The White House fired back Thursday at Mitt Romney’s claim that President Obama won the election by giving policy “gifts” such as free health care and contraception to targeted voting groups, arguing that the GOP nominee’s explanation for his loss doesn’t reflect reality.
“That view of the American people, of the electorate and of the election is at odds with the truth of what happened last week,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters traveling with the president on Air Force One to New York, where Mr. Obama was to view recovery efforts from superstorm Sandy.
Mr. Carney contended that the president promoted policies during the campaign that are “good for America.”
“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 twenties by an illness. And it’s good for the economy and it’s good for all of us.”
During a conference call with donors Wednesday, Mr. Romney said he lost the election in part because Mr. Obama was “very generous” with his policies towards key constituencies such as students, women and minorities.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Mr. Romney said. “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.”
Even some top Republicans have criticized Mr. Romney’s comments, saying the remarks reflect a basic misunderstanding of the Nov. 6 result. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Mr. Romney’s comments were “absolutely wrong,” and argued that the GOP needs to appeal to all voting groups.
Mr. Carney said the president “pursues policies that have at their core a desire to build the middle class, strengthen the middle class, make the middle class more secure, because that’s what makes America more secure.”