Mitt Romney reemerged in public post-election in much the same way that he made news pre-election: by saying insensitive things about people who don’t have a lot of money. Speaking on a conference call, the failed Republican presidential candidate explained why he lost and Obama won:
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.
Obama gave college students free contraception? Missed that one. Romney then explained some of the math behind the “gift” of Obamacare:
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.
It is unclear from this specific quote, but apparently, given that Romney opposed Obamacare as a national program, he considers this “gift” a bad thing. We can only assume that he would prefer people making $30,000 to sometimes spend a third of that on healthcare.
He contrasted his own platform (not mentioning the relative gift his presidency would have been to the richest Americans):
Our campaign, in contrast, was talking about big issues for the whole country —military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth…but for those who were given a specific gift, if you will, our strategy did not work terribly well.
No one is denying that politicians give out favors to their core constituents, but to classify one set of policies as gifts, but Romney’s own policies that made him so popular with big business executives with dollar signs in their eyes might be seen as disingenuous.