November 17, 2012

Romney's fall from grace

The messy aftermath of his loss suggests that Republicans won't look to him to rebuild.

By DAN EGGEN The Washington Post

(Continued from page 1)

Mitt Romney
click image to enlarge

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney takes the stage to concede victory. The former Massachusetts governor has quickly become persona non grata to a shell-shocked party anxious to rebuild.

The Associated Press

Romney aides and advisers have offered varying explanations for the Nov. 6 election results -- which gave Obama 332 electoral votes and about 51 percent of the vote -- including flawed polling and bungled turnout efforts. But much of the discussion has revolved around Romney's heavy reliance on older, white voters and his overwhelming losses among blacks, Latinos, young women and other emerging demographic groups.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Romney's running mate, has pointed to high turnout in "urban areas" as a key factor in the outcome. But Romney, in a post-election call Wednesday with some of his key donors, went further by arguing that young and minority voters supported Obama because of the health care law, immigration reforms and other "gifts."

"The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people," Romney told hundreds of donors on the call, according to a Los Angeles Times account. "In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups."

He added that "it's a proven political strategy" to "give a bunch of money to a group, and, guess what, they'll vote for you."

That theory -- which fails to explain how Romney lost whiter and more rural states such as Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa -- was quickly condemned as offensive by figures in both parties.

The remarks were reminiscent of Romney's comments during a Florida fundraiser in May that 47 percent of Americans are government freeloaders who see themselves as "victims" who can't be persuaded to take personal responsibility for their lives. Romney later disavowed the 47 percent comments.

Indeed, one of the few people who seems to think Romney should have a future on the national stage is the re-elected president, who has said he will seek out his vanquished opponent's advice on the economy. "There are certain aspects of Gov. Romney's record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful," Obama said during his first post-election news conference Wednesday.

So far, though, the two haven't been in touch.

 

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