President Obama won because of "gifts" he gave to certain constituency groups, GOP nominee Mitt Romney said today on a conference call with campaign donors and fundraisers.
His remarks were first reported by The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, which listened in on the call.
The groups Romney mentioned, according to the papers, were African-Americans, Hispanics and young people. The New York Times reports:
" 'In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,' Mr. Romney said, contrasting Mr. Obama's strategy to his own of 'talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.' "
For young people, Romney pointed to college loan forgiveness, free contraceptives and a provision of the Patient Affordable Care Act that allows young people to stay on their parents' health insurance until they're 26.
As for blacks and Latinos, the L.A. Times says:
"Romney argued that Obama's healthcare plan's promise of coverage 'in perpetuity' was 'highly motivational' to those voters making $25,000 to $35,000 who might not have been covered, as well as to African American and Hispanic voters. Pivoting to immigration, Romney said the Obama campaign's efforts to paint him as 'anti-immigrant' had been effective and that the administration's promise to offer what he called 'amnesty' to the children of illegal immigrants had helped turn out Hispanic voters in record numbers."
Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal denounced Romney's comments at a press conference for the Republican Governors Association Wednesday, Politico reports. Jindal, the incoming chairman of the association, said Romney's claim about "gifts" was "absolutely wrong:"
"Two points on that: One, 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.
"And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. ... So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that's absolutely wrong."
He added that the GOP is "fighting for 100 percent of the votes," a sentiment implied by other Republicans in the aftermath of Romney's lost presidential bid.
As NPR's Liz Halloran reported over the weekend, Obama's 71-27 percent edge over Romney among Latinos led to calls for immigration reform from unexpected corners.
While Tea Partiers say Romney was too moderate, others attribute Obama's success to a broad coalition of supporters.
"What historians and political scientists will focus on is that he changed the coalition of the Democratic Party," Villanova University political scientist Lara Brown told NPR's Alan Greenblatt. "The new coalition is groups with ascendant demographics — new minorities and young people."