Sunday, May 19, 2024

Mitt Romney Offers Negative Remarks on Blacks, Latinos, and Young Voters

In the aftermath of presidential campaigns, it’s rare that you give much thought to the legacy or character of the losing candidate. Usually losing candidates disappear into the shadows of political footnotes.

Sometimes, the world even comes to appreciate those candidates in the way we never anticipated. Al Gore, for instance, withdrew from a race that he had actually won, made a new life for himself and was awarded a Nobel Prize.

For Mitt Romney, though, the only prize is that of a loser, and that has never been more plainly evident than in his talk with his political campaign donors Wednesday when he blamed his loss on “the gifts” he said President Obama gave to Hispanics, blacks and young voters during his first term.

Romney said this just a week after delivering a surprisingly magnanimous concession speech that, had he walked away quietly afterwards, would have left even those who would never have voted for him feeling that perhaps they had misjudged his character during a campaign in which he made it so easy to do so.

But now, I suspect that we can all see that it wasn’t the primaries nor the debates that truly defined the Romney character so much as two talks he had with his deep-pocket donors, rich fat-cats some would call them, with whom the former Massachusetts governor obviously has more in common than he does with the common American who so astutely rejected his bid for the presidency last week.

For it was that speech back in May that fortunately was recorded and made public as the campaign was heating up that probably was the single factor, if any one thing was, that cost Romney a presidential victory that was his to lose, given the fact that no incumbent had ever been reelected with the kind of unemployment rate currently plaguing the country.

That was the speech in which Romney told his supporters that 47 percent of American voters were deadbeats who didn’t pay taxes and that he could more easily win the presidency if only he were Hispanic.

Forty-seven percent of America should have rejected him after that speech. And if they all didn’t, then at least almost eight out of every 10 Latinos who voted—and it turned out to be a record Hispanic turnout—said hasta la vista, deadbeat Mitt.

Mitt Romney: I did not mean it

Romney tried to weasel out of those words by saying that sometimes his thoughts didn’t come out as he intended. It didn’t seem to matter, as Romney appeared headed toward certain defeat until the evening of October 3 when an overconfident Obama stumbled so badly in their first debate that the Romney campaign was given new life.

Thankfully, Romney lost. But if there was ever any doubt about the kind of president he would have been and whose interests he would have protected, it was removed Wednesday in his pathetic attempt to suggest that Obama had somehow bought the votes of Hispanics, blacks and the young with everything from the Affordable Health Care Act to his deferred action program to undocumented Latino youth, as if Romney’s own intentions to protect the wealthy from a fair share of taxation were some kind of benevolent act.

Perhaps it is telling that these two most poignant insights into Romney’s character have come in his talks to his donors. I say this because I am reminded of that quote about the wealthy from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Rich Boy.” “Let me tell you about the very rich,” Fitzgerald writes, “They are different from you and me.”

One of the ways they are different, it appears, is that they rarely know when they have been the beneficiaries of a great gift.

It may surprise Romney to learn that Obama’s biggest gift in the campaign wasn’t anything he gave Hispanics, blacks or the young. It was his underwhelming debate performance that allowed the otherwise overmatched Romney to think he had a chance.

Fortunately, most of America wasn’t as giving.

This article originally appeared on Voxxi.