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More Republicans Distance Themselves From Romney’s “Gift” Remarks

Republicans aren’t wasting any time distancing themselves from Mitt Romney’s statement to donors and supporters that President Obama won the election because of “gifts” he gave to particular voting blocs. First it was Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, now two more of Mitt Rommney’s most prominent surrogates are wasting no time in throwing their former nominee under the bus.

First up, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez:

LAS VEGAS—After two days of meetings at the Republican Governors Association conference, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday said she heard a lot about the party’s need to reach new constituencies—particularly women and ethnic minorities—but few specifics about how.

As a Republican governor of Mexican descent who won all but four counties in a Democratic state, Martinez has ideas for how the party can reach voters who traditionally support Democrats. But it’s going to take some work, she noted, and a touch of humility, from her colleagues.

“Republicans need to stop making assumptions, and they need to start talking to younger people, people of color, and ask them—not talk to them—ask them, ‘What is it that we can do better? How do we earn your vote? How do we earn the ability for you to see that we can be the party that will make your life better and that of your children?’” Martinez said in an interview after the conference here. “But we can’t be the ones that come and tell them how things are going to be and how we have all the solutions.”

(…)

The topic has dominated much of the party’s postelection soul-searching. Some have placed part of the blame on Mitt Romney for writing off 47 percent of the electorate as inevitable Obama voters at a closed-door fundraiser last spring—his comment, said Martinez, was “ridiculous”—and then, postelection, saying he lost to Obama in part because the president promised “gifts” to minority voters in return for their support.

“That unfortunately is what sets us back as a party, our comments that are not thought through carefully,” said Martinez, whose name was discussed in the national media as a possible running mate for Romney but who was never vetted for the job.

New Jersey’s Chris Christie was slightly more charitable toward Romney, but still pointed out that Romney’s remarks aren’t something a real leader says:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Friday joined the chorus of Republican governors and other officials criticizing Mitt Romney’s assertion that “gifts” from President Barack Obama helped the Democrat win reelection.

“Yeah, sure,” Christie replied when asked by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough if Romney’s comments were “a terrible thing to say.” “You can’t expect to be the leader of all the people and be divisive,” Christie continued. “You have to talk about themes, policies, that unite people.”

(…)

Christie did excuse Romney’s remarks, nothing the candidate is still feeling the disappointment.

“Mitt Romney is a friend of mine,” Christie said. “I understand he is very upset about having lost the election, he’s very disappointed. … I’ve lost elections, but never for the presidency. I’m sure it stings.”

“Do I wish he hadn’t said those things?” the New Jersey governor added. “Of course. But on the other hand, I’m not going to bury the guy for it.”

It’s been little more than a week since the election and it’s already clear that Mitt Romney really isn’t going to have any future role in the Republican Party at this point, largely because they’ve already begun moving past him.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Romney was always a stuffed shirt – the only reason he was running for Pres was because he could. He had no agenda for what he’d do if he won, and the power players knew this – it’s why they chose to back him – they knew he’d happily do whatever they told him to in office, because he really didn’t have anything he wanted to accomplish except to put ‘POTUS’ on his resume. He failed miserably, so now those power brokers are dumping him & looking for a New Tool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    The truth often strikes nerves. But obviously this electorate and this politco class are waaaaay too far gone to be able to handle the truth.

    Speaking of which, if I were Jindal or Christie or Martinez I would have bashed Romney even harder. Shit, I would have beaten him out of shape, like a labor union murdering Hostess. When in Rome you do as the Romans. When vying for a shot to lead Zombieland you do as the Zombiebots are wont to do. Politics 101.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  3. CB says:

    The truth often strikes nerves.

    It sure can. You know what else strikes nerves? Unmitigated bullshit, spewed day after day by people with no interest in accuracy, only invective. Yeah, that will tend to piss some people off.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  4. john personna says:

    Heh, at first I read that as “Mitt Romney’s statement to drones and supporters”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. john personna says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    But obviously this electorate and this politco class are waaaaay too far gone to be able to handle the truth.

    You know, “everybody else is crazy, not me” is kind of a classic danger sign.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  6. mattb says:

    @john personna:
    You know, “everybody else is crazy, not me” is kind of a classic danger sign.

    Actually, it;s worse than that, cause this is a case of “everyone else is crazy, except for me, Rush Limbaugh, and Mitt Romney.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. Davebo says:

    Christie did excuse Romney’s remarks, nothing the candidate is still feeling the disappointment.

    Could we not copy and paste stories without at least noting that, like the current author the original author also didn’t have an editor?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. stonetools says:

    Heh, Distancing themselves, are they?
    Just a week ago, Romney was the standard bearer for the Republican Party. Martinez, Christie, and Jindal stumped for him, fund raised him for him, and held him up as the future leader of the USA.
    Did they not know he believed these things about youth, the minorities and the 47 per cent? If they didn’t know, why didn’t they know? And if they did know, why support him? This Wednesday morning quarterbacking about him being too divisive comes across as pretty hollow.
    The Romney message was always the Republican message-which was that the rich needed to be rewarded with tax cuts, Hispanics who had lived in the country for decades needed to self-deport, women needed to take unwanted pregnancies to term, gays needed to return to the closet, and racial minorities needed to know their place.
    Now that the electorate rejected the message and the message- bearer, somehow that wasn’t the Republican message? Somehow Romney is wrong for saying the things that Republicans believed? I’m betting every one of those donors was nodding along with Romney-and that a lot of Republicans across the country were nodding too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  9. Geek, Esq. says:

    Anyone else notice that the GOP base has been vewwy, vewwy quiet on taxes as opposed to Benghazi. It appears they’re pretty demoralized on taxes–realizing Obama and the Democrats are going to win that exchange–all that remains to be seen is how big of a win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  10. An Interested Party says:

    Speaking of which, if I were Jindal or Christie or Martinez I would have bashed Romney even harder. Shit, I would have beaten him out of shape, like a labor union murdering Hostess. When in Rome you do as the Romans. When vying for a shot to lead Zombieland you do as the Zombiebots are wont to do. Politics 101.

    Those are some really sour grapes you’re chewing on there…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  11. al-Ameda says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    like a labor union murdering Hostess

    Hey, Hostess has been killing us softly for decades.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Tina says:

    @stonetools:

    “The Romney message was always the Republican message-which was that the rich needed to be rewarded with tax cuts, Hispanics who had lived in the country for decades needed to self-deport, women needed to take unwanted pregnancies to term, gays needed to return to the closet, and racial minorities needed to know their place.”

    This message/belief is exactly why Romney didn’t win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Tina says:

    Romney’s “gifts” statement was very racist. I don’t think he is even aware of it. This is a major reason he didn’t win. I’m African-American and Obama didn’t promise me “gifts” nor do I receive government benefits. As a matter of fact under Obama’s plan I would loose money. I voted for Obama for reasons worth more than money or benefits!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0