January 24th, 2013
08:50 PM ET
1 year ago

Jindal urges GOP to stop being ‘stupid’

(CNN) - “We must stop being the stupid party.” “We must stop looking backward.” “We must stop insulting the intelligence of voters.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal held little back with his sharp words to Republicans Thursday evening, urging his own party to rethink their arguments against Democrats and appeals to voters in his remarks to party members attending the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting.

“We seem to have an obsession with government bookkeeping,” he told party members. “We as Republicans have to accept that government number crunching – even conservative number crunching – is not the answer to our nation’s problems.”

Instead of being the “party of austerity,” Jindal said, Republicans must “boldly show what the future can look like with the free-market policies that we believe in.”

“We must compete for every single vote: the 47 percent and the 53 percent and any other combination of numbers that adds up to 100 percent,” he said, notably invoking comments 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made at a closed door fundraiser about a bloc of voters who would not consider GOP candidates.

He also spoke out against those and other “completely unhelpful” comments from Romney in a November interview with CNN. In that interview, he signaled one of the seven points for the Republican Party’s future which he laid out Thursday: “The first step in getting the voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them,” he explained Thursday.

Republicans “must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior. We must treat all people as individuals rather than as members of special interest groups,” he said.

The Louisianan’s remarks further positioned himself as a forward-looking voice among the Republicans thought to have their eye on a White House bid in 2016. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has directed a five-member panel known as the "Growth and Opportunity Project" to identify winning political strategies for the future, particularly in the area of minority outreach.

Jindal’s remarks were laced with criticism of and laugh lines at the expense of Democrats, such as “Which of you wants to sign up to help manage the slow decline of the United States of America? I sure don’t. That’s what we have Democrats for.”

He blasted the economic stimulus programs of President Barack Obama’s administration, invoking Solyndra when he said: “You can’t hire enough government workers or give enough taxpayer money to your friends who own green energy companies to create prosperity.”

But he was also distinctly blunt with his appraisal of the GOP.

Republicans have not only lost elections, he said, but lost issue arguments with Democrats.

“At present we have one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can expand it, and one party that wants to be in charge of the federal government so they can get it under control,” he said, referring first to Democrats and then Republicans. “It’s a terrible debate, it’s a debate fought entirely on our opponents’ terms.”

Jindal allowed that his thoughts “may challenge your assumptions.”

“We must shift the eye line and the ambition of our conservative movement away from managing government and toward the mission of growth,” he said.

Republicans must move, he said, beyond a notion of “if we can just put together a spreadsheet and a power point and a TV ad, all will be well.”

Jindal was elected last year to lead the Republican Governor’s Association.

Priebus will be up for re-election as RNC chairman on Friday.

“I don’t think you should use that whole ORCA thing for your election tomorrow,” Jindal joked, referring to the Romney campaign voter turnout technology which was reportedly plagued with glitches on Election Day.

– CNN Political Director Mark Preston contributed to this report


Filed under: Bobby Jindal • Reince Priebus
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The seed has already been planted and the GOP can do nothing to change the mind of voters, it's called a trust issue. not being stupid. Stupidity can be forgiven but trust is something that can never be forgotten and the GOP has proven they can't be trusted because they refuse to recognize we are all Americans. So Mr. Jingle Bells you surely don't understand the heartbeat of Americans either because and we don't have to look any further than Louisiana.

    January 24, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    All gop bafoons have the same agenda ,go backwards !!!

    January 24, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. Liz the First

    Wow, another one puts down the Kool-Aid. maybe there is hope that the republican party can be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. a party that prides itself on being hateful and obstructionist and against reality and science can't survive very much longer. we live in very dangerous times with most of the danger of our own making. until the repubs start recognizing the reality of things like climate change, they are the enemies of the entire human race. if they obstruct progress on this issue much longer, we will pass the tipping point and the most dire consequences of our addiction to fossil fuels will make our children's and grandchildren's lives a living hell on a dying planet. no sane person wants this!

    January 24, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  4. Squigman

    It's too late. The stupidity is ingrained at this point, with no cure in sight.

    January 24, 2013 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  5. Ancient Texan

    A good percentage of the 51% in the last election was enticed to be swayed by "stupid stuff". Not all voters can tell the difference.

    January 24, 2013 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Randy, San Francisco

    Republicans just don't get it. Their party is in rapid decline because a majority of Americans reject their social and racial intolerance, mistrust of government, and lack of compassion for the sick, elderly, and poor.

    January 24, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. Bob

    Jindal the jerk schools the rest of the GOPer jerks.

    January 24, 2013 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  8. Reeaaally

    Yeah, looks like he's thinking about a presidential run in 2016.

    He's trying to appeal to the minorities, while at the same time making sure the white Republican/Tea Party people don't hate him. What a joke!

    January 24, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  9. labman57

    So that explains the record sales of "I'm with Stupid" T-shirts that were worn by attendees at the recent Republican National Convention.

    January 24, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. Jim terwiliger

    Says the guy who gives federal money to teach creationism

    January 24, 2013 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  11. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Too late Bobby... The GOP is DEAD!

    January 24, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  12. DENNA

    "Jindal’s remarks were laced with criticism of and laugh lines at the expense of Democrats, such as “Which of you wants to sign up to help manage the slow decline of the United States of America? I sure don’t. That’s what we have Democrats for”
    .............................................................................................................................................................................
    And there you have it. In the midst of making perfectly good sense, Bobby J. reverts to making stupid, snide Republican comments. It must be a knee-jerk reaction to being a conservative. Sigh. I thought he was making perfectly good sense until this.

    January 24, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  13. Yes, stop being stupid.

    Hmmm...free-market Republicans want a campaign based on government intervention to spur economic growth – somewhat of a contradiction. If you are free market and want growth, run a business. If you believe in being a public servant, be a democrat. Being a public servant includes transparency, efficiency, checks and balances, helping business, helping people – GOOD government. If you want to be an obstructionist be a Republican in government – that IS the treatment of voters as stupid because you are asking us to pay you to do NOTHING.

    January 24, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  14. Mike Texoma

    Okay –

    Is Bobby Jindal the guy? Has he got the vision? Will a majority of Americans follow him where he wants to go? And does the majority of Republicans want to follow him? Now? No. Has he got the time to build that opportunity? We shall see.

    January 24, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  15. junt

    The Republican Party is as stale as a 20 yr old saltine. Grand "OLD" Party does it to themselves. The party of "NO", we will not, cannot, and refuse to cooperate with anything, ever. HINT TO GOP: people generally don't like negativity. Cooperate, or risk being completely abandoned.

    January 24, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  16. rs

    Jindal is right of course. The GOP can't get out of its own way. Just today RP announces an initiative for getting minorities into the party- while their legislators in Virginia pull off a way to minimize the impact of minority votes; they complain Obama does install enough women on his cabinet after they sink a woman for the job of Secretary of State- then they have another abortion nutjob moment. I swear they couldn't do this by accident.

    January 24, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  17. Larry L

    Jindal essentially said what most of us believe. The Republican platform was created by a group of angry, narrow-minded, poorly-informed white people who long to return to a utopian period that only existed in their deluded memories.

    January 24, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. 2020

    Jindal told his party “We must stop being the stupid party.”

    Call them out.... Ron Johnson, Ran Paul (who dream being a president, oh NO! oh NEVER!)......Michelle Bachman..a FULL BINDER OF GOP/TEA BAGGERS in Congress..

    January 24, 2013 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. harry

    Hats off,Republican party need to stop being so stupid and careless in dealing with with crises this country is facing and family are suffering.Its time to be responsible to go hand to hand work with common goal to benefit people .No need to be so negative. Like sore loser McCain.he better designs as such he is a failed politician.he shows no wisdom in his talking points and comments,so useless looser.

    January 24, 2013 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  20. GOP IS LOST

    LMAO!! Yep, just what America needs. Piyush Jindal is a miserable failure and con artist. Does America REALLY want to look like Louisiana? Nuff said. REJECT!

    January 24, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  21. Just Me

    This here Republican, yae this Jindal guy, well he had better be careful. If he keeps on talking like this and like he has in the past three weeks. Well, I just may start liking him. Wow, like a Republican. Now that is a serious thought. O'well, somebody named Johnson from up North will probably screw it up.

    January 24, 2013 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  22. plain&simple

    How do you get "stupid" people to stop doing or saying " stupid" things? When a republican is being" stupid" do they know it? This might be harder to do than Gov.Bobby thinks. Maybe only smart republicans should be allowed to talk publicly? Trouble is both of them are on the outs with the "core/base of the party.....at least Huntsman is...is Hagel still considered republican??? God I feel stupid for not knowing that answer!

    January 24, 2013 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  23. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Isn't this they same Bobby Jindal that was complaining about the waste of money used for monitoring volcanoes just before the one in question blew and planes had to be rerouted? That one?

    January 24, 2013 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  24. Lone wolf

    To bad he does not follow what he is now telling The GOP. This joker is the most divisive governor in Louisiana history. His cabinet lacks diversity. It his his way or the highway. He is a blue print of the conservatism that the majority of Ameicans voted against in our recent Presidential election. He stands for everything that is wrong with the right. When he looks in the mirror he sees himself as just another good old boy of the mainly white GOP. He is just just another angry, hate filed right winger who has the yellow striped legislators in Louisiana intimidated to vote his way. Like most on the right his agenda is to do away with public employees, destroy teachers, destroy unions, do away with diversity and bring back the old segregated south.

    January 24, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Jim Johnson

    I can't take advice on not being stupid from a Governor that signed laws allowing creationism to be taught in science classes.

    January 24, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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