US Republican candidate Mitt Romney said Obama made "gifts" to minorities and young people (Reuters)
Speaking for the first time after his presidential election drubbing, Republican candidate Mitt Romney blamed his defeat on "Obamacare" and other "gifts" US President Obama made to "blacks, Hispanics and young people," during his first term.
Romney analysis echoed the infamous "47 per cent" comment he made during the electoral campaign, in a conference call with donors.
"The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people," Romney said according to the LA Times.
"In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups."
It is not clear if Romney was aware that journalists from the LA Times and the New York Times were listening to the call.
"With regards to African American voters, 'Obamacare' was a huge plus - and was highly motivational to African American voters. You can imagine for somebody making $25-, or $30-, or $35,000 a year, being told you're now going to get free healthcare," Romney reportedly said.
"With regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for the children of illegals - the so-called Dream Act kids - was a huge plus for that voting group," he said adding that young people had been helped through the partial forgiveness of college loan interest and free contraception coverage.
During the electoral campaign Romney was recored on video saying that 47 per cent of Americans would have always voted for Obama, as they believed to be "victims" and "depended upon government."
The comment triggered a wave of criticism and alienated part of the electorate, as Romney was accused of elitism.
After being defeated for the second time by a black Democratic candidate, the Republican Party is rethinking his strategic approach towards the widening non-white population, since the ultra-conservative rhetoric of the Tea Party proved to be a losing one.
Romney's new comments weren't welcomed by fellow Republicans.
"I think that's absolutely wrong. We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote. ... So I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think it's absolutely wrong. I don't think that represents where we are as a party, where we're going as a party. That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election," Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said.
US President Obama smiles during a news conference at the White House
in Washington (Reuters)
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