November 15th, 2012
07:11 PM ET
2 years ago

Jindal says Romney 'gift' remark 'completely unhelpful'

(CNN) – Gov. Bobby Jindal – the newly elected chair of the Republican Governors Association and a frequent subject of 2016 presidential speculation – reiterated Thursday his irritation at Mitt Romney's comments explaining his defeat in the presidential election.

Romney was recorded telling donors on a conference call that President Barack Obama won votes by offering "gifts" to African-Americans, Hispanics and young voters.

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"This is completely unhelpful," Jindal told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room." "This is not where the Republican Party needs to go. If you want voters to like you, the first thing you've got to do is like them first."

The Louisiana governor's comments were similar to remarks he made Wednesday in Las Vegas, where he and other governors are attending a meeting of the Republican Governors Association.

During his CNN interview on Thursday, Jindal linked the latest Romney comments to the candidate's remarks at a closed door fund-raiser in May, when he argued that 47 % of Americans were "victims" dependent on government and would never vote for him.

"I don't think we advance this discussion or debate by insulting folks," Jindal said. "Look, the Republicans need to stick to our principles, but we need to treat other people with respect. Even those we don't agree with, we need to show them we respect them and their beliefs. We can disagree without being disagreeable. Republicans said a lot of dumb things. We need to condemn the remarks."

Among those dumb things, Jindal said, were comments from GOP Senate candidates in Indiana and Missouri about rape and abortion, which drew consternation from Democrats and Republicans. Both candidates lost their bids by wide margins in races that were previously close.

Ultimately, the 2012 presidential race is in the history books, and Jindal said he wasn't sure "how much benefit there is to continue to look back."

Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida offered more restrained opposition to Romney's remarks than Jindal. In an interview with Politico on Thursday, Rubio characterized them as "an analysis to donors."

Rubio, another former Romney surrogate with possible 2016 presidential aspirations, said he was unaware of the full context of Romney's remarks, so he could not say whether he was disappointed by them. However, his party's mission, he added, "should not be to deny government benefits to people who need them," and instead make sure "less people need government benefits."

"I don't want to rebut him point by point," he said of the former Republican presidential candidate.

"I would just say to you, I don't believe that we have millions and millions of people in this country that don't want to work. I'm not saying that's what he said. I think we have millions of people in this country that are out of work and are dependent on the government because they can't find a job."


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Mitt Romney
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. John

    the same thing applies as pre-election........................Is the problem that Romney (GOP) said it or that they may believe it but shouldn't say it..................? What does the GOP believe?

    November 15, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. CBP

    Wow, a Republican is speaking common sense. Governor Jindal is making direct references about what he knows to be true and what he know will not be helpful. Sen. Rubio is trying too hard to stand behind Mitt Romney. Perhaps this is teh strongest example of why the Republicans lost. Too much blame and not enough thinking. The blame game never works and will never get anyone elected.

    November 15, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. Squigman

    And the understatement award of the year goes to.

    November 15, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Canuck

    Romney could have let his concession speach, which was at least a little gracious, stand as his departing act as Presidential candidate , but no, he has to make one more hurtful, stupid comment. Nobody likes a sore loser – America certainly dodged a bullet by not hiring him as President.

    November 15, 2012 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  5. Let's Move Forward

    Yes President Obama gave us a gift and the gift is called honesty, compassion, respect, intelligence and the love of country. All Romney did was insult our intelligence with his lies, fraud, greed, racism, hate and too many other things to list. Romney is an idiot with a supersized ego. We told him our vote was not for sale and he stayed in denial and is still in denial. Republicans you have no one to blame but yourselves. Until you start calling out the crazy loons that have taken over the party you will never win The White House. We took back our country from the haters.

    November 15, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  6. Bill from GA

    Jindal, if you plan to run for President as a republican , stop trying to make sense.

    Can't you see how it doomed Huntsman??

    November 15, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. TAK

    Actually Mtt Romney just screwed over the Republican Party yet again. His quotes about "free stuff" are going to appear during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. In other words, he just gave the Dems a real good freebie to use.

    ... and I used to believe that Romney had class.

    Now I am glad I did not vote for this loser.

    November 15, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Is the GOP afraid of truth now?

    November 15, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. barbara451

    you republicans need to get your story straight. You should all meet in one place and decide what the heck you want the story to be from now on.

    November 15, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Ah yes. The blind leading the blind....

    November 15, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Frank

    TAKE A VACATION ROMNEY... Go enjoy life.. Go be with your family, spend your money, travel, put your legs up in the air and enjoy the good life. And one more thing, STOP TALKING ABOUT OBAMA, OR ANYTHING POLITICAL PERIOD!!!! Stop shooting yourself on the foot. Isn't losing the election enough?

    November 15, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. Ken

    Well – Jindal won't last long as a Republican star because he actually makes sense!
    –At least THIS time!!

    Was Romney trying to set fire to all of the bridges that the Republicans need? He just made it clear once again to the late deciding voters what a moderate he is! I hope you didn't get fooled. – Man – America dodged a bullet this time.

    November 15, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. tor5

    What's incredible is that Romney made hundreds of millions of dollars from the US economy at a time when, if anything, there were more welfare and assistance programs than there are now. He did it with smarts, hard work, and a huge dose of luck. Yet all he seems to have is resentment against the poor. He has zero capacity to understand that someone else might have worked hard and had bad luck. There are things I liked about Romney, but I'm more and more convinced that he would have not made a very good president.

    November 15, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  14. nubwaxer

    Jindal talks about going after 100% of the vote. How about trying to work for 100% of the people? Seems to me they have missed the point of public service.

    November 15, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  15. jane

    Although Mr. Jindal is primarily worried over his personal ambition, it's nice to see ANY Republican recognize how deeply entrenched and pervasive the 'stupid' is.

    November 15, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. nowukno

    you may fool me with a different lie but you can bet it wont be from the same repubs from the last 4 years...!

    November 15, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Ozzie

    Wow. We found out that Mitt is a racist. 47% of the nation knew that.

    November 15, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. Ricardo martinez

    My respect to Governor of Lousiana. I think this is the right think to do. I think is not an issue to be republican or democratic, but to be stup. that is a real problem. If Rommie knew that those lazies, drugs that are reciving goverment assisting never show up to vote for any candidate. Their life is to be with alcohol battle on their hands and a pot cigarette in their mouth. They don't care about elections or any politic agenda. I saw in the election day about 10 of them here in North Carolina in the election day. I asked them if they were ready to vote and they did not know that was an election day. Republican paint in their brain this kind of people as a liberal voter, but if all those people ere voting for the democratic party, the republicans did not had any representation in congress any more. They don't think when they open their mouth. Well thinking is a mayor problem in their lives.

    November 15, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  19. MM

    We dodged a big one by not electing Romney! Can't believe he didn't learn anything at all thru the campaign. Or maybe he just doesn't care anymore.

    November 15, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. buzz

    It was the fault of the 47%

    November 15, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. Alfred E. Neuman

    The latest excuse from Romney is the flip side of the coin to his 47% remarks. How predictable and pedestrian. The people chose wisely by electing Barack Obama.

    November 15, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. Jefflz

    Romney makes clear that the 47% comment he made dismissing half the nation as lazy leeches is exactly what he thinks. He is not nor ever was presidential. He is a loser in every way.

    November 15, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. It's a credibility issue

    The extremists are making the party irrelevant. Republicans should simply do the work they were elected to do and relevancy will eventually follow (example, Governor Christy), not get stuck in ideaology just for the sake of idealoogy. For example, if Republicans are for lower taxes, then extend the Bush tax cuts to 98% of the nation and don't risk the fiscal cliff. If Republicans are not for lower taxes then let the Bush tax cuts expire. Tax cut extension for 98% of the nation is NOT a bargaining chip if one is truly for lower taxes. One either believes in lower taxes or not. It is independent of a discussion on whether to raise taxes on the top 2%. Just do the jobs you were elected to do. Romney's "gifts" comment really doesn't help. And the recent chorus of Republicans denouncing Romney and those who are stunned by the loss, should remember that voters' opinions count. Just think if Obama had gotten all of the votes from 2008, as well as, the numbers of people who could not vote due to Hurricane Sandy, or those turnned off by the long lines. Frankly, the margin could have been much, much higher. This should be a sobering reminder to all politicians that they have their positions, because of the citizens.

    November 15, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. Gurgyl

    These idiots need to understand–it is too late. GOP has turned "A CULT". Rather than a middle class America party. It is dead now and it will be for a while too. True.

    November 15, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. Chipster

    Gifts? Really? When a child is brought to the U.S. by its parents and that child grows up in the U.S., often without any knowledge that he or she is not a legal U.S. citizen, do you truly think it is a "gift" to give that child an opportunity to become a citizen? If so, what do you call it when a politician wants that child to "self-deport" from the only nation, the only language, the only education and opportunity they have ever known? When a politician wants to punish a child who worked hard, studied hard, and has never known any other life, that reflects harshly on the politician, not the child. To Gov. Romney, a President, who honors those achievements and believes it is fair to give that child an opportunity to continue to be a productive member of our society, should be replaced with a President who has no heart, no compassion, no respect for the effort that child made to be a productive member as a U.S. citizen. Who could vote for such a man – a man who would dismantle the Statue of Liberty and remove the words from her base? With all of his money, Romney cannot buy the gift of integrity for himself.

    November 15, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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