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Romney tells donors Obama rewarded 'those groups'

Talking to donors seems to bring out the worst in Mitt Romney. Or maybe it just brings out the real Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney on Wednesday was awarded for making the \"Lie of the Year.\" (Photo by Charles Dharapak/AP)
Mitt Romney on Wednesday was awarded for making the \"Lie of the Year.\"

Talking to donors seems to bring out the worst in Mitt Romney. Or maybe it just brings out the real Mitt Romney. Just sixty days after his infamous "47%" remarks from a Boca Raton fundraiser went public in a secretly recorded video, the defeated presidential candidate, talking to donors on a conference call on Wednesday, blamed his loss on specific groups who received "gifts" from President Obama.

"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.”

The day after the election, Rush Limbaugh argued on his show that "small things" can go a long way.

"Small things beat big things yesterday. Conservatism, in my humble opinion, did not lose last night.  It's just very difficult to beat Santa Claus. It is practically impossible to beat Santa Claus. People are not going to vote against Santa Claus, especially if the alternative is being your own Santa Claus."

Romney told his backers that Obama had won by following the "old playbook" of targeting specific interest groups, "especially the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people." President Obama's initiatives were apparently very "generous in what they gave to those groups," he said, citing healthcare coverage for students or poorer Americans, and the Dream Act.  Romney also said he had "gotten beat up pretty bad" on immigration reform and his own personal wealth.

The New York Times' Ashley Parker, who was on the call, reports:

"With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift," Romney 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 went on:

"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, I mean, this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free healthcare was a big plus. 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."

Instead of seeing Obama administration's policies as a legitimate response to the needs of millions of Americans, Romney apparently considers them freebies for people who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives. Back in July, during his  address at the NAACP National Convention, he told the predominantly black audience that if they wanted handouts, they should re-elect President Obama.

"If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for? Vote for the other guy, that’s what he’s all about, okay? That’s not, that’s not what I’m about."

Romney told donors on the call how "sorry" he was to lose the election. "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," he said.  He and his closest advisers have started looking towards the future, he said, by asking, "'O.K., what can we do going forward?' But frankly we're still so troubled by the past, it's hard to put together our plans from the future." Romney offered his assistance "on the direction of the party, and perhaps the selection of a future nominee.” With one of his trademark chuckles, he quickly added,

“Which, by the way, will not be me.”