Romney says Obama won by giving voters “gifts” from the government

Gov. Romney’s comments were divisive, insensitive, and insulting. It lacked the kind of depth you would expect from the presidential nominee of a major party. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 16, 2012Governor Mitt Romney thinks President Obama won because he bribed voters with government gifts.

So much for the belief that the president won because of his get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation and his overwhelming support from minority groups and women.

“What the president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote,” Romney said.

Less than two weeks following another failed presidential bid for Romney, this is his take away from the election.

In fairness, losing a presidential election hurts. For Romney, the wound of defeat runs deep, and it stings. This is his second presidential campaign. He thought he would win it this time. He believed he had the momentum going into Election Day.

But he did not, he and other Republicans were lied to by what David Frum (former speechwriter for President George W. Bush) called the “conservative entertainment complex.”  The radio and Cable TV talk show hosts, conservative bloggers, political strategists, the Dick Morris’ of the world, and others.

Nevertheless, Gov. Romney’s comments were divisive, insensitive, and insulting. It lacked the kind of depth you would expect from the presidential nominee of a major party. It was void of any deep reflection or introspection.

But beyond that, Romney has a misguided view of conservatism. It is reminiscent of his comment that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent upon government,” and “believe that they are victims.” He seems to think that conservatism is not for all Americans, only for the small few.

True conservatives genuinely believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. That a limited, yet active federal government works better than a bloated and intrusive government that limits individual freedom and prevents people from pursuing their own version of happiness. That an escalating national debt, higher taxes, and burdensome regulations stifle economic growth and private entrepreneurship.

Now, due in large part to a fiery conservative base and lack of bold leadership in the Republican Party, conservatism has very little to do with those principles.

It is more about how much you hate President Obama and the federal government.  How much you hate “regulations.” As if government does not have a responsibility to enforce reasonable regulations to guard against corporate greed and corruption that hurt Main Street.

Or how much you agree or disagree with conservative talking heads on radio or television. Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh when he says he wants the president to fail or that Sandra fluke is a prostitute? Do you stand by Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment?

If you disagree or speak out forcefully against such statements, you run the risk of being called a RINO (Republican in Name Only). How foolish and narrow-minded.

The Republican Party needs an intervention. Not so much a re-evaluation of its party principles but how those principles are articulated and presented to the electorate. Better yet, they need a very serious “proctology exam” like Gov. Haley Barbour recommended.

 

Ayobami is a graduate student in George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. For questions, comments, or story suggestions, contact him on Facebook or twitter.

 


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Ayobami Olugbemiga

Ayobami Olugbemiga is a Political Sales Team Leader at NCC Media where he develops Cable TV advertising schedules for political candidates and interest groups. An award-winning collegiate journalist, Ayobami received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. 

In 2013, he was honored by the Society of Professional Journalists with a Mark of Excellence Award for Online Opinion and Commentary. Follow Ayobami on twitter at @ayobamiao

 

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