There was a reason I never praised Mitt Romney for his short but ostensibly gracious concession speech on election night.
I suspected someday, sooner or later, that speech, like the one who delivered it, would be exposed as disingenuous. And so it has.
He said in that speech:
The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing.
The very first time we hear from Romney after he gave that speech, after he said “we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing,” we hear courtesy of The New York Times, which reported on remarks he made during a conference call to his campaign’s national finance folks, you know, “his” folks, those able to raise and donate large sums of money.
Now, we know from experience that in front of his kind of folks Mittens is free to be himself, as he was before those fat cats in Boca Raton. He told them, when he thought the rest of us weren’t listening, that nearly half of all Americans are moochers, a claim that dovetailed nicely with one of his campaign assertions that those who want “free stuff” should look elsewhere.
And, according to Romney’s latest remarks, they did.
On the phone with those fundraisers and moneyed donors who helped finance his campaign (one of the participants allowed The New York Times to listen in), Romney whined that he lost the election because President Obama gave free stuff to “the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”
Part of that free stuff was health care:
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.
Damn those kids! Why should they want health care?
But he said there were others who wanted it too:
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.
“You can imagine,” he said to those well-off campaign financers. “You can imagine” what it would be like to not have the money to get health care. “You can imagine” how happy you would be if suddenly you could get health care for your kids, or, God forbid, for yourself. “You can imagine,” he said to folks who aren’t in the business of imagining such things.
Imagine if Mitt Romney had become president.