove argued that Obama’s attacks on Romney’s character discouraged people from voting and reduced the popular vote. If that’s voter suppression, Karl, what do you call trying to disenfranchise Democratic constituencies by rigging voting laws against them?

O’Reilly: Loss of ‘Traditional America’

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Half of Bill O’Reilly’s argument actually makes sense; but—surprise!—the Fox host took it too far. Early on election night, as he speculated how President Obama might return to the White House, the king of cable conservatism lamented the end of “traditional America,” whining that “the white establishment is now the minority.” That’s true. But when he equated the decline of white America with the rise of government dependence, he went off the hinges. “There are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff,” he said, “and who is going to give them things?” Turning dramatically to the camera, he said, “President Obama.”

The Lone Black Panther

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A member of the New Black Panther Party who was charged with voter intimidation four years ago was back patrolling a Philadelphia polling station this year—as an official poll watcher. Fox News was perturbed by his presence, despite the fact that charges against the man, Jerry Jackson, were dropped, and that his 2008 sidekick—apparently named Minister King Samir Shabazz—was nowhere to be seen. Oh, and Minister King Shabazz’s nightstick, featured prominently in this 2008 YouTube video? That was also gone.

Obama Mural

As Fox News reported (if you’re picking up a pattern, go to the front of the class), Philly voters had to cast their ballots with an imposing and dangerously inspirational Obama painting adorning the wall of their polling station. Not only that, Fox scolded, “after being ordered by a judge to cover up [the mural] “in its entirety,” [poll workers] slapped up a few pieces of paper that only partially covered his image.” Outrageous. Don’t worry, though, fearful citizens—Stephen Colbert knows how susceptible voters are to paintings on high-school walls: that’s why, he said, “in 2008, New Hampshire voted in Governor ‘Jeremy + Abby 4 Eva.’”

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In reality, the Republican Party didn’t lose the election because of Sandy, or Christie, or a mural. It lost because 71 percent of Latinos, 93 percent of black people, 73 percent of Asian Americans, and 55 percent of women voted against it. The party did not embrace policies that appeal to these demographic groups—and lost. And that’s the GOP’s fault.