Audio and new quotes from Mitt Romney’s postmortem calls with donors have emerged in which the Republican nominee elaborates on his claim that “big gifts” from President Obama to minorities, youth, and women swung the election.
If this audio had come out two weeks ago, the tape would officially classify as yet another Romney gaffe.
On one such call, a recording of which was obtained by ABC, Romney explained that Obama’s health care law, long considered one of the president’s biggest vulnerabilities by top Republicans, actually rallied Democratic base voters against him. The former Republican nominee said Obama followed “a proven political strategy, which is give a bunch of money to a group and, guess what, they’ll vote for you.”
“What I would do if I were a Democrat running four years from now, I’d say, you know what, dental care will be included in Obamcare … and Republicans will say, no, that’s going to cost a trillion dollars, and the Democrats will say, that’s fine, you know, we’ll pay it,” Romney said in the recording.
Romney also suggested Obama’s support for “amnesty for those that are here illegally” was critical to Latino voters and urged the party to address immigration in Congress or risk getting beaten again in 2016.
“Going forward, clearly we have to have an immigration plan, this idea of just kicking this down the field until every four years the Democrats use it as an issue to hit us over the head with is nuts,” he said. “We have to have an immigration plan and program, and I certainly hope that our leaders in Washington are willing to put that forward.”
He sounded more hopeful on that front than others.
“Immigration we can solve,” he said, “but the giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.