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Editorial

Mitt Romney’s ‘gifts’ jab shows critics were right

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Mitt Romney should watch his words. As a former major-party presidential nominee, he has a chance to make good on his promise of public service, either by accepting President Obama’s overtures to play some sort of advisory role, or by working on his own for causes he believes in. But his future won’t be advanced by ungenerous comments of the type he made on a conference call to major donors this week. Blaming his loss on Obama’s “gifts” to targeted groups like blacks, Hispanics, and young people (example: the promise of free health insurance “in perpetuity” for low-income people), Romney not only failed to take responsibility for his own missteps but revived memories of the biggest one of all, his fateful “47 percent” comment.

Clearly, Romney talks a different language with rich donors — and it’s an ugly, divisive one. Romney’s censuring comments, delivered behind closed doors, are genuinely surprising even to former Massachusetts political rivals. Many of Romney’s GOP supporters rushed to condemn the remarks, as well. In the conference call, Romney complained about “getting beat up” by Obama’s ads, which portrayed him as insensitive to the needs of average people. Judging by Romney’s own words, those ads may have been spot-on.

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