More than one week after the United States presidential elections in which he was defeated by incumbent and Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, the Republican flag bearer, Mitt Romney, at a conference call with donors, Thursday, alleged that his efforts to beat Obama at the polls was unsuccessful because of ‘gifts’ the administration gave to black, hispanic and young voters.
“The President’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift, so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.” Mr Romney said.
He pointed at healthcare reform legislation and a decision to suspend deportation of certain illegal immigrants who came to the country as children by the president, proved “highly motivational” on Election Day.
Mr Romney also said he had “gotten beat up pretty bad” on issues including his immigration stance and personal wealth.
“I am very sorry that we didn’t win,” Mr Romney told the donors. “I know that you expected me to win. We expected to win. It was very close, but close doesn’t count in this business.”
In a move that seems to disassociate the Republican party from Mr Romney’s comments, the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal told reporters at a Republican Governors Association (RGA) meeting: “I absolutely reject that notion, that description.”
“We need to stop being a dumb party, and that means more than stop making dumb comments,” added Jindal, who is the RGA’s incoming chairman.
However, on Friday, the White House rejected Mr Romney’s remarks that President Obama owed his re-election to “gifts” he showered on women, African American and Hispanic supporters.
Mr Obama’s Spokesman, Jay Carney told reporters that Romney’s “view of the American people and the election is at odds with the truth of what happened last week”.
Obama garnered 51 percent of the popular vote to Romney’s 48 percent, and won decisively in the state-by-state Electoral College, where he earned 332 votes to Romney’s 206.
When he was pressed further by reporters aboard Air Force One, Mr Carney defended President Obama’s social measures as “good for all Americans” and “good for the economy.”
“The President pursued policies that have at their core a desire to help the middle class, strengthen the middle class, make the middle class more secure, because that’s what makes America more secure”.