Mitt Romney Still Doesn’t Get It
Mitt Romney gave his first interview since losing the Presidential election to Fox’s Chris Wallace yesterday, and when it comes to the subject of why he lost the election, it’s fairly clear that he still doesn’t get it:
Mitt Romney stood by his belief that President Obama was aided in his re-election by giving gifts to minority voters, during an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday.”
“The president had the power of incumbency, ‘Obamacare’ was very attractive, particularly to those without insurance, and they came out in large numbers to vote,” Romney said. “So that was part of a successful campaign.”
This isn’t all that different from what Romney said in a conference call with supporters, when he said that the President won the election because he offered “gifts” to minorities. As I noted at the time, this was an utterly ridiculous statement:
While more sophisticated, Romney’s assessment of the election isn’t all that different from what we’ve heard from the likes of Rush Limbaugh over the past week. For Limbaugh, the explanation for Obama’s victory can be found in the fact that he played “Santa Claus” to a whole host of special interest groups ranging from minorities to women to young voters. It is, perhaps, an easy conclusion to come to if you’re a Limbaugh-type conservative. After all, for them the entire Obama Administration has been about giving people government benefits, and they typically cite things such as the increased number of people on food stamps as proof of their argument. Of course, while it’s true that the number of people on food stamps has increased over the past four years, the main reason for that is because of the economic collapse in 2008 and the fact that we’re still struggling to get out of that whole. While I agree that the President has done far too little to fix the economy, blaming him for the fact that more people qualify for food stamps today than four years ago is kind of like blaming the cold weather for the fact that you need to wear a jacket when you go outside.
The bigger flaw in Romney’s assertion, though, is that it clearly misstates what the entire election was about. Even though I disagree with him on many issues, President Obama did not campaign on giving free stuff to people no matter how much conservatives want to tell themselves that he did. What the President did do, and quite effectively I have to admit, is appeal to a wide variety of interest groups by giving them the impression that he actually cared about the problems they were dealing with. This is something that Romney never seemed to be able to do, and when he tried it came across as a sort of false sincerity that clearly didn’t play well with voters. While that may not have been the main reason that the Republican ticket lost, it certainly didn’t help the ticket make its case over the course of the election.
Clearly, Romney hasn’t spent much of the time since November involved in personal reflection.