Defeated presidential candidate Mitt Romney claimed today he could have won last week's election had his campaign offered black voters government-funded fried chicken.
Earlier this week Romney told a group of Republican donors on a conference call that president Obama had won reelection because he offered government "gifts" to young people, Latinos, and blacks.
Today CNN obtained an extended audio recording of that call in which Romney goes even further:
"I've spent the last few days wondering what I should have done differently. Maybe I should have been less hostile to immigration? Maybe I should have embraced fewer anti-woman positions?"
"But after a long reflection, I've decided my most important mistake is not matching the Obama campaign's efforts to give away free stuff to blacks and Latinos."
"I should have made a promise to the Afro-American community, for example. If you vote Republican, your fingers will always be covered in grease. I'm sure a $200 gift certificate to Popeyes or KFC could have won those people over. I don't know why we didn't think of that."
"And we could have done the same thing to Latinos with El Pollo Loco and Taco Bell. If I could have just gotten 35% of the minority vote, I would have won the election."
Believe in (White) America
Romney dismisses the idea that his party should tone down its nativist, racially charged rhetoric on immigration and welfare. Rather, he explains that while white voters must be convinced by a candidate's competence, minority voters are different:
"The Afro-American and Latino communities only understand one thing - handouts. You can't talk to them about issues or policy. Goes right over their heads. They only speak the language of 'gimmie more, gimmie more.' "
Although welfare programs go against his philosophy of self-reliance, Romney wishes he had made more such promises to minorities:
"Aside from my education, my first job, and money to start my own business - no one ever gave me damn thing. So it pains me to see Americans dependent on others."
"But a fried-chicken giveaway could have made me president. I regret not making that happen. It was my failure, and mine alone."
Watch: Romney's earlier, slightly less racist comments: