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Romney: 'Gift'-wrapped

The L.A. Times: “Mitt Romney told his top donors Wednesday that his loss to President Obama was a disappointing result that neither he nor his top aides had expected, but said he believed his team ran a “superb” campaign with ‘no drama,’ and attributed his rival’s victory to ‘the gifts’ the administration had given to blacks, Hispanics and young voters during Obama’s  first term. Obama, Romney argued, had been “very generous” to blacks, Hispanics and young voters. He cited as motivating factors to young voters the administration’s plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest and the extension of health coverage for students on their parents’ insurance plans well into their 20s. Free contraception coverage under Obama’s healthcare plan, he added, gave an extra incentive to college-age women to back the president.”

The New York Times: “Saying that he and his team still felt “troubled” by his loss to President Obama, Mitt Romney on Wednesday attributed his defeat in part to what he called big policy ‘gifts’ that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies, including young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics.”

Of health care, Romney said: “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. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

More: “Mr. Romney’s comments in the 20-minute conference call came after his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, told WISC-TV in Madison on Monday that their loss was a result of Mr. Obama’s strength in ‘urban areas,’ an analysis that did not account for Mr. Obama’s victories in more rural states like Iowa and New Hampshire or the decrease in the number of votes for the president relative to 2008 in critical urban counties in Ohio.”

The New York Daily News: “Mitt Romney can’t lay off the ‘47%.’ The losing GOP presidential candidate unloaded a cartful of sour grapes on his top donors Wednesday, saying President Obama won because he handed out ‘big gifts’ to blacks, Hispanics and young voters. Romney’s statement echoed the ‘47%’ gaffe he made at a fundraiser that alienated voters he said were ‘dependent upon government.’”

Hotline’s Reid Wilson: “Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney failed to offer a vision that connected with everyday Americans, failed to respond to an early and ultimately successful attempt to define him as an out-of-touch corporate raider and failed to portray his party as anything other than the party for rich white males -- at least according to some of the prominent Republicans who served as his top surrogates just a few weeks ago. Romney's campaign came in for a series of tongue-lashings at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association, where two dozen chief executives hobnobbed with big-dollar donors and swapped notes on what they called a disappointing election cycle. And as several among their ranks privately ponder their own potential presidential campaigns four years down the line, they said there are lessons to be learned from this year's Republican shortcomings.”