Republican Mitt Romney, still working his way through the seven stages of grief over his failed presidential bid, appears to be stuck at stage one: shock and denial.
Since delivering a gracious concession speech last week, Romney has had time to reflect on the factors that helped President Obama win. In a conference call with donors Wednesday he attributed Obama's victory by 126 electoral votes to the bestowal of gifts to young voters, women and minorities.
"What the president's campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote," he said, according to audio from the call aired by ABC News.
According to Romney, partial forgiveness of college loan interest and Obamacare, which offers provisions for contraception and enables them to stay on their parents' plans until age 26, helped the president win the support of young adults and college-age women, as well as African-Americans and Latinos. He also said that the president's two-year amnesty program for undocumented immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children was "highly motivational."
"It's a prudent political strategy, which is give a bunch of money to a group and guess what? They'll vote for you," he said, adding, "Giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with."
David Axelrod, who served as Obama's top strategist, responded to Romney's comments via Twitter.
"Still looking at America through that 47% prism," he wrote. "Mitt tells donors the takers did him in."
And Democrats aren't the only ones who disparaged the Republican's theory. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal seemed to second Axelrod belief that Romney was once again targeting the "47 percent" of Americans he previously criticized as overly dependent on government.
Jindal, speaking at the opening of the Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas Wednesday denounced Romney's theory as "absolutely wrong."
"If the GOP is to be competitive," he pushed back, it must "go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote."
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