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Mitt Romney’s Sneering Farewell to the ‘47 Percent’
Posted on Nov 15, 2012
By Joe Conason
Trying to explain away his decisive, sweeping and very expensive rout to his disappointed supporters—those one-percent Republicans—Mitt Romney offered a new version of the discredited “47 percent” argument that was so ruinous in its original form. In a Wednesday afternoon conference call, the defeated Republican nominee told donors and fundraisers that President Obama had won by lavishing generous “gifts” upon certain groups, including young voters, African-Americans and Latinos.
“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 2009 ... Likewise, with Hispanic voters, free health care 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.”
It’s amusing that at this late date, the Republican who distanced himself from health care reform claims that Obamacare helped Obama to win.
Remember, Romney vowed every day to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which he clearly knew was bad policy but believed was good politics. He and his fellow Republicans thundered about the president thwarting the will of the people by pushing through Obamacare—yet now he wants to use it as an alibi because it was so popular. Keeping up with his constantly conflicting, endlessly convenient, versions of reality was never easy.
Now before dispensing with Romney for good—as most Americans (including many Republicans) are understandably eager to do—it is worth noting that these churlish excuses to his donors represent the ultimate falsification, not only of his campaign but of his own character.
Recall how he disowned the “47 percent” remarks when he realized how damaging they were to his chances for victory, telling Sean Hannity on Fox News that what he had been caught saying at a $50,000-a-plate Boca Raton fundraising event was “just completely wrong.” His mea culpa was factually accurate, of course—as we have discovered again lately with the news that so many food stamp recipients reliably vote Republican. Those who don’t pay income tax include plenty of Republicans, especially the elderly on Social Security and military personnel on active duty and poor white evangelical voters who simply don’t earn enough. They also include thousands of wealthy Romney supporters who, like their candidate, have learned to manipulate the tax system.
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