LAS VEGAS — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible Republican presidential contender in 2016, is leveling strong criticism at Mitt Romney’s theory of why President Obama won, and Romney lost, the presidential election.
In a conference call with donors Wednesday, Romney said Obama won votes by offering enticing “gifts” to key Democratic voting groups like blacks, Hispanics, and the young. Subsidized health care, cheaper student loans, free contraceptives — those were all things Romney said Obama gave those constituencies in order to win support at the polls. “In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Romney told his donors.
Asked about Romney’s comments at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association at the Encore Hotel here in Las Vegas, Jindal did not hold back. “That is absolutely wrong,” Jindal said. “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.”
“So I absolutely reject that notion, that description,” Jindal continued. I think it’s absolutely wrong. I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party. And 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.”