White House: Romney "gifts" comment isn't true

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 07: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency during Mitt Romney's campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 7, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. After voters went to the polls in the heavily contested presidential race, networks projected incumbent U.S. President Barack Obama has won re-election against Republican candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Thursday said Mitt Romney's comment that President Obama defeated him on Election Day because the president gave "gifts" to young voters and minorities"is at odds with the truth of what happened last week."

Romney told his financial backers Wednesday that Mr. Obama's campaign "focused on giving targeted groups a big gift -- so he made a big effort on small things. Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars." He pointed specifically to college-age women and low-income voters being motivated by the health care law, and to Hispanics being motivated by a policy of "amnesty" for certain undocumented young people. The president was "very generous" to young voters and minorities, Romney told his donors.

Aboard Air Force One today, Carney told reporters that Romney's "view of the American people, of the electorate and of the election is at odds with the truth."

"And as we talked about a lot and the president talked about a lot, making it easier for Americans to go to college, that's good for America," he said. "It's good for all Americans. It's good for the economy. Making health care available to young people who can stay on their parents' plans -- that's good for those families, it's good for those young people, so that they aren't bankrupted in their twenties by an illness. And it's good for the economy, and it's good for all of us."

Louisiana's Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, has also criticized Romney's comments, calling them "absolutely wrong."

"We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent," he said at the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas Wednesday. He added that "I absolutely reject that notion, that description" of the reason Mr. Obama won the election.

Jindal's "53 percent" reference is to Romney's secretly-recorded commentsthat 47 percent of Americans would vote for the president because they are "dependent upon government [and] believe that they are victims."