Although Democrats held the White House and picked up seats in the House and Senate, Republicans picked up a governor’s seat in North Carolina. Their 30 governorships is the highest total for either party in a decade.
Mr. Romney’s analysis of the race provoked much discussion in Las Vegas and even a sharp retort from the White House.
“The president’s campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift,” Mr. Romney said, citing immigration proposals aimed at Hispanics and free contraception coverage that appealed to young women. “He made a big effort on small things.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney fired back while briefing reporters traveling with the president on Air Force One to New York, where Mr. Obama viewed recovery efforts from Superstorm Sandy on Thursday.
“That view of the American people, of the electorate and of the election is at odds with the truth of what happened last week,” Mr. Carney said.
“Making it easier for Americans to go to college — that’s good for America,” Mr. Carney said. “It’s good for the economy. Making health care available to young people who can stay on their parents’ plans — that’s good for those families. It’s good for those young people so they aren’t bankrupted in their 20s by an illness. And it’s good for the economy, and it’s good for all of us.”
• Dave Boyer contributed to this report from Washington.