And now, with his benedictory (emphasis third syllable; Larry, I defer to you on the full pun) address, Mitt Romney. The most irrelevant man in America held a press conference today to discuss why he and the SuperPACs delivered us to four more years of President Barack Hussein Obama. Romney's petty conclusion: Obama gave people "gifts":
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 [Mitt Romney, quoted by Ashley Parker, "Romney Blames Loss on Obama’s 'Gifts' to Minorities and Young Voters," New York Times: The Caucus, 2012.11.14].
Romney admits that the Affordable Care Act provides the working-poor with real assistance:
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 [Romney, 2012.11.14] .
Romney pretends that Team Obama "made a big effort on small things," while Team Romney was all about big issues:
Our campaign, in contrast, was talking about big issues for the whole country — military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.... And by the way, as you’ll hear from Neil [Newhouse, campaign pollster], our strategy worked well with many people, but for those who were given a specific gift, if you will, our strategy did not work terribly well [Romney, 2012.11.14].
Romney isn't much smarter than Brad Ford; in defeat, he clings to his dismissal of millions of Americans as the selfish 47%, all takers, no givers. Now he just thinks he was off by a fatal 3.6%. Romney exposes his own venality, the rich man's conviction that everything is had for a price.
In this conference call, Mitt Romney, a man dedicated to talking about big things, now says his biggest plan is to put together a newsletter for his little insider clique. Perhaps. Oh, the statesmanship.
America, Happy Thanksgiving one week early. There's one big turkey who's off our table.
Update 22:20 MST: That was quick: Bobby Jindal makes his first pitch for the 2016 nomination by absolutely rejecting Romney's petty thesis:
I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party.... 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 [Gov. Bobby Jindal, quoted by James Hohmann and Jonathan Martin, "Jindal Rejects Romney's 'Gifts' Theory," Politico.com, 2012.11.14].
Governor Jindal, you understand what your party needs to go to win next time. But you miss the point that Romney lost because he perfectly represents where the bulk of the Republican Party is: insulated by money and privilege and thus out of touch with the daily reality of most working Americans.