Bobby Jindal isn’t done excoriating Mitt Romney for attributing Obama’s win to the president’s offer of “free stuff” for Democratic voters. On Thursday, the Louisiana governor told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the former nominee was “completely unhelpful” in his remarks.
“This is not where the Republican party needs to go,” he said. “Look, If you want voters to like you, the first thing you’ve got to do is to like them first. And it’s certainly not helpful to tell voters that you think their votes were bought.”
In a reference to Romney’s “47 percent” video, Jindal added that Republicans needs to appeal to “100 percent of the electorate, not 53 percent.”
Romney complained in calls with donors this week that he had difficulty competing with Obama’s offer of “big gifts” to minorities, youth, and women such as expanded health care access and “amnesty for children of illegals.” Among leading Republicans, Jindal cast the first stone against Romney’s remarks on Wednesday and shows little sign of letting up now.
Jindal told Blitzer that the GOP couldn’t improve its standing by “insulting folks” who voted against them.
“Look, the Republicans, we need to stick to our principles, but we need to treat other people with respect,” he said. “Even those we don’t agree with, we need to show them we respect them and their beliefs.”
Jindal, who is widely considered a potential presidential candidate, published an op-ed the same day making similar points, albeit without mentioning Romney by name. His arguments for remaking the party in a more “populist” image only extend to messaging so far and not policy.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.