COMMENTARY | Mitt Romney sat down with “Fox News Sunday” in his first major interview since the 2012 election and stated what has been viewed as rather obvious by most analysts, pundits, politicians, voters, casual observers, and barely interested foreigners for months. He lost the election, he says, due to a disconnect with minorities.
Thanks for finally joining the conversation, Mr. Romney.
“We weren’t effective in my message primarily to minority voters, to Hispanic-Americans, African-Americans, other minorities,” Romney told Fox’s Chris Wallace . “That was a real mistake.”
It most certainly was. In fact, exit polling revealed just how big a mistake it was just hours after the election. Romney had lost the election by large proportions in the minority turnout for the election.
According an Edison Research exit poll , black voters overwhelmingly turned their backs on the Republican Party’s ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Only 6.4 percent of the black vote was cast for Romney, with 92.7 percent voting to re-elect President Obama.
He scored just a little better with Hispanics, pulling in 27.5 percent of their vote. But that 27.5 percent was lower than Sen. John McCain’s showing (31 percent) and George W. Bush’s 2004 support (44 percent).
And among Asians? He did worse than with Hispanics (26 percent). The only solace in the Asian numbers is that their overall percentage of the American population is far below that of Hispanics. But according to the Census, Hispanics have been the fastest growing minority population in the U.S., even surpassing blacks as the second largest ethnic group in the U.S. (behind whites) with 11.8 percent of the population (in 2000, according to a UC-Davis report ), 12.5 when considering more than one ethnic background. Blacks counted for 12.1 percent of t the population.
And all this bodes ill for the Republican Party in the future, which is why there has been such a scramble since the election to attempt to try and rebrand the Republican Party as more tolerant, inclusive, and less oriented toward being the party of the majority only (read: white people).
But Romney only has himself to blame, although he told Wallace he was misunderstood and phrased things poorly, like when he told a group of rich donors in a closed meeting that he wasn’t worried about 47 percent of the voters and wrote them off as entitlement moochers that would vote for Obama anyway. A video of that meeting (obtained by Mother Jones ) was used to show how out of touch Romney was with at least half of America, not just liberals and Democrats.
He admitted that the “unfortunate statement” was “twisted and distorted.”
Hardly. He would basically reiterate the entitled claims after the election, claiming that Obama won because he bought votes through policy “gifts” to young people and minorities , mostly blacks and Hispanics. And then he pretty much went and said the same thing to Wallace Sunday.
But all these programs that Romney continues to claim constituted the buying of votes were programs designed to help, support, and educate poor people, nearly all of whom are employed and only use the programs as a safety net or as an income supplement. And these programs, like health care, student aid and others, were programs that he and his running mate swore they would eliminate once they were elected. So minorities undoubtedly felt targeted, threatened by the potentiality of a Romney administration. Considering that over a quarter of the black and Hispanic populations in the U.S. live below the poverty line , they might have had good reason.
Yes, it would appear that Romney has finally figured out that there was a disconnect with minorities and it cost him the election. Still, five months after the polls closed on his failed election campaign, he still doesn’t get the why of it.