Mitt Romney has been maintaining a low profile following last week’s election loss, but today he held a conference call with top donors to thank them for their support and to explain his view of where the campaign went wrong. We’re not sure what donors took away from the call, but just as viewers seemed to boil down each presidential debate to one silly word in retrospect — Big Bird, binders, bayonets — the Los Angeles Times and the majority of the Twitterverse, it seems, are laser-focused on one word from the call: “gifts.”
Romney: Obama’s ‘gifts’ to key demographics helped him win wapo.st/U0pdYR
— PostPolitics (@postpolitics) November 14, 2012
Romney says “gifts” to minorities helped power Obama’s victory: abcn.ws/PV145h
— Rick Klein (@rickklein) November 14, 2012
Romney: Obama won by giving “gifts” to voter blocs cbsn.ws/QHlpfT
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 14, 2012
— Matea Gold (@mateagold) November 14, 2012
Romney reportedly told donors, “The president’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.” Romney continued, using young voters as an example:
With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift. 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.
So what you’re saying is, Obama won because he implemented policies that were popular with a majority of voters? #obamagifts
— Dan Crawford (@danielpcrawford) November 14, 2012
This strategy certainly didn’t come as news to conservatives paying attention during the campaign; see, for example, Steven Crowder’s remake of Obama’s creepy “My First Time” ad as “More Free Crap,” or the notorious Obama Phone woman promising that a reelected president was going to do more.
Much as liberals melted down over Paul Ryan’s retrospective reference to a surprisingly large “urban” turnout, Romney’s reduction of Obama’s pricey campaign promises as “gifts” sent many over the edge. A Democrat would never, ever stoop so low as to think that implementing costly social programs was the equivalent of handing out presents. Right?
— Vicki Levengood (@VickiLevengood) November 14, 2012
Liberals and conservatives alike have kicked off the #ObamaGifts hashtag to tally up their Election Day loot.
Was hoping for an iPad Mini from Obama, but will have to settle for universal health insurance coverage. #obamagifts
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 14, 2012
Belief in my right to marry. Belief in my right to health care. Belief in my right to equal pay. And a pony. #obamagifts
— Dorothy Snarker (@dorothysnarker) November 14, 2012
Now I’m able to afford my education without loans from my parents #obamagifts
— Chad Chavez (@ChadAChavez) November 14, 2012
I got a couple bumper stickers and a car magnet. And what else, oh yeah, a fabulously wonderful president! #obamagifts
— CAcatlady (@CAcatlady) November 14, 2012
I voted for Obama because Romney promised he would give people like me and my husband divorces we didn’t want. #obamagifts
— Steve Silberman (@stevesilberman) November 14, 2012
Hopefully, 3-4 Supreme Court justices. #ObamaGifts
— Sarah M (@sarahrodeo) November 14, 2012
Hope. Change. Well, to be honest mainly Relief. #obamagifts
— Leigh Caldwell (@leighblue) November 14, 2012
POTUS is slacking, I still haven’t gotten my free phone. #ObamaGifts
— Warren P (@Token12ga) November 14, 2012
Paying 10% of my income on my student loans. #ObamaGifts
— PatrickSean Barnacle (@psbarnacle) November 14, 2012
Having a president who’s respected by our allies.And by quite a few of our enemies too#ObamaGifts
— William M Weibel (@wmweibel) November 14, 2012
There’s even an @ObamasGifts Twitter account already, but we think it opened its first gift a little early.
Gay Marriage #ObamaGifts
— Obama Gifts (@ObamaGifts) November 14, 2012
Auto Bailout = #ObamaGifts
— Jack Allen John (@PeaceInAmerica) November 14, 2012
Not going back to the 1950’s #obamagifts
— Ed Smaron (@edsmaron) November 14, 2012
most women enjoy birth control and not being forced to have a rape baby #obamagifts
— femalepersuasion.net (@femalep) November 14, 2012
I think he owes me student loan forgiveness. “@melall_in Let me go review my post election gift list before I send it to President Obama.”
— L.Sugatits Hoecake (@BasedMoonie) November 14, 2012
#obamagifts You should see my unicorn. It sparkles with pixie dust!
— sosaithi (@sosaithi) November 14, 2012
Were those the gag gifts, or are these?
A mediocre Springsteen single #obamagifts
— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) November 14, 2012
#obamagifts the end of the war on wimmin, at last! except for those exceptionally productive ones of course. ok to h8 those eeevil rich.
— Catherine(@museofhistory) November 14, 2012
I voted for Obama because he gave me a comfy lawn chair for enjoying the view from the fiscal cliff. #obamagifts
— Jessica Winter (@winterjessica) November 14, 2012
While everyone is having fun getting #ObamaGifts trending, when you’re done could we maybe talk about that “trillions of dollars” credit card statement that’s on its way in the mail?
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who accompanied Romney during his final push of mega-rallies, has weighed in on Romney’s “gifts” analysis, calling it “absolutely wrong.”
At govs presser, Jindal steps in and forcefully 2x rejects as “absolutely wrong” Mitt’s “gifts” excuse.
— jmartpolitico (@jmartpolitico) November 15, 2012
Bobby Jindal at GOP gov’s conference on Romney’s ‘gifts’ explanation of loss: ‘That is absolutely wrong. I absolutely reject that notion.’
— Byron York (@ByronYork) November 15, 2012
Bobby Jindal faults Romney for not outlining a vision. “This became a contest between personalities, and you know what? Chicago won that.”
— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) November 15, 2012
Essentially, what Jindal rejected tonight was 47 percent remark – goodies equal dependency equal votes.
— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) November 15, 2012