Ever wonder what former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been up to since he failed to win the 2012 election?
Looks like he’s back to being a (somewhat) regular person. A Reddit user, mkb95, claimed he recently spotted Romney in La Jolla, Calif., and posted this photo of an annoyed Romney with unkempt hair as proof. A Twitter user also spotted Romney at the pump.
Of course with a headline like “Mitt Romney at my local gas station.. he looks tired and washed up” the photo would attract much attention.
“I talked to him for a good three minutes while he was filling his tank,” mkb95 wrote in response to comments. “I guess he's moving to one of his houses in the town I live in, La Jolla.”
Romney does own a multi-million dollar home in the town just north of San Diego.
And of course, the photo of Romney pumping his own gas did spark heated debate.
“It is pretty amazing that in such a short period of time you can go from missing becoming the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world by a couple % to pumping your own gas like everyone else,” wrote Redditor agwayclerk. “Not that he couldn't afford to have someone else do it but imagine Obama just casually strolling around a gas station by himself at night getting gas and a couple twinkies.”
Others teased the fact that Romney is worth a reported $250 million.
“Time to celebrate that loss by buying a new house!” a Redditor stated in a post.
“Yeah, the dude lost the presidency,” commented another. “Leave him alone for a little while. He needs some time to wipe his tears with piles of money.”
And some weren’t sold that Romney was pumping his own gas while running on a campaign about creating jobs for others.
“Taking jobs away from hardworking American gas station attendants. Bastard,” a sarcastic Redditor wrote.
But other Reddit users genuinely asked for Romney to be left alone.
“C’mon man. Like him or not, the entire f---ing Republican party is trying to pin their woes, faults, and inefficiencies on him,” wrote one Reddditor. “Combine that with being somewhat unlikable in the first place, and he just becomes the ultimate scapegoat- pretty much everyone hates him right now, even those of whom he considered his peers and allies. That's gotta be taking a toll.”
Several top Republicans have distanced themselves greatly from their former presidential candidate when Romney made some controversial comments after losing his White House run.
In explaining his election loss to high-profile donors during a recent conference call, Romney said Obama won by giving “gifts” to his core constituencies – women, Latinos and other minorities.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college-loan interest was a big gift,” Romney told the wealthy donors. “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.”
But Republicans also said Obama outperformed Romney and had much better product placement and ground game.
“I do think if you look back at the election of 2012, when you have a product that you put into the markeplace – Republican perspective – and the market place doesn’t buy it, you either have to have better marketing or a better product,” Republican Tim Pawlenty, who was once rumored as a likely choice for vice president, told C-Span. “And so this is a wake-up call for the Republican Party to first of all have better marketing and that involves a lot of things."
Pawlenty said Republican need to better with female voters, blue-collar voters, Latinos and Hispanics.
“[Obama], at least at the margins, was better able to connect with people in this campaign and then they made that judgment,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a matter of people looking at the election and saying, ‘I’m going to vote because of gifts.’ I think they looked at it and said which one these candidates would they prefer because of leadership considerations and also who can also understand their needs the best.”
Romney also caught flak from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who said Romney held the “absolutely wrong” notion about why Obama won re-election.
Instead Jindal called upon the party to “stop dividing the American voters” and “go after 100 percent of the votes.”
“And, secondly, we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American Dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education,” he added. “So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”
Laura is a U.S. politics reporter for the International Business Times. She was always fascinated by the BBC World News each morning on the radio in Jamaica. That, and a love...