Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels argued in a Friday speech that “the most critical moment of the whole dreary campaign” for president was the release of Mitt Romney‘s videotaped comments to campaign donors.
At a forum hosted by the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale, Gov. Daniels said, “In one of those imaginary private occasions that no longer exist for people in public life, Governor Romney memorably discussed the 47% of Americans who, he said, are dependent on government and therefore would never vote for him. In his post-mortem after the election, he reportedly extended this theme, saying that too many people had allowed their votes to be bought with promises of someone else’s money.”
Mr. Daniels, who is concluding his second term before assuming the presidency of Purdue University, said that Mr. Romney “was right about the origin of his problem but wrong about its essence. Without doubt, we have a significant number of Americans for whom dependence and something for nothing have become a way of life. But they were far from 47% in number, and would have voted for the incumbent President under any circumstances.”
The outgoing Hoosier governor, who many Republicans had hoped might mount his own campaign for president in 2012, continued his post-mortem: “I believe that the self-inflicted fatal blow of Mr. Romney’s statement came among Americans who find themselves in receipt of some form of government transfer, but reject or even despise the notion that they are permanent parasites for doing so. Think of people on Social Security earned through a lifetime of honest toil; of men thrown out of work by a reeling, mismanaged economy and desperately trying to find new employment while on unemployment insurance; of young families, including active duty military personnel, working hard but still accepting food stamps which, for the moment, they legitimately need to provide adequately for their families.”
h/t Chicks On The Right