Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal criticized Mitt Romney on Wednesday for claiming he lost the presidential election to Barack Obama partially because of the “gifts” he gave to minority groups. He called Romney’s remarks “absolutely wrong.”
Mitt Romney made the statements to donors during a conference call after the election, saying that the Obama campaign won because they “focused on giving targeted groups gifts” and were “very generous” to ethnic minorities and young voters, reports Yahoo! News.
Jindal countered Romney’s remarks during an annual meeting of Republican governors, saying that rhetoric like Romney’s could divide voting groups. The Louisiana governor stated:
“I think that’s absolutely wrong. We have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote … So I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think it’s absolutely wrong. I don’t think that represents where we are as a party, where we’re going as a party. That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election.”
Bobby Jindal is set to become the chairman of the Republican Governors Association. Since the election he has called on the party to reshape its tone when it presents ideas, especially to constituencies that usually vote Republican. He stated:
“I’m passionate about it because I think it’s extremely, extremely important. This is just something that’s fundamentally important for the future of our party.”
The Los Angeles Times notes that Jindal is a possible presidential candidate in 2016 and supported Texas Governor Rick Perry during the 2012 GOP primaries, though he was briefly considered for vice president by Mitt Romney’s campaign after the RNC. The Louisiana governor’s criticism of Romney’s performance during the campaign was one of the most direct from participants at the RGA meeting.
Jindal stated that Romney failed to deliver the “real contest of ideas.” He was not alone in his criticism either. The recurring theme on the gathering’s first day was that Republicans were not bested by policy differences but by tactics and strategy. Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour stated that the takeaway is simple — Obama waged a primarily negative campaign against Romney, and “negative campaigns still work.”
While he said that, “an attack unanswered is an attack admitted,” he added that Republicans should learn how to build a coalition of voters like the Democrats have done. Barbour added:
“We have historically tried to appeal to all the people and try to get more than half of them to agree with us. I happen to think our way is a better way for governing. But we cannot at the same time be ignorant of demography.”
Bobby Jindal’s criticism of Romney’s comments appears to be yet another indicator that the party was not completely satisfied with its chosen presidential candidate.