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Archives: Romney’s Gifts comment shows why he lost the election

Originally published in November 2012
Simon Nguyen

Voters were right when they decisively chose President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. With his “gifts” comment, the former Massachusetts governor once again showed how out of touch he is with most Americans.

In Romney’s world, there only seems to be two groups of Americans -- people who depend on the government and those who do not. This was clearly demonstrated in his controversial 47-percent remark. Consequently, Romney naturally assumed Obama’s victory was due exclusively to support from people who depend on the government.

But the governor’s theory does not hold up to reality. According to an analysis conducted by CNBC.com, the president won 8 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the U.S. If Romney was right, all of these counties would have gone to him by a big margin.

In the “gifts” comment, Romney specifically cited the Dream Act and Obamacare as examples of the president’s gifts to minority groups. While these policies might have been a factor in voting decisions, they were unlikely the sole reason. Take the president’s handling of Hurricane Sandy for example. People did not vote for the president simply because of this one event. But Obama’s strong display of leadership in the storm’s aftermath may have reminded undecided voters of other instances of his leadership such as the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Minority groups such as Hispanics, Asians and young people voted for the president not merely because of Obamacare and the Dream Act, but because they believe he is more in touch with them. According to CNN exit polls, Obama led Romney 53 percent to 43 percent in the question of who is more in touch with voters. The significant gap may have explained why the president won reelection.

Instead of blaming gift-happy voters for his defeat, Romney should blame himself for all the gaffes he committed in the campaign. His condescending 47-percent remark, self-deportation absurdity and refusal to release more of his tax returns all played into the Democrats’ portrayal of him as elitist and out-of-touch. His latest comment is an affirmation of the stereotype and will likely sink his political career.

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