“Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong.” Richard Armour
Mitt Romney, in the wake of his embarrassing defeat, committed yet another major faux pas, telling his donors that Obama won the election because he gave “gifts” to specific groups of donors, particularly minority groups, with an emphasis on Latino voters, blacks, and young women.
In a conference call on Wednesday, Romney told his top contributors that Obama was able to sway voters in his direction with large financial gifts. According to a report by Ashley Parker of the New York Times, Romney was able to specifically point out those “gifts” by each group:
“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said, in reference to blacks, Latinos, and young voters.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “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.” (Romney also cited “the path to citizenship” as a large “gift” to Latino voters. Coincidentally, Romney also supported that same notion as Governor of Massachusetts.)
While I also agree that the liberal policies instituted by the Obama administration could have been instrumental in securing re-election, I have to mention that I think the reasons behind Mitt Romney’s loss have nothing to do with Obama at all.
I can, however, give you some ideas as to why the GOP vote did not tip in Romney’s direction.
#1 Mitt has a severe blind spot when it comes to his own behavior and his own policies. We are all aware that Mitt is a flip-flopper, but the biggest insult came after the convention when the GOP, at Mitt’s urging, was suddenly willing to look at the ideas that Ron Paul introduced during the election cycle. Of course, when Paul voiced those ideas, he was “crazy ‘ol Uncle Ron“. However, when Mitt decided to take credit for those ideas, it was somehow okay. It is never okay to claim someone’s ideas for your own, simply because you are too dense and out of touch to come up with it yourself.
#2 False dealings and fraud on the part of the Mitt Romney campaign. There may be a lot of straight ticket Republican voters who sit at home and watch TV, rather than getting involved, but this election cycle proved to have an enormous turnout on the part of the grassroots organization of the liberty wing of the GOP. Had Mitt and his cohorts at the RNC embraced those folks, Mitt may have won the election. Instead, they stripped delegates from Ron Paul by nefarious means, were caught ballot stuffing, injured the chairman in Arizona, were posing as Paul supporters and handing out fake slates in Maine; all the while preparing to cut off states’ rights at the knees at the Republican National Convention….that leads me to the next reason:
#3 Voter suppression and outright cheating at the Republican National Convention. To be fair, Romney had co-conspirators, it seems, when it came down to the farce of a convention in Tampa. Reince Preibus, head of the RNC, was part of that group, as well as John Boehner and Romney’s head attorney, Benjamin Ginsberg. Not only did they keep prominent Republican and Rules Committee member Morton Blackwell stuck on a bus until after the vote; Boehner blatantly read “the ayes have it” from the teleprompter before the voice vote was finished. The microphones were turned off when delegates were screaming in opposition from the floor, and at that point, the Virginia delegates were still stuck on a bus outside (more on that story in a later post.) The rules changes that were made denied Ron Paul a nomination that he earned fairly, as well as giving the RNC and Mitt Romney the power to do whatever they wanted as far as the selection of delegates. In previous posts, I discussed the situation with a walk out at the convention as well as the demand from several states to have their voices heard by their party. As far as I know, that has not happened.
#4 Ignoring Iowa until after he was nominated. That one really doesn’t need an explanation,
#5 The 47% remarks. With high unemployment, skyrocketing prices, and a war looming with Iran, Americans don’t want to be told that because they are poor, they are beneath you. In effect, that is what those remarks meant to those of us who are not in the financial position to pay out more than we make, while the Romney family sits high on the hog and pays very little taxes. If Romney were a Republican in any sense of the word, he would realize that the income tax is unconstitutional anyway…but wait, Romney admitted that he didn’t know the Constitution well; and to leave those explanations to the “expert”, Ron Paul.
#6 Completely shutting out the millions of liberty-minded voters. An apology would not have guaranteed Mitt any more votes, but it may have at least made some folks move in the direction of supporting their party to beat Obama. The Romney campaign and the RNC didn’t even try to make amends with the liberty people, and thus lost at least 20-30% of their voter base. People scoff when I throw out that number, but look at Iowa, for example. There were 28,101 people who either voted third party or wrote in a vote. While it would not have entirely closed the gap between Romney and Obama, it would have narrowed it to 59,000. Now, think about that 59,000. How many people do you personally know that did not vote this year because they were upset about the outcome of the convention, or that decided they were apathetic because their votes did not count for anything? 1.5 million Iowans voted in this election. Iowa has a voting age population of 2,250,423 people. I’m sure that you can do the math.
The simple fact is that Mitt Romney was not the lesser of two evils in this election, even to members of his own party. On top of it all, he comes out publicly as a sore loser. The GOP has never had a worse image than it does right now, and there are so many people working to change that…but those people are being ostracized by the neo-conservative faction, and 3/4 of Americans have no idea of what is going on behind the scenes.
It’s time for the GOP to do some soul searching, and to clean house. The question remains on whether they will get it right this time, or make anther mistake of Romney-like proportions?
“The ground game is really important, and we have to be, I mean we’ve got to give our political organizational activity a very serious…proctology exam. We need to look everywhere.” Former Republican National Chairman Haley Barbour