Jindal rejects Romney's gifts theory
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal forcefully rejected Mitt Romney's claim that he lost because of President Barack Obama's "gifts" to minorities and young voters.
Asked about the failed GOP nominee's reported comments on a conference call with donors earlier Wednesday, the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association became visibly agitated.
"No, I think that's absolutely wrong," he said at a press conference that opened the RGA's post-election meeting here. "Two points on that: One, 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.
"And, secondly, we need to continue to show how 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 an opportunity to be able to get a great education. So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that's absolutely wrong."
He reiterated the points for emphasis.
"I don't think that represents where we are as a party and where we're going as a party," he said. "That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election: 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. No exceptions."
Then, without prompting, Jindal circled back to the topic as the press conference wrapped up.
Considered a likely candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, he blamed Romney's defeat last week on his failure to outline a vision for where he wanted to take the country.
"Gov. Romney's an honorable person that needs to be thanked for his many years of public service, but his campaign was largely about his biography and his experience," he said. "And it's a very impressive biography and very impressive set of experiences. But time and time again, biography and experience is not enough to win an election. You have to have a vision. You have to connect your policies to the aspirations of the American people. I don't think the campaign did that, and as a result this became a contest between personalities. And you know what? Chicago won that."
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the outgoing RGA chairman, added that Republicans actually have a more diverse roster of governors than Democrats.
"They have I think two women and minorities. We have seven. And, so, we're not keeping score but the point is that the people that are coming in," he said, before being interrupted by laughter. "We are keeping score, 30 to 19 though [the number of Republican to Democratic governors]. That's the score that matters. But the point is the people that are coming in and are now the leaders of our party reflect a much more diverse group than the Democratic governors today."
Romney's comments on the call with his national finance committee were first reported by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.