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‘Gifts’ to minorities, young voters helped Obama win, Romney says

Mitt Romney said during a conference call with his national finance committee on Wednesday that President Obama won reelection largely by bestowing “gifts” on key voting blocs, “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”

The gifts included guaranteed — and, in some cases, subsidized — health care coverage under the 2010 national health care law, help paying for college, and protection from deportation for some illegal immigrants, Romney said, according to the New York Times.

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Exit polling by the Times showed Obama was backed by 93 percent of black voters, 71 percent of Latinos and 60 percent of voters younger than 30.

“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,” Romney said. “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.”

In June, Obama took executive action to create a new program that erased the specter of deportation for some undocumented immigrants: people with clean criminal records who are younger than 30 and entered the United States before age 16, who have lived here for at least five years and are enrolled in high school, hold high school diplomas or are military veterans in good standing. Since August, such immigrants have been able to apply for two-year deportation reprieves to remain in the United States.

The eligibility requirements outlined by Obama closely resemble those in the DREAM Act, a long-stalled bill that would put young illegal immigrants on a pathway to citizenship. Many Republicans, including Romney, oppose the DREAM Act.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Romney added. “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.”

A major part of Romney’s platform was repealing the health care law, which he said would stifle job growth.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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