In this Nov. 5, 2012, file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign event at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, Romney is telling top donors that President Barack Obama won re-election because of the "gifts" he had already provided to blacks, Hispanics and young voters. Romney also cites as a reason for his loss the president's effort to paint Romney as anti-immigrant. In a call Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, to those donors, Romney said Obama's campaign focused on giving targeted groups what he called "a big gift" while his campaign had been about, in his words, "big issues for the whole country." - AP File Photo

WASHINGTON: Mitt Romney, in his first remarks since an unexpectedly lopsided election loss to Barack Obama, blamed his defeat Wednesday on “gifts” showered by the president on his female, African-American and Hispanic supporters.

A little more than a week after the election, Romney in a phone call with his national finance committee accused Obama of following the “old playbook” by bestowing favors on key Democratic constituencies in exchange for their support at the ballot box.

“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” said the defeated Republican presidential nominee, adding that young voters were also among the beneficiaries of Obama's largesse.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Romney said.

Obama garnered 51 per cent of the popular vote, while Romney got 48 per cent.

The president's win was more decisive in the Electoral College, where he earned 332 votes against Romney's 206.

Romney's remarks, reported by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, echoed controversial remarks made to donors at a private fundraiser, denigrating the “47 per cent” of US voters who he said failed to pay income tax.

Those comments in May, captured surreptitiously on video, confirmed some voters' views that Romney was an elitist who cared only about the rich.

He told the donors on Wednesday's conference call that Obama “made a big effort on small things,” while his own campaign had been about “big issues.”

Among the goodies Romney said Obama gave to his backers were “free contraceptives,” which were very big with young college-aged women.

The president's controversial health care reform plan was another campaign plum that helped secure the youth vote, Romney said.

“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,” Romney told his backers.

“They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008,” he said.

The conservative Mormon nominee locked up the elderly voters in the Nov 6 election, and earned a definitive 59 per cent of the white vote.

But in addition to young voters, minorities rallied around Obama, with 93 per cent of African Americans, 71 per cent of Hispanics and 72 per cent of Asians casting a ballot for the president.

Romney said the perquisites on offer were particularly tempting to low-income voters.

“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,” Romney said. “I mean, this is huge.”

The former Massachusetts governor -- whose landmark achievement while he led the state was a health reform program after which Obama patterned his own national health initiative -- depicted the president's medical care plan as a campaign bonbon his campaign couldn't compete with.

For Latinos' “free health care was a big plus,” Romney said during the 20-minute call.

“But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called 'Dream Act' kids, was a huge plus for that voting group,” he said, referring to a program introduced by the president this year allowing some undocumented youths to temporarily remain legally in the United States.

Romney seemed still rueful after last Tuesday's vote, which his own campaign team had predicted he would win handily, and which numerous polls leading into the election said was too close to call.

“I'm very sorry that we didn't win,” he said.

“I know that you expected to win, we expected to win, we were disappointed with the result, we hadn't anticipated it, and it was very close but close doesn't count in this business.”

Romney, who apparently had been convinced that he would be moving into the White House, said he and his campaign advisers were still sorting out what their futures would hold.

“So now we're looking and saying, 'OK, what can we do going forward?'” he said.

“But frankly we're still so troubled by the past, it's hard to put together our plans for the future,” the defeated candidate said.

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Comments (33)

November 15, 2012 1:53 pm
But then this is the only motivating message for the new Republican Party - racism is its doctorine.
November 15, 2012 10:47 am
Nooooo..... Not free healthcare! Look around America, welcome to the 21st century. Love ( and care for) thy neighbour. Good for you, Mr. Obama. Nanook of the North
khan usafzai
November 16, 2012 9:14 pm
Marco Rubio is the person to revive the Republicans and the next best thing in there ranks though still young at this stage ... he has the charisma of a leader and Latino background ...
November 15, 2012 10:52 am
And the carried interest tax break isn't a "gift".
November 15, 2012 1:50 pm
Actually, it was close in terms of popular vote (not is terms of the Electoral College). And this, to me, was the most frightening outcome of the election. Which is, just how Americans vote on the basis of race and religion.
November 15, 2012 1:46 pm
Tea party and religious right have hijacked the Republican Party. A moderate Republican is now an endangered species.
Muriel G. Stern
November 15, 2012 10:44 am
What a classless loser. Once again, Mr. Romney cannot accept the fact (and I mean fact) that he considers the sick-the poor and the middle class a burden on the elites. Sad for him. It seems that the majority of humankind does not agree with him-including some of the rich among us. I suggest Mr. Romney spend some time among those who work hard, and help each other survive various illnesses,floods, fires,earthquakes .
Alice Gordon
November 15, 2012 10:45 am
There is nothing Obama did that was out of the ordinary and the Republicans scared people to death picking out each special interest demographic and taking a draconian stand with the rationalization that times were hard. But these policies made it hard. The election was not close when dealing with large numbers of voters. Three percent of the voters is a normal win. The six percent who originally voted for Obama against Bush, whoops I meant McCain is the largest for a first time President in history and was abnormal.
November 15, 2012 11:05 am
This horrible man is angry because our children in school get to keep health insurance from mom and dad???? My son was put back onto my insurance while he was in school thanks to Obama and the Democrats and it saved his life due to a surgery he needed. This horrid man wanted my son to either die or go perpetually into debt due to a hospital bill on top of the expense of school? I am amazed anyone voted for this clown.
Cliff Cabbage
November 15, 2012 12:38 pm
You can blame demographics all you want but the truth of the matter is, is that 70% of registered Republicans didnt even bother to vote. Its as simple as that. In sports, if 70% of your team doesnt show up for the game its known as a forfeit.
November 15, 2012 1:47 pm
The reality is that there is a clear frustration in the minds of Americans.Romney`s words are clearly depicting that.The fact is that United States of America is going to break.
November 15, 2012 2:15 pm
Pretty Ironic that the "doers" didn't vote in high enough numbers; I guess they were busy doing other things.
Samad Chaudhry
November 15, 2012 10:23 am
Poor looser crying the reasons his failure!
Mike Fields
November 15, 2012 10:39 am
Now the true Romney comes out- the same one who talked about the 47%. Good thing he lost!
November 15, 2012 3:04 pm
Mr Romney, You are not finding the real facts why you lost the election, while you was good candidate. I did not not vote for you but like to vote for you. Here are my reasons: 1: Everyime when I listened to you you talked about war. Your party already started two wars. 2: The deficit your party created not democratic party due to wars. 3: You talked about specific group of people not for a man from the main street. 4: You have to study in broad point of view, who are constantly participate in election and then listened their views. I hope you will study and find the facts other than that you was the best candidate....but lost ...
November 15, 2012 10:57 am
There are winners and there are lossers. Suck it up rich man. All your money did not help you and it is high time the table was turned for those with only labor to show for their efforts. It is called take home pay because there is no other place that it can be taken, but home... that is if you have a home.
John Cross
November 15, 2012 1:34 pm
These are not "gifts", they are what he promised in 2008--or at least the part that the republicans vould not block. They are what he was elected to do. Romney's problem was that he ran a negative, pessimistic campaign from the beginning with no vision, not hope, nothing. All he wanted to help was the top 1%, and all the money in the world could not hide that fact from the population. Go home, loser. We are trying to forget you ever existed. Next time I hope the GOP is able to put up someone with some new ideas rather than the same old "gimmes" for the rich and religious basket-cases.
Rob Rodgers (@Hemi425HP)
November 15, 2012 10:36 am
He's right. The takers outnumbered the doers in this election. Plain and simple.
Dan mazur
November 15, 2012 10:38 am
Romney is absolutely correct. The democrats have pandered to blocs of constituents by providing them special accommodations. There is absolutely no denying this and occurs in every corner. It is also because of these accommodations that the USA is a welfare state, offering numerous cradle to grave benefits that just 25 years ago been decried as Socialist programs. Today, they are seen as expectations. Welcome to the United Socialist States of America. People don't like hearing the term 'socialist' when referring to certain politicians, but if one understands what socialism is, it is clear that this is what it is. Next steps?
James Witt
November 15, 2012 10:51 am
This babble by Romney is just more proof of how this silver spoon eliteist is totally out of touch with 99% of the american people. He doesn't have a clue...even for the GOP he is a poor example!
November 15, 2012 11:12 am
As an independant that has voted Republican in the's whiny. Had you focused on the middle, where you REALLY live (see Voting record in MA) you could have done better.
John Mattson
November 15, 2012 11:07 am
What a big baby - and it wasn't close - he got his butt kicked. How insulting to the electorate to make foolish claims like these...I am glad he lost, he shows no class and certainly no humility in defeat... I guess that's what it is like to be rich and spoiled...
Curt Mayer
November 15, 2012 10:59 am
just go away, mitt. we don't need you or your magic underwear, anywhere.
November 15, 2012 10:58 am
As if this fool was not giving away HUGE presents to the one percent in the form of tax cuts. Look you LOSER Romney, realize that ALL politicians get elected for ONE reason, to bring presents, a better life, to the voter. Obama won because he appealed to MORE voters and spoke to the people and NOT DOWN to the people, and while you are at it RELEASE your tax forms, so we can see how much the MOrmon church is actually a TAX DODGE!
Billy Bhadmos
November 15, 2012 1:13 pm
This man would have won a landslide victory in a country like Nigeria where the overfed and corrupt elites always spite common people, but in a country like America, people like Romney will always be put where they rightly belong to.
bob duncan
November 15, 2012 10:49 am
Do these people ever shut up? They lost. GET OVER IT!!!! You lost because the MAJORITY of America doesn't like you or the way your party does business. Shut your mouth and go away. You talk about "gifts" Obama gave? What about the billion dollars worth of "gifts" the rich gave to you to try and get you elected you idiot.
Nomo Stew
November 15, 2012 12:13 pm
We wise up about the historical evidence against tax cuts for the rich and in favor of investing in the infrastructure represented by a healthy, educated workforce and become as successful as "socialist" nations like Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands?
Wilburn Jenkiins
November 15, 2012 1:26 pm
I've been a democrat all my life until Obama ran for president . If you that were enamored enough to vote for Him twice or the second time around then you will also be enamored enough to accept the downfall of America without realizing why it happened . I'm 78 years old so I probably won't see the result of the damage this man has and will do. I can't feel compassion for you , but i am concerned about my grandchildren and their future. I probably won't live to see the destruction you are going to face.
November 16, 2012 1:11 pm
i do not think so
Alice Gordon
November 16, 2012 1:16 pm
Look at Fact Checker. He says less people in every demographic voted for Obama in 2012 than in 2008. He did not win anyone by giving them "gifts". Romney was lost on his own platform.
November 16, 2012 2:07 am
"Outnumbered" is the key, in democratic world at the least.
Honest Belief
November 16, 2012 6:20 pm
Grapes are sour. Being a multi-millionaire and a politician, Rommney is being a cry baby. Obama played smart politics with a weak hand and won. Rommney did not deserve to win if he could not out smart Obama. Obama appealed to the average/general public and won, whereas Rommney appealed to the rich and famous and lost.
November 17, 2012 8:59 am
Pakistanis lost our friend Romney becoming president of America. :(
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