This was especially true of Hispanic, African-American and other minority voters, who overwhelmingly rejected Romney. “We’ve got to do a better job taking our message to them,” he says, ” to help them understand why we’re the party with the ideas that will make their life better.”
One of those ideas, of course, was Romneycare, the groundbreaking health care reform adopted by Massachusetts while Romney was governor, which became the model for Obama’s approach. Obama chose it in the hope that he could gain bipartisan support by adopting a Republican idea. But Romney, like every Republican in the House and Senate, repudiated the plan simply because Obama endorsed it. Has it ever crossed Romney’s mind that voters may have weighed the GOP’s intransigence against Obama’s flexibility and found the Republicans wanting?
Historically, defeated presidential candidates who do not hold some elected office tend to stay off the public stage for a while to lick their wounds. That is not the Romney way. He accuses Obama of being primarily motivated by partisan gain in his handling of budget negotiations. His strategy, Romney charges, is “to get a headline that will make it look like those terrible Republicans aren’t willing to come together.” He even goes so far as to accuse Obama of fiddling like Nero while Rome burns.
Such carping ignores the fact that it is the Republican majority in the House, not Obama, that is resisting the will of the people. Poll after poll shows that most voters, including most Republicans, favor the president’s balanced approach of fixing the budget by both cutting spending and raising taxes over the GOP no-new-taxes stand.
Enough already. It’s clear that the Romneys are so bogged down in a self-serving political fantasy about what might have been that they have nothing useful to contribute to our ongoing political struggles. It’s time for them to ride off into the sunset while the rest of us try to deal with the real world.
Jack White, a former columnist for Time magazine, is a freelance writer in Richmond, Va., and a contributing editor for The Root.