Louisiana's Indian American Governor Bobby Jindal has asked Republicans to "stop being the stupid party" as he forcefully rejected Mitt Romney's claim that President Barack Obama won with "gifts" to minorities and young voters.
"No, I think that's absolutely wrong," a visibly agitated Jindal, the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors' Association, told reporters Wednesday when asked about the defeated Republican nominee's reported comments on a conference call with donors.
"Two points on that: One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters," he said at a press conference that opened the RGA's post-election meeting in Las Vegas, according to Politico, an influential Washington news site focused on politics.
"We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote," he said in an apparent reference to Romney's controversial comments during the campaign that 47 percent of Americans were 'moochers' whom the Republicans could not hope to win.
"And, secondly, we need to continue to show how 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 an opportunity to be able to get a great education... So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that's absolutely wrong."
He reiterated the points for emphasis.
Considered a likely candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, he blamed Romney's defeat last week on his failure to outline a vision for where he wanted to take the country.
Earlier, in an interview with Politico, Jindal said the Republican party needs to "stop being the stupid party" and truly expand its tent.
"It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments - enough of that," he was quoted saying.
"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'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."
Keeping mum about his interest in a 2016 presidential run, he told Politico: "I got the best job in the world and I'm going to be focused on being governor of this great state for the next three years and being chairman of RGA next year and getting a bunch of great Republican governors elected."
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)