Clarence Page / Politics

Romney's 'Gifts' Gaffe

Mitt Romney finally has it figured out. He knows why he lost. Guess what? It was all President Barack Obama's fault.

Of course, that's not exactly the way Romney puts it. He puts it in a way that sounds even sillier than that. Or perhaps, depending on your worldview, more tragic.

In a 20-minute afternoon conference call with his major donors and fund-raisers eight days after Election Day, Romney blamed his loss on Obama's bestowing what Romney called "gifts" to various groups of voters, "especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people."

Zounds! As we used to say back in the day when most people received their news on newsprint, stop the presses!

As the sly prefect in the movie "Casablanca" might say, I am shocked, shocked. Thanks to the former Republican presidential candidate, I now realize that the president openly and shamelessly -- Gasp! -- offered programs and policies to America's voters that actually would help Americans to improve their lives. Those Chicago guys will stop at nothing.

"In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups," Romney said. A simple question came to my mind upon hearing this news about "gifts": Where's mine?

Romney was proud to contrast Obama's "gift"-giving strategy with his own tight-fisted talk about "big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth."

"With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift," said Romney, who probably never had to take out a college loan in his life.

"Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women," he said. Sounds like he's been listening too much to Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio talker who called law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" for advocating government-funded contraceptives. Republicans fume at Democrats for suggesting the Grand Old Party is waging a "war against women," although it's not hard to see where the Dems get that idea.

In that light, I congratulate Ohio Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, for introducing a bill in April that would require men to visit a sex therapist before getting a prescription for erectile-dysfunction drugs like Viagra. What's good for the gander should be good for the goose.

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