Romney yesterday (via the New York Times):
Saying that he and his team still felt “troubled” by his loss to President Obama, Mitt Romney on Wednesday attributed his defeat in part to what he called big policy “gifts” that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies, including young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics.
In a conference call with fund-raisers and donors to his campaign, Mr. Romney said Wednesday afternoon that the president had followed the “old playbook” of using targeted initiatives to woo specific interest groups — “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”
“In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said, contrasting Mr. Obama’s strategy to his own of “talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.”
The parting shot for what ended up a very small campaign. If the Governor wants to talk about 'gifts,' he might recall the 'gifts' his party's coalition is built around: a rock-ribbed protection of entitlement programs for seniors (not a penny in cuts if you're old!) and an almost shameless faith in the Keynesian gods of no-strings-attached defense spending.
Those, Governor, are 'gifts' as well, because that's part of what we do in politics: pool money and decide certain ways to spend it. Unsurprisingly, young voters were quite enthused by a candidate who expressed his commitment to helping contain higher education costs and making birth control and health care accessible to all.
And the best part? Asinine comments like this leave the President looking like the only mature kid in town. Obama's policy suggestions aren't new, they aren't particularly surprising, and I don't think they're the best for the long term. But they at least take voters as self-interested people as compared to dutiful ideologues of a cause.
Romney could have treated young voters as adult human beings who see government as a source for a leg up (as opposed to a hand out). Instead, he excused his loss on 'gifts' and blamed the voters. That's not a particularly impressive way to exit the stage.
It looks like my post on Romney repudiating Ayn Rand was a tad premature, no?
At least there's Bobby Jindal's decision to slam Romney's comments:
"That is absolutely wrong," Jindal said at Wednesday's session of the annual Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas, according to the Washington Examiner's Byron York. "I absolutely reject that notion."
“I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party," Jindal continued. “That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election: If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly: One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream. Period. No exceptions."
Republicans, now might be the time to line up and follow Jindal's example. Say no to Rand and yes to America.