Reports: Romney says Obama won by offering ‘gifts’ to voters
(CNN) — Mitt Romney told donors on a call Wednesday, November 14th that President Barack Obama outmatched him by offering “gifts” to African Americans, Hispanics and young voters, according to various news outlets.
“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Romney said, according to The New York Times.
The 2012 Republican nominee, who lost to Obama by 126 electoral votes, said the president courted voters by offering policies–some of them this election year–that appealed to key constituencies in the Democratic base.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” Romney said.
“Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women,” he continued. “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.”
The president’s health care reform plan, he added, also turned out support from African Americans and Hispanic voters.
“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 healthcare 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.”
A spokesperson for Romney, who has stayed away from the public spotlight since losing the election last week, did not return a request for comment about the call.
Romney’s remarks come after top Republicans in recent days have pushed for a bigger tent party, saying the GOP learned this election that it has work to do in terms of demographic changes.
“We’ve got to be a lot more inclusive and open and energetic and wanting people to join our team by expressing why these conservative values are good for people of all races, creeds, colors, and national origin,” Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, previously a top surrogate for Romney, said last week on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.” “We’ve just got to do a better job with that.”
On the Democratic side, women and minorities made historic gains this election. For the first time, women and minorities will outnumber male Democrats in the House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate will also have a record number of women-20-when the 113th Congress convenes in January.
Romney, on the 20-minute call, said he was “disappointed” with the final election tally and “hadn’t anticipated it.” Looking ahead, Romney said the party is “still so troubled by the past (that) it’s hard to put together our plans for the future,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Speaking to the donors, Romney praised them for their success in fundraising and suggested they help with “perhaps the selection of a future nominee — which, by the way, will not be me.”
The campaign’s finance chairman, Spencer Zwick, said on the call that Romney’s team had raised more than $900 million; Romney added he didn’t expect to take in more than $500 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.