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Joe Conason
NationofChange / Op-Ed
Published: Friday 16 November 2012
“It’s amusing that at this late date, the Republican who distanced himself from health care reform claims that Obamacare helped Obama to win.”

Mitt Romney’s Sneering Farewell to the ‘47 Percent’

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Trying to explain away his decisive, sweeping and very expensive rout to his disappointed supporters — those one-percent Republicans — Mitt Romney offered a new version of the discredited "47 percent" argument that was so ruinous in its original form. In a Wednesday afternoon conference call, the defeated Republican nominee told donors and fundraisers that President Obama had won by lavishing generous "gifts" upon certain groups, including young voters, African-Americans and Latinos.

"With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift," said Romney, after apologizing for losing what he called a "very close" election (he lost by more than 100 electoral votes and more than 1 percent of the popular vote, perhaps as much as 4 percent when all the state results are eventually certified).

"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 2009 ... Likewise, with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group."

It's amusing that at this late date, the Republican who distanced himself from health care reform claims that Obamacare helped Obama to win.

Remember, Romney vowed every day to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which he clearly knew was bad policy but believed was good politics.

He and his fellow Republicans thundered about the president thwarting the will of the people by pushing through Obamacare — yet now he wants to use it as an alibi because it was so popular. Keeping up with his constantly conflicting, endlessly convenient, versions of reality was never easy.

Now before dispensing with Romney for good — as most Americans (including many Republicans) are understandably eager to do — it is worth noting that these churlish excuses to his donors represent the ultimate falsification, not only of his campaign but of his own character.

Recall how he disowned the "47 percent" remarks when he realized how damaging they were to his chances for victory, telling Sean Hannity on Fox News that what he had been caught saying at a $50,000-a-plate Boca Raton fundraising event was "just completely wrong." His mea culpa was factually accurate, of course — as we have discovered again lately with the news that so many food stamp recipients reliably vote Republican. Those who don't pay income tax include plenty of Republicans, especially the elderly on Social Security and military personnel on active duty and poor white evangelical voters who simply don't earn enough. They also include thousands of wealthy Romney supporters who, like their candidate, have learned to manipulate the tax system.

But as a matter of feelings rather than facts, Romney evidently cannot stop himself from sneering at society's struggling people and the politicians who seek to improve their lives. It is not as if the donors he was addressing don't want "gifts" from government — such as the big new tax breaks that Romney had promised them, the huge increases in defense spending that would swell their profits, or the various individual corporate favors that they regard as their very own "entitlements." Just don't expect that kind of honest introspection from Romney or his crowd.


ABOUT Joe Conason

Joe Conason has written his popular political column for The New York Observer since 1992. He served as the Manhattan Weekly’s executive editor from 1992 to 1997. Since 1998, he has also written a column that is among the most widely read features on Conason is also a senior fellow at The Nation Institute.

None of these "gifts", even

None of these "gifts", even if they were the kind of "gifts" that Mitt purports them to be could ever, added all together, amount to a mere fraction of what the top 1% has reaped in real financial gifts and breaks from the federal government even during the years 2003-2009... he is talking through his silk top hat again.

Ron NM and everyone. We

Ron NM and everyone. We escaped by a hair, this time. Knowing the lack of attention span and fatigue the momentum needst o continue. How?

How about all the gifts you

How about all the gifts you promised to give your wealthy friends if you were elected, Mittens? That doesn't count, I guess.There weren't enough of them compared to the masses out there who voted for Obama, the people who are actually disenfranchised by the many gifts given to the minority of wealthy people that have grounded the economy to a halt.

This parasite refuses to take responsibility that the reason why he wasn't elected was because of this exact attitude, of "blaming" the "other" who, as we know, are people of color, or who come from the poorer classes who were not fortunate enough to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth like Mittens, or who have been victimized by the downward turn of the economy - an economy, I might add, that Mittens contributed to destroying with his business model of vulture capitalism. Mitt's financial history of bankrupting companies, outsourcing jobs to other countries, not paying his fair share of taxes, firing people, is the reason he wasn't elected. People don't want an insider, someone who was virtually responsible, along with friends on Wall Street for collapsing the global economy.

What was the GOP thinking of, nominating the very essence of what collapsed this nation? Clueless. The whole lot of them live in this alternative reality, as one can see from reading this privileged asshole's reasons as to why he "thinks" he lost the election.

The Republicans had to come

The Republicans had to come up with some kind of explanation as to why all their money did not enable them to buy the election. It doesn't seem to occur to them that the American people saw through it all.

As someone from Massachusetts, I cringe everytime someone calls our health care system "Romneycare" (just as I cringed every time he referred to us as "my state"). Romney did not design MassHealth. It was the result of a lot of grassroots activism. He just happened to be in the governor's seat when it went through.

Ron in NM - you hit a key

Ron in NM - you hit a key point, calling for re-regulation of the media world. Not just for political stuff: when I click around channels it's a better than even bet that I will hit on commercials, commercials, commercials. When commercial TV began in the UK, after there having been only the BBC, ad time was restricted - I think it was 6 minutes in every hour. So what happened here, where the airwaves are supposed to be a "public trust?"

Then extend that to politics - there are countries that run perfectly successful elections with strict limits on the amount any candidate can spend (never mind the rank evil of Citizens United.) For instance," In the United Kingdom the limit for candidates was £7,150 [US$10,000] plus £0.05 [US$0.07] per elector in a borough (urban) constituency and £0.07 [US$0.10] per elector in a county constituency” for the 2005 general election." And that's not even talking about TV, where paid political ads are forbidden, but each party gets an allotted amount of free time. Yet we don't consider the UK as being totalitarian or suppressing free speech. I am sure there would be a way to square similar rules with the First Amendment.

He's pissed because he thinks

He's pissed because he thinks he's entitled to everything, even the Presidency.

Hey Romney, why don't you go crawl back under your legacy of wealth where you're entitled to fuck yourself.

Romney will fade from sight,

Romney will fade from sight, fortunately. You can't feel sorry for a man who was obsessed with being the president ONLY to serve up more tax and economic favors to people just like himself who are a distinct minority in our Republic.

(Unfortunately, they own so many politicians that, like a tail wagging a dog, they still manage to control far too many government policies.)

Much has been said about ObamaCare being a copy of RomneyCare. That may be true, but it's well to remember that Obama originally envisioned something much better, a true Universal Health Care plan. He compromised downward to the Romney plan because that's really all he could get at the time. Even the Democratic majority in the Senate was not much help, and he had to virtually bribe two conservative Democrats to get their votes; and that was after he had to give up the idea of getting bi-partisan support. So, yeah, ObamaCare helps, and it's better than not having it, but it wasn't everything he really wanted. Not only did the Republicans oppose it, but he had to mollify Big Pharma and the insurance industry or they would launch another massive advertising campaign to kill it, just as they did when the Clintons tried to get a health care plan approved. Until we get the broadcast industry re-regulated again, and prohibit such advertising by corporate giants, we'll probably never see "Medicare for all," which is really what many Americans want.

Of course, Romney was the poster boy for corporate rule, so we can be glad he was defeated, but unless we find some ways to de-fang the corporate vipers in our country, the most idealistic and well-intentioned president in history will not be able to fulfill his own aspirations, much less those of his supporters. Our presidents don't rule by fiat, though for a while it looked as if Jr. Bush did.

It all started in the Reagan era, and unless we can roll back the de-regulation of the industry that molds popular opinion in America, we're just going to be stymied in our best efforts, and continue to wish for a president who can rule us by magic, ignoring the reality of who's really running the country.

Romney and his 1 Percenters

Romney and his 1 Percenters are the roots are many Evil and these hypocrites have no respect for religions or mankind. Only money buys their hearts and dictate their words.. Bravo.. After the landslide election win of Obama.. I only hope they will open their blind eyes and Remember: Money can't buy them Love, Respect, or Peace of mind, for they are mostly Angry Old Men looking backward into the Rear-view mirror for a way to lead America's future from behind.. This is clearly the Party of No, Romnesia and Stupido.. Wake up and Stop the gridlock in the house and Stop holding the U.S.A. Hostage !!!

It makes me ill just to think

It makes me ill just to think how much time the Repuglies have wasted with congressional gridlock. Time AND our tax dollars, as we have been paying them all along to do a job that they haven't been doing at all! CLEAN HOUSE!

Absolutely! And think on this

Absolutely! And think on this - those members of our government, who are considered the Obstructionist's leaders, had their clandestine meeting the very night that Obama was inaugurated to brain-storm and plan how they were going to make this one particular man fail miserably as President so he would have no chance of ever getting re-elected for a second term. They were to focus on nothing else. And to solidify this plan they signed a PLEDGE. Yes, just like they signed another Pledge to not raise taxes for a man, Grover Norquist, who created it and called it the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Signing Pledges? Isn't that something children do when in a club?

So, every day of President Obama's first term this group stopped, blocked, protested and filibustered every bill that Obama tried to get passed. These bills were to help the American people recover from the Wall Street collapse and housing industry implosion that left millions of people without jobs many of them losing their homes in the process. The Jobs Bill was one of the biggest losses as the Obstructionists crushed it. It could have provided jobs for thousands of Americans. Anything that did get passed was broken down and chewed up to such a degree as to not resemble what the bill was originally.

The Obstructionists did not care about the American people - all they cared about was destroying President Obama. But, when you think about it - what a better way to make Obama fail miserably but to keep the economy flat and not recovering! Keep millions of people out of work! Make more lose their homes to foreclosure! It would all be President Obama's fault in the end!

But here is something no one is talking about! Every, single member of the Obstructionists was being paid with our tax dollars for all of the time they spent working on how to make Obama fail as President. They were not running our government in a positive and productive manner to help the American people! Millions of dollars paid their salaries and gave them free health care - for what?

We could very well be facing four more years of the same thing! I know Mitch McConnell, the Minority Leader of the Senate, is still obsessed with destroying Obama. I really have no idea why he is this way. In all of my months of research I have yet to find any just cause explaining why. I also could not find any information showing that he has been compulsively obsessive about any other Democrat President. But that is not the issue.

The issue is that McConnell was being paid with our tax dollars to obsess on destroying Obama instead of working on our government problems to help this country recover! Why isn't that being talked about and why are we, the people, sitting back and allowing them to get away with it?

We are crass and ingrateful

We are crass and ingrateful should we fail to thank Mitt (and the GOP) for the gifts they gave this year. So very many fine gifts.

Mitt/GOP showed us...

1) ...that greed is bottomless, especially among the fiscal elite.

2) ...that previous campaigns in which the same damned lies are beaten ad nauseum are not the exception but the norm, to be expected in modern campaigns.

3) ...that Climate Change is indubitably real (by virtue of denial by professional liars).

4) ...that there is something not previously seen hiding under that nice missionary smile (Mormons are so nice!), and it may grab your wallet.

5) ...that the most prominent 'made-in-America' faith, LDS/Mormonism, is structured much like an LLC and has a deeply troubling history (look up Joseph Smith, Nauvoo Expositor, Mountain Meadows Massacre, Polygamy, curse of cain,, and many other leads).

6) ...that one of the last of the moderate Republicans was a good Mormon (thankfully, there are many); a governor of Michigan who fought against Goldwater in the 60's, and eagerly shared all of his tax records; truly a great man, Mitt's dad, George Romney.

7) ...that despite their fervent marketing, Private Equity firms are mostly just expert at sucking money out of targeted businesses (while sending jobs overseas), so that they can stash away outsized 'fees' while enriching their uber-elite clientele; and the have been gouging all taxpayers for decades, abusing Carried Interest.

8) ...that all that 'crazy talk' about neocons being out to destroy unions and enslave the 99% and trash the environment was, ....well, maybe not so crazy after all.

So, THANK YOU, Mitt!! go away, please.

A thank you letter to

A thank you letter to Republicans.

Dear Republicans,
Thank you for everything we won't get because you lost the election.
- The middle class won't get shafted while the rich get richer.
- Medicare patients won't get told they're getting vouchers to get their own health insurance from same the insurance companies that ripped them off in the past.
- Senior citizens won't be told to hurry up and die because Social Security is going broke and Corpoville fat cats don't have to pay more into the Social Security trust fund.
- Women won't be relegated to the status of broodmares, whose health and lives mean less than the fetus unable to survive outside their wombs.
- Parents won't have to endure their children being force-fed Creationist Theory claptrap in the public schools by Bible Banging Fundies.

Yes, Republicans, we have much to thank you for losing this election. No one deserved whup-ass more than you.

Well, it is Thanksgiving.

Well, it is Thanksgiving.

Romney, in many ways, behaved

Romney, in many ways, behaved much like Richard Nixon.
During the Republican convention in 1968, Nixon said he had a "secret plan" to get us out of Vietnam. Secret plan came to mean bombing Cambodia.

Romney said at the 2012 Republican Convention, he had a "plan" to straighten out the economy but wouldn't go into specifics.

Richard Nixon dismissed Watergate as a "3rd rate burglary" then tried to pass off redacted Watergate investigation testimony claiming "executive privilege" .

Romney refused to release his tax returns until backed against a wall then released only a few years.

When Nixon lost the California election for governor, he snarled "You won't have me to kick around any more" to the press.

Romney lost the presidential election and sneered at the gifts lavished on the "47%" by the Democrats that cost him the election.

Excellent comparison! I'd

Excellent comparison! I'd never have thought of that, but you're right about it. Mitt lives in a dream world of his own making just like Nixon did.

What I'm wondering is if he will create 12 million jobs as he claimed he could. You know, just as an American who wants to help America and Americans. There's no reason, just because he's not been elected President, he can't create those 12 million jobs as a private, and very very wealthy citizen!

So let's see if Mittens rMoney will come out on the side of America and put his millions of $$ where his mouth is!

I agree with most, if not

I agree with most, if not all, of the comments here.
I have to say that the statement in the article about those receiving social security not paying income tax is not true. Those receiving social security pay income tax on that and any other income they receive.
Now, let us support, encourage, and, if necessary, send "flaming arrows" at, the House Democrats, Senate Democrats, Obama and his staff to do what is necessary to do what is best for the U.S.

Yes your are correct IF that

Yes your are correct IF that SS check places the recipient over a certain income level. Otherwise, those of us getting checks, as I do, of less than $600 a month do not have to pay taxes on that income. We don't even have to file a tax return.

ETIENNE: Just a minor


Just a minor correction. Those receiving Social Security do not pay tax on it UNLESS their other sources of income are above a certain level. Then they may have to pay taxes on a portion of the SS. So, there are presumably many seniors who receive Social Security and do not have to pay income taxes on it, if their other income doesn't surpass a calculated income level.

Oh PLEASE keep talking

Oh PLEASE keep talking Mittens...for the next...oh, year and a half...keep sneering at the rest of that voters remember exactly why they voted against the GOP in 2012, and do so even more enthusiastically in 2014!

It's time to "clean house" in

It's time to "clean house" in both houses of Congress. There's a lot of dead wood sitting around, taking advantage of certain congressional "perks" like insider trading of stocks thanks to congressional hearings. On the outside, people go to jail for that! If they can't work for the people then they need to go, no matter what party they are! And I'm not surprised that it's the Repuglies who are calling for the ouster of Rice over the Libyan affair. It's one-sided politics as usual! It's time for the GOTea party to wake up and smell the roses. they've worn out their welcome in congress!

There is a Mitt, Obama Gave

There is a Mitt, Obama Gave Me This Twitter feed that has gone meme. I read some of the tweets on this morning. It was a messsage to Mitt and listed all the things that Obama gave to people in exchange for their vote. My favourite was the unicorn that gave off pixie dust. One homeless man tweeted that if Mitt would have just given his kids just one pair of underwear (did not have to be magic) he would have considered voting for Romney.

This is clearly a sign that the GOP does not have a clue on how to govern. It is also beyond belief that any sane person can still call themselves a Republican. This would have turned my beloved life-long Republican father-in-law into a Democrat. I am thankful he did not live to see his beloved party's betrayal of America and Americans. And because of this GOP run evil circus, I am sure he is NOT resting in peace. Thanks Mittens, now please go away and take the clowns on the crazy train with you. Dad earned a peaceful rest.

And to think that the

And to think that the President graciously extended an olive branch to this cold, cold man Romney. Nobody will blame the President if he were to withdraw the offer to bring him on board in any capacity. I don't see these two working together with his superior attitude. Good riddance and I wish he could take Boehner, McConnell, McCain and the tea bags with him. These people just don't realize the harm they do to the country especially when many of these rich people are willing to pay more. The argument not to raise their taxes just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. These rigid, stupid old men in the Republican party with their own agendas are a disgrace. McCain has still not accepted the fact that he was beaten in 2008. Still bitter, wretched and a cranky old fool.

Sadly Mitt was a Knitwitt

Sadly Mitt was a Knitwitt suffering from Romnesia and wasted 6 years and millions of dollars that could have Been used to Pay his taxes ect..

Lady M, Mittens didn't spend

Lady M, Mittens didn't spend his own money! All that money came from very wealthy Repuglies, like the owner of that Las Vegas hotel, who's only agenda (which began in 2008) was to oust President Obama! What is the real shame is that BILLIONS were spent on this campaign. Now THAT money could have been used to improve our infrastructure, build and improve our schools and revamp programs that benefit real people!

There is such an endemic lack

There is such an endemic lack of empathy among some of these Romney supporters. That's what they have in common- lack of empathy and that they hate Obama. If you don't have anything you're actually for, and run completely against everything your opponent has done, even though a majority of the electorate likes it, how can you win? And running against what you have done yourself, your own crowning accomplishment, well that puts a whole new wrinkle in campaigning...

Also, my question, and you never hear about it, is how much did Romney spend of his own money on that campaign? Did he contribute financially at all???

ReasonableJane, The answer is

ReasonableJane, The answer is NO! Are you kidding?!

The republicans took a pledge

The republicans took a pledge not to allow taxes be raised on the rich ?? As over the last thirty years C.E.O. p ay as increased 185 times that of the workers......
BONUSES for cutting the workers healthcare / making them pay their fair share ( ha ha )
. . BIG PUSH. . . BIG-BIG PUSH . . . . headline gotta fix immigratioin........the fiscal cliff we'll put on the back burner
. . . SWIFT-BOAT ATTACK ??? SECESSION...... Ffity states ??? to ?? Fifty Countries?? To fifty different MONIES ???
BUT . . . . DO NOT ADDRESS THE FISCAL CRISIS.....Started under Bush with that wonderful 787 billion dollar bailout - bundled mortgages / foreclosures / diveratives / wars off the books /
. . . Mr. Romney is an American ??? I know they say he's a mormom - but that doesn't stop him - does it ??? A Good American ?? CARES About our country??? Campaigned saying something about 12 million jobs ??? DURING HIS FIRST TERM ???
. . As an American - as a good American - is there anything stopping him from creating some of those jobs (AS AN AMERICAN - AS A GOOD AMERICAN ??)
Oh, yes we know his is a republican......does that dis-credit him from doing it - helping our country ???
CHEERS - AND - JEERS... any bets to which this comment will bring out???
. . . . s w i f t - bo a t SECESSION......WAR BASED ON LIES........IMMIGRATION COMES FIRST......

What Romney says is precisely

What Romney says is precisely what is wrong with the GOP. They are locked up in the medieval times when gangsters looted and destroyed lives under the pretext of religion only to enrich themselves, eating the shares of those killed/imprisoned/tortured/destroyed. In the 21st century, people know they are the producers of everything the rich and famous takes for granted. The so called "job creators" are the gate keepers who are in position to force the average Joe/Jane into wage slaves and take away from them the lion share of their labor in the form of profit (excluding their outrageous lifestyles). Social justice demands that all people should be helped proportionate to their effort, to live a decent life. There is plenty for everyone. What is the value of hoarded assets? Hoarding beyond ones family needs and passing assets intact to the descendants is mental illness, not SUCCESS! Take care of spaceship earth and its creatures because that is the only place to live for many years to come. BECOME HUMAN OR PERISH!

Mitt Romney is a scumbag -

Mitt Romney is a scumbag - and very representative of the current state of the Republican Party. As long as the Republican Party hangs on to leaders like Mitch McConnell and that idiot in the House (Bohner), it will remain the party of Romney. Only when it starts defeating those bums (and the Tea Party types) and nominates candidates who have a centrist record, can it truly be trusted. Until then, it is the party of Romney and greed. Any words to the contrary are merely statements in order to be elected --- and then they will go back to the behavior that has shafted middle class America and led to Congressional gridlock.

Mitt Romney is a laboratory

Mitt Romney is a laboratory example of what excessive amounts of money
can do to the character and soul of a human being. The resulting transformation
is often an ugly one, with the "recipient" morphing into something that could be
accurately described as "sub-human." If Mitt were to be financially wiped out today, how long do you think his "country club friends" would rally to help him out? It's wealth these people worship...not God, not family, not friendship, not compassion..."money" is the sole and omnipresent deity in their lives. They are a plague that has pillaged and plundered mankind since its inception. And perhaps most lamentable...billions of people around the world, despite "knowing" the perniciousness of the breed...would like nothing better than to join them. Shakespeare wrote, "Gold is the common whore of humanity." The
allure to be "laid" in this manner may eventually be humankind's epitaph.

EDG's picture

I couldn't have said it

I couldn't have said it better! Wealth is one thing, but it leads to snobbish "i'm better than you" attitude. I can't imagine why anyone would continue pursuit of the all mighty dollar after having 2-5 million other than it just a game of being the "King of the Mountain" bragging rights?

There is little doubt that

There is little doubt that Mitt's 1% friends would NOT come to his aid. The bigger question would be would the rank and file Mormons open their homes and wallets for him?

My Mormon friends would have to pray and fast for days to get the right answer. The most Jesus-like in the bunch would conclude that yes, they would since Jesus said we must love even the most evil and disgusting amoung us and take care of them as if they were family. The rest might say it is God's just punishment for all the evil he has done.

Romney apparently sees all of

Romney apparently sees all of us in terms of our "voting group" - not as fellow Americans. We're all in this together.

Of course Obama Care was

Of course Obama Care was modeled on Romney Care, a fact that Mitt couldn't run away form fast enough. Does he see any irony in that? Irony isn't the Republican's long suit, or suit of armor either.

EDG's picture

Yep, It had to be hard to

Yep, It had to be hard to bite his tongue on that one. Romney could have taken a big credit for the healthcare and went down in history as a prominent role model for Obamacare, but he chose to criticize the plan and now not sure if he will get any credit?

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