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GOP mega-donor: voters in 'center cities' don't count

Republican mega-donor Foster Friess
Republican mega-donor Foster FriessGetty Images

In the 2012 race for the Republican presidential nomination, several candidates enjoyed the backing of their very own rich guy to help bankroll their campaigns. For Rick Santorum, it was Foster Friess, who made quite a public impression.

It was Friess, you'll recall, who told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, "Back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly." Soon after, he proclaimed, "Now that [Republicans] have trained their barrels on President Obama, I hope his teleprompters are bullet-proof."

Friess has not, however, gone away. Indeed, he spoke with reporters late last week, arguing that despite President Obama's decisive victory, the expanded Senate Democratic majority, and House Democrats getting more votes than their GOP counterparts, "the American people gave the Republicans a mandate in this last election." The political world would recognize this GOP mandate were it not for the fact it "got masked" by the actual election results.

And how is it, exactly, that Friess sees a Republican mandate? As he sees it, votes from "center cities" don't really count when considering who has genuine public support. Robert Schlesinger reported:

Obama won by five million votes. But Friess dismissed that margin, arguing that a 350,000 vote flip across four states (which he couldn't name) would have given Romney the election.

To me, 350,000 votes is not a huge mandate, even though the total numbers, which take into account a lot of those center cities, went for Obama.

When I asked him if he was saying that votes from "center cities" should be discounted, his answer, in full, was: "Yes."

Friess went on to say that there is a lack of entrepreneurship in "these center cities."

I have to admit, "center cities" is a euphemism I haven't heard before. I suppose Friess assumes that if he said he doesn't want to count votes from "inner cities," he'd be accused of racism, so he uses "center cities" to make the racism more oblique. How gracious of him.

Friess added that he believes in supporting gay rights by preventing "Sharia law"; the gender gap would be smaller had Democrats not "seduced" women voters; and he's looking forward to investing heavily in Republican candidates during the 2014 midterms.