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.