Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) strongly condemned Mitt Romney Wednesday night for remarks the former Republican nominee made blaming President Obama’s re-election on “big gifts” for minorities and women.
“That is absolutely wrong,” Jindal told reporters in Las Vegas at the Republican Governors Association meeting. “Two points on that. One, we have got to stop dividing American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent — we need to go after every single vote. And second, we need to continue to show that 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 the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents.”
According to multiple reports, Romney attributed his loss in a call to donors on Wednesday to Obama’s promise of benefits like “free health care” and “amnesty for children of illegals” to secure various voting blocs, “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”
Jindal said that he “absolutely reject[s]” Romney’s comments and that they were indicative of broader problems for the GOP as they regroup in the wake of last week’s defeat.
“If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly: One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream, period,” he said. “No exceptions.”
Considered by many to be a possible presidential contender in 2016, Jindal was never exactly a big fan of Romney — he endorsed Rick Perry in the primaries. But his forceful comments mark the second time this week he’s suggested that the party needs to cleanse itself of the rich guy image typified by Romney in order to move forward.
“We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys,” Jindal told Politico earlier this week.
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.