The Republican Party has too rich and honorable a history to allow its future to be defined by fools like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.
But it will have a future only if responsible Republicans distance themselves—rapidly—not just from the debacle that was the Romney-Ryan run but from the crude “47 percent” politics that have underpinned the party’s recent appeals.
Romney made the need of distancing more urgent Wednesday, at a point when defeated presidential contenders are supposed to be gracious or quiet—but certainly not bitter and bizarre.
Romney used a telephone conference call with big donors to claim President Obama was re-elected by 3.5 million votes and a 332-206 Electoral College margin because Obama delivered “gifts” to young voters, Latinos and people of color:
The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people. In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups.
With regards to African American voters, ’ Obamacare ’ was a huge plus—and was highly motivational to African American voters. You can imagine for somebody making $25—, or $30—, or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free healthcare—particularly if you don’t have it, getting free healthcare worth, what, $10,000 a family, in perpetuity, I mean this is huge. Likewise with Hispanic voters, free healthcare was a big plus.
The defeated Republican candidate for president’s remarks display a shocking disregard for the seriousness with which tens of millions of Americans approached the 2012 election. And it parallels the very public whining from defeated Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who complained: “The surprise was some of the turnout, some of the turnout especially in urban areas, which gave President Obama the big margin to win this race.” (Emphasis added.)