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January 31, 2015

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Romney not done with gaffes

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Mitt Romney finally has it figured out. He knows why he lost. Guess what? It was all President Barack Obama’s fault.

Of course, that’s not exactly the way Romney puts it. He puts it in a way that sounds even sillier than that. Or perhaps, depending on your worldview, more tragic.

In a 20-minute afternoon conference call with his major donors and fundraisers eight days after Election Day, Romney blamed his loss on Obama’s bestowing what Romney called “gifts” to various groups of voters, “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”

Zounds! As we used to say back in the day when most people received their news on newsprint, stop the presses!

As the sly prefect in the movie “Casablanca” might say, I am shocked, shocked. Thanks to the former Republican presidential candidate, I now realize that the president openly and shamelessly — Gasp! — offered programs and policies to America’s voters that actually would help Americans improve their lives. Those Chicago guys will stop at nothing.

“In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Romney said. A simple question came to my mind upon hearing this news about “gifts”: Where’s mine?

Romney was proud to contrast Obama’s “gift”-giving strategy with his own tight-fisted talk about “big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.”

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” said Romney, who probably never had to take out a college loan in his life.

“Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women,” he said. Sounds like he’s been listening too much to Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talker who called law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” for advocating government-funded contraceptives. Republicans fume at Democrats for suggesting the Grand Old Party is waging a “war against women,” although it’s not hard to see where the Dems get that idea.

In that light, I congratulate Ohio Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, for introducing a bill in April that would require men to visit a sex therapist before getting a prescription for erectile-dysfunction drugs such as Viagra. What’s good for the gander should be good for the goose.

“And then, finally,” said Romney, “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.” And, I would add, to many of their parents.

That President Obama sure is a clever fellow, giving so many Americans what they want. I wonder why that notion, apparently, didn’t appeal to Romney? Oh, right. It did.

He promised seniors, for example, that he’d restore President Obama’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts despite his passionate pleas for cuts in soaring budget deficits. He also promised that, no matter what, he wouldn’t touch Medicare and Social Security spending for at least a decade.

He looked like Santa Claus to upper-income earners with his promises to protect them from Obama’s proposed income tax hikes. He also promised Wall Street that he would roll back the Dodd-Frank financial regulations that were legislated to rein in the abuses that led to the 2008 financial crash.

Yet, Romney referred to none of these offerings as “gifts” on the campaign trail. Now his sour-grapes postmortems have sent even his fellow Republicans Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, among others, fast-walking away from him. Wise move, gentlemen.

Romney’s remarks echo his earlier secretly-recorded comments to donors last year in Boca Raton about the “47 percent of Americans” who “don’t pay taxes,” refuse to take responsibility for their lives and will support Obama no matter what. “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he said. What is it about talking to donors that brings out Romney’s inner upper-class twit?

“My job is not to worry about those people,” he said. That’s OK. I don’t think they’re too worried about him, either.

Clarence Page is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He writes from Washington.

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  1. Mr. Page: Newsflash. The country is divided almost evenly down the middle. Obama won by the narrowist of margins for a second termer. Before you and all the Obama fans pound your chest and jump up and down for joy, remember that.


  2. I shudder when I think about how close we had it to have Romney as President.

    I think there was Divine intervention on November 6, 2012.

  3. Oh yes, there was/were:

    Florida, before the convention, then New York/Jersey, a few days before the election.

    Heed the warning and repent, you sinners!

  4. Candidate Romney stood a chance until he let his elite slip show in regard to the 47%ers. No elected official, especially the LEADER of a diverse nation, should ever possess such a mindset and attitude as Romney has towards a very large segment of our country's population!!!

    I thank GOD that Romney let that slip through his lips. He ratted himself out and his TRUE motives towards Americans throughout the land. Did he ever read the Bible about the "hand that is generous"? Guess that is NOT a part of his religious background.

    Time to roll on with what we now have in Washington, D.C., and get down to the business of running our country for those who were elected.

    Blessings and Peace,

  5. Carmine:

    Get over it already!! Even the hardcore conservatives that post here seem to have moved on. Well, at least some of them. There is always one or maybe two that continue to drone on and on with you leading the pack. Sometimes I think they just like to hear themselves "talk" or like to read what they post. WHy can't you all get over it already? Having all those negative thoughts and always posting them is going to send you all to an early grave. And it won't matter who is president.

  6. Det__Munch:

    I stated the facts in my post above. You gave your opinion ABOUT ME. I don't agree with your opinion ABOUT ME. I stand by the facts of the election as I stated them to the columnist.


  7. Mitt Romney became the candidate of the Republican party( the
    establishment). Romney was vetted by an exhaustive primary with
    numerous debates with his Republican competitors. He won the contest
    and was confirmed at the Republican National Convention to be the
    Republican candidate to face Obama. Romney ran a competitive campaign
    and collected 58 million votes to Obama's 60 million. Not exactly a
    runaway win by the president. Romney won 49% of the popular vote. It
    was eminently obvious that the demographics in Latino, black, and
    single women categories heavily favored Obama as well as 100 million
    Americas who are economically dependent on the policies of a failed
    leadership that presides over 23 million unemployed. Still, this
    election was not an impressive population victory for Obama .
    Republicans must stand by their convictions, win or lose the White
    House. They must not pander to the new demographic composition, they
    must adhere to traditional values and be true to those,be damned the
    Republican Establishment which has demonstrated its lack of backbone by
    throwing its own candidate under the bus after a marginal popular
    democratic victory. I would much prefer to see these weak kneed
    establishment Republicans join the Democratic Party, than to stand by
    them while they cast their future votes. The bottom line is that Mitt
    Romney was correct in his assessment that a democratic victory depended
    on tens of millions of voters receiving gifts in the form of government
    provided aid which made them beholden to Obama. This was the critical
    difference in this election.

  8. And Romney wasn't promising anybody any gifts? What a crock. More tax breaks for the rich and corporations. More wasteful defense contracts. War on Iran for his pals Netanyahu and Adelson. Repeal Obamacare and voucherize Medicare to benefit the insurance industry. More de-regulation for Wall Street and the major pollutors. More tax subsidies for the oil companies, and they get to drill and pollute our public lands for free. Privatize SS to benefit Wall Street. Privatize the Post Office to benefit UPS and other carriers owned by his donors. Destroy the labor unions to benefit the corporations. And on and on and on.
    So generous was he, the once and future His Majesty, the King-who-never-was, Willard Mitt Romney. If only.