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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Romney's Gaffe

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Yesterday the media kerfuffle focused on Paul Ryan (completely accurate) comment that the Democrats had run up huge votes in central cities. Today, the faux outrage machine focuses on Mitt Romney's remark that Obama won, in part, because he gave "gifts" to certain constituencies to get them to vote for him. 


Mitt Romney, on a call with top donors on Wednesday, referred to some of the policies enacted under the Obama administration as “gifts” that helped him win young, minority and low-income voters.

Here’s The New York Times’s account of the call:

“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said.

With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “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 2008.”


In other words, he was saying that the party that brought us "The Life of Julia" and Sandra Fluke, auto bailouts, and record food stamp usage used the prospect of more "free stuff" to buy votes.

The"gaffe" here, of course,  is that this is absolutely true.


Bobby Jindal has stepped up to the plate to whack Romney for the comment, but I'd simply note that Jindal seems to be resetting the campaign to 2016 mode. 


That is absolutely wrong,” Jindal said. “Two points on that. One, we have got to stop dividing American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent — we need to go after every single vote. And second, we need to continue to show that our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents.”

“So I absolutely reject that notion, that description,” Jindal continued. I think it’s absolutely wrong. I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party. And that has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election. If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly. One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream, period. No exceptions.”

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