Reasons for Romney’s loss

The Republican Party had a very good shot at winning the 2012 U.S. presidential election. One major reason was that, before this election, no U.S. President had succeeded in reelection when the unemployment rate was higher than 7.3 percent. At the time of the election, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. So why did the Republican Party, specifically its candidate Mitt Romney, lose this presidential election?

There were several reasons for the Republicans’ loss. First, the Republican Party was too blunt in their opposition of the immigration reform proposed by the Democratic Party. The major content of this immigration reform bill was to pardon the illegal immigrants that had worked hard for their families and paid taxes for years without breaking laws during their stay, even though they had illegally emigrated to the U.S., and give them a path to permanent residency. The Republicans, in contrast, asserted that illegal immigrants should be arrested and deported to their countries, since they were criminals that had already broken the law by entering the country illegally. Even though public opinion leaned toward pardoning them, the conservative Republican Party stuck to its principles and ignored public opinion.

Secondly, the callous gaffe that Romney made by saying that 47 percent of the nation did not pay taxes and depended on the government became a problem. In fact, the statement was based on facts in terms of income taxes, but it hurt the pride of people with lower incomes. Because of this mistake, even white people in lower income classes turned their backs against Romney.

Thirdly, the Republican Party did not recognize the changes in the electorate of the U.S. The party failed to make a close political connection with Hispanics, even though Hispanics were the most rapidly growing ethnicity in the U.S., and the party made a vast, anachronistic miscalculation to primarily focus on getting white votes, as it did in the past. The Republican Party did not realize that America had been changed. In this presidential election, 93 percent of blacks, 76 percent of Asians, and 74 percent of Hispanics voted for Obama. Republicans did not expect that Hispanic and Asian votes would go to Obama in such overwhelming numbers, though they must have expected such support for Obama from black voters.

Fourthly, the Republican Party did not expect that the American people would think generously of the economic policies of President Obama, in that the President had been doing well for the U.S. economy to maintain this level in spite of the recession in Europe. Despite Republican assertions that the economy had worsened during the last four years under Obama, people did not think that it was Obama’s fault. Romney fiercely attacked Obama with the current economic indices of the U.S. But American people were convinced by Obama’s appeal to give him four more years to overcome the European financial crisis and revive the U.S. economy.

Fifthly, the Republican Party selected 42 year-old-Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as the running mate of Romney, in an attempt to sway younger voters in their 30s and 40s, a large part of Obama’s base. Ryan, based on his experience as the chairman of the House Budget Committee, fiercely attacked the economic policy of Obama with thorough mathematic data, but he failed to convince American voters and any results that could help the Republican Party in his debate with a political veteran, Vice President Joseph Biden. This was another reason why Romney lost this election.

Now the Republican Party should prepare for a fight against President Obama in the House of Representatives over the debt ceiling. As a result of the defeat in this presidential election, the fight will go on until the very last moment, but, unlike what happened 15 years ago, there will not be a government shutdown. The reason is that Republicans should take into consideration that the next presidential election that will come four years from now. Without an incumbent, there is a high probability for the Republican Party to win the next presidential election. I expect that the American people will want a Republican president four years from now.

Jay Kim is a former U.S. congressman. He serves as chairman of the Kim Chang Joon US-Korea Foundation. For more information, visit Kim’s website at


Daejon Ilbo 4/10


Jay Kim visited Daejon with the president of the Liberty Forward Party on April 10 to give a speech to support a candidate from the Liberty Forward Party, Song Seok-chan.

Joongang Ilbo 12/22

Jay Kim gave a lecture on current affairs on December 22. It was sponsored by the Washington Council of Security Organizations and Korean Veterans Association in theUS.

During his lecture, he said, “North Korea had agreed with the US to halt its uranium enrichment program, which is the core of its nuclear program, before Kim Jong-il died,” and “because of this, the US and North Korea will meet in Beijing in the near future to discuss the issue again under the new circumstances after Kim Jong-il’s death.”

Next, he said, “Though North Korea launched missiles right after Kim’s death, it does not seems to have any significance,” and “it seems that Kim Jong-un allowed a scheduled experiment to be carried out without thinking too much about it”.

Then, he said, “The US has focused on theMiddle Eastuntil recently so thatChinahas become a new dominant force inAsia,” and “now, theUSseems to change its focus from theMiddle EasttoAsianext year”

In addition, he forecasted, “North Koreawill finish the solidification of Kim Jong-un’s leadership in two months” and wondered “what will be the position thatNorth Koreawill take after that”.

Joongang Ilbo 12/15

Jay Kim claimed, “The voice against the Korea-US FTA is coming from the so-called ‘left’, which is incited byNorth Korea. Contrary to the opposition’s claim, FTA will revive the economies of the two countries.”

He said, “Some people raise their voices as if most Koreans or Koreans in theUSopposed the Korea-US FTA, but they are only in the minority,” and emphasized, “In the areas of automobile, beef and currently controversial ISD, there are many aspects that are advantageous toKorea”.

According to him, since the total amount of investment that theUShas made inKoreais $44.9 billion and the total amount of investment thatKoreahas made in theUSis $53.4 billion,Koreamay benefit more from ISD which allows companies to get mediation on unfair treatment from the government of the country in which they invest. He added, “The FTA is expected to be into effect around next March”.

Donga Ilbo 11/23

After hearing the news of the ratification of the Korea-US FTA in the National Assembly, Jay Kim emphasized, “The politicians who try to use the FTA issue for next year’s election by instigating the innocent poor will be judged by the people”.

Chosun Ilbo 12/1

Jay Kim gave a keynote presentation at the ‘GTX Forum’ on December 1. The forum was sponsored by Gyeonggido and organized by Gyeonggi Research Institute. It was attended by fifty people including the governor of Gyeonggido, Kim Moon-soo, and experts from related fields.

During his presentation, Kim claimed, “Public transportation similar to the GTX that Gyeonggido is pursuing is already in place in major cities of the world” and emphasized that the capital region should develop a more convenient environment for living through the GTX project.