Chris Christie is the latest Republican governor to pile on Mitt Romney for his remark that he lost the presidential race because Obama gave out “gifts” to voting blocs, such as Latinos, African Americans and young people. Governor Christie (of New Jersey) tore into Romney on Morning Joe:
You can’t expect to be leader of all the people and be divisive. You have to talk about themes and policies that unite people…I always hate this scapegoating after elections. The fact of the matter is, you lose, you lost. People ask me, ‘why did Mitt Romney lose?’ I say, ‘Because he got less votes than Barack Obama.’”
Before Christie, two other Republican governors chimed in with their version of “Dude, how politically tone deaf are you?”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was the first to publicly react to Romney's line:
I absolutely reject that notion…. 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.
New Mexico’s Republican Governor Susana Martinez added,
That unfortunately is what sets us back as a party — our comments that are not thought through carefully.
By pure coincidence I’m sure, Christie, Jindal and Martinez are all speculated to be considering a presidential run in 2016. As savvier politicians than Mitt Romney, each of them knows it is a losing strategy to start out only playing for, say, 53% of the electorate.
From my reading, none of these governors has explained why Obama's policies do not constitute "gifts" to specific interest groups (though Democrats have done that). Christie, Jindal and Martinez have only said that that's a bad way to talk to people. In other words, they are talking about politics, not policy.
Image credit: Reuters