Jindal to GOP: ‘Stop being the stupid party’


January 25, 2013

WASHINGTON: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has a message for his fellow Republicans: Stop being so “stupid.”

Louisiana Governor: Bobby Jindal

January 25, 2013

WASHINGTON: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has a message for his fellow Republicans: Stop being so “stupid.”

Louisiana Governor: Bobby Jindal

In his first interview since Mitt Romney’s defeat and Republicans failure to capture the Senate majority, the lawmaker went on the attack, saying his party needs to appeal to more voters and stay away from offensive comments that tarnish the party.

Jindal told Politico, “It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments—enough of that “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party.”

"We must stop being the stupid party."

"We must stop looking backward."

"We must stop insulting the intelligence of voters."

These were some of his sharp jabs for Republicans in his remarks Thursday to party members attending the Republican National Committee's Winter Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Republicans have not only lost elections, he said, but lost issue arguments with Democrats, said Jindal who was elected last year to lead the Republican Governor's Association.

Republicans "must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behavior"; he was quoted as saying by CNN.

"We must treat all people as individuals rather than as members of special interest groups," added Jindal, considered a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate.

"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".

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 referring to comments made by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Romney was reported to have said at a closed door fundraiser during his campaign that 47 percent of Americans were "moochers" living on government dole who would not consider voting for Republican candidates.

"The first step in getting the voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them," said Jindal as he spoke out against those and other "completely unhelpful" comments from Romney during the election campaign.

Indiana’s Richard Mourdock and Missouri’s Todd Akin, who made offensive statements about rape and pregnancy during their Senate races and subsequently lost, of course, come to mind.

Jindal also said his party has a habit of speaking down to its electorate.

“We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters,” Jindal said, adding Republicans need to “stop being the stupid party.”

Jindal’s name is already being floated as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. He’s been selected to chair the Republican Governors Association next year.

Hardball host Chris Matthews noted on Tuesday that while “Republicans are becoming brutally honest in the wake of their defeat last week,”  Jindal was the same lawmaker who signed into law a measure that allows for teaching creationism in public schools.

MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann of New York Magazine agreed with the irony, adding there’s going to be room for non-Washington figures, “those who come from places where the Republican party is still strong, people in the south, so you think of people like Jeb Bush, people like Bobby Jindal who will bring a message of reform, and it’s not surprising on some level that economics will be central.”

Howard Fineman of the Huffington Post said it was clear Jindal is “sticking with the cultural conservatism.”

Courtesy: IANS