Close: Part XXIX: Romney Secret 47% Video
You Still Here? It's Over! Go Home!: Part XXXI: Romney Secret 47% Video

Post-Election "Free Gifts" Conference Call: Part XXX: Romney Secret 47% Video

Mitt romney 47 video Google Search I have long thought somebody should go through and annotate the 2012 Mitt Romney: Full Transcript of the 47% Secret Video. So I will now do it.

Part XXX: Post-Election "Free Gifts" Conference Call:

Romney "Gifts" Call

Even though the _New York Times _ was listening in on the 2012 Romney post-election car conference call, they do not appear to have made a transcript. Thus we have only about ten minutes--half the call. What we have may well not be a fair representation of what was actually said.

Nevertheless, it is not to Romney's credit:

  1. Romney claims it was close. It was not that close. Romney believed he was much more likely than not to win until the Ohio vote began to come in. This can only be the result of a catastrophic failure of those in the campaign bubble to maintain contact with outside reality. That calls for a reaction different from "our strategy was highly effective" and "the organization was a very solid team". You can say that if you lose by tenths of percent and understood it was a crapshoot going into Election Day. You really cannot say that if you thought you were solidly ahead and lose by 4%-points.

  2. Romney seemed to promise that he would but in fact spent no time and energy trying to anchor the post 2012 Republican Party to the reality of the general election electorate. A Republican equivalent of the DLC of the late 1980s and early 1990s was desperately needed. Romney and McCain as elder statesman with their donor bases could have spearheaded such an effort. They did not.

  3. Talking to a group representative of those people who voted for Mitt Romney because he promised them the gift of huge upper income tax cuts funded by taking a meat axe to Social Security and Medicare, shows absolutely no awareness of the irony of criticizing someone for a strategy of "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..." There is a great symmetry here. The differences are two. First, Obama has much better reason for thinking his policies are in the national interest than Romney does for his policies of upper income tax cuts and the meat axe. Second, Obama seeks to turn his people out to vote, while Romney seeks to turn his people out to give money--which is then used to try to persuade people to vote for a candidate who does not in fact share their values and does not appear very competent.

  4. And from whence comes the magic faith in supply-side tax cuts, anyway? I understand that to become a high-level republican economist, One has to grossly overestimate the supply side effects of tax cuts. If you are not loyal enough to do that, you cannot get your foot in the door. But surely at some point somebody tells Romney that all these documents are campaign documents rather than documents that can be used to project outcomes and to plan governance. Is it really true that nobody does?

  5. Where does Mitt Romney get off complaining that he was painted as anti-immigrant? He is anti-immigrant!

  6. "Small things" that somehow "sum to billions of dollars"? Somebody is very confused here...

  7. The mean-spirited tone of the whole thing. In 200 and 2004 Democrats after the election were livid at the dirty campaign. But in 1980, 1984, and 1988, the Democrats were: they persuaded enough voters that they shared their values and were competent at running the government--the voters were wrong to believe them, but it was our failure to close the deal on value-sharing and competence. Here Romney appears to have no clue how and why Obama wiped him with the center of the electorate on value-sharing. And on the competence gap... The only way I can make sense of Romney's blindspot with respect to the awesomely competent Barack Obama is the Romney was unable to look at a Black man in a position of authority and see anything other than a jumped up unqualified affirmative action hire.

  8. I guess that's it...

Mitt Romney: "My team and I] still feel troubled [by our loss]...

...[The President] followed the old playbook [of targeted initiatives to woo specific interest groups]--especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.

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, and that strategy worked. In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups...

[Our campaign focused on] talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.

[By contrast,] 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.

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.

[ObamaCare was also a useful tool in mobilizing black and Hispanic voters.] You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge.

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. [And their effort] to paint me as 'anti-immigrant' [was effective].

It's a proven political strategy, which is give a bunch of money to a group and, guess what, they'll vote for you.... Immigration we can solve, but the giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with....

I’m very sorry that we didn’t win. I know that you expected to win, we expected to win, we were disappointed with the result, we hadn’t anticipated it, and it was very close, but close doesn’t count in this business..

And so now we’re looking and saying, ‘O.K., what can we do going forward?’ But frankly, we’re still so troubled by the past, it’s hard to put together our plans for the future...

[We had] gotten beat up pretty bad] after the primaries, but [we rebounded strongly] after the first fall debate. I think our strategy was highly effective, you know I don't go back and say, 'Oh, I wish we'd have done this differently or done that differently'...

The organization was a very solid team that got along. There was no drama in the campaign. There were no battles, political fights going on, people arguing that other people should be demoted or fired, or whatever. It was a campaign that, we weren't perfect by any means, but people worked around the flat sides of one another and worked as a unified team. Not that everybody was perfect; but we learned how to accommodate each other’s strengths and weaknesses, to build on the strengths. The organization did not get in the way...

[I hope to find a way for this] close-knit group to stay connected so that we can stay informed and have influence on the direction of the party, and perhaps the selection of a future nominee, which, by the way, will not be me. [We should think about an annual meeting, as well as a monthly newsletter.]

[I want to thank all of my donors.] I never expected the campaign to raise more than $500 million...

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