- Rich Peverley collapses on Dallas Stars bench; game postponed
- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
Critics say Romney digging deeper hole for party
Jindal, Graham say ‘gifts’ remark does more harm
Mitt Romney’s excommunication from the GOP continued over the weekend, with top Republicans growing increasingly angry with the defeated presidential candidate for the damage he’s done — and continues to do — to the party’s image.
“I absolutely reject what he said,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said on “Fox News Sunday” in reference to Mr. Romney’s latest statements implying that he lost the Asian, Hispanic and black vote by even bigger margins than expected because President Obama had supplied those voting blocs with “gifts.”
“We as a Republican Party have to campaign for every single vote,” Mr. Jindal said, repeating statements he made at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas last week. “If we want people to like us, we have to like them first. And you don’t start to like people by saying their votes were bought.”
“We’re in a death spiral with Hispanic voters because of rhetoric around immigration,” he continued. “Our party can adjust. Conservatism is an asset. But rhetoric like this keeps digging a hole for the Republican Party and if we don’t stop digging, we’re never going to get out of it.”
Even Cuban-born Romney-campaign surrogate Carlos Gutierrez jumped all over the former Massachusetts governor, saying on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he was “shocked” by Mr. Romney’s remarks. “I don’t know if he understood that he was saying something that was insulting,” Mr. Gutierrez, who served as commerce secretary under President George W. Bush.
Mr. Jindal and the views of his fellow GOP governors and of other prominent Republicans like Mr. Gutierrez have put them at odds with some conservatives, both secular and religious, who fear the GOP will now waterdown its opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and amnesty for illegal immigrants in order to appear more friendly to certain ethnic and racial groups whose share of the electorate is increasing. Those blocs helped tip the balance of the Electoral College to Democrats in latest election.
An uncertain outcome awaits the escalating struggle between those Republicans who want to reverse that trend by making the party more attractive to young voters, women, Hispanics and Asians, and those GOP stalwarts who want the party to continue to take an uncompromising stand in defense of traditional values, letting the chips fall where they may.
Mr. Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, heroes to many conservatives and GOP moderates for their policy stands against special interests and their legislative accomplishments as chief executives, insisted last week the party can be inclusive in its language — its choice of words — and still hold true to the principles that have held together the GOP coalition of economic, religious and national defense conservatives.
Where the tea party activists fit in that coalition is not clear now. Several tea-party-backed candidates crashed and burned this year, some due to their own ineptitude.
In the Nov. 6 elections, two of the Senate candidates the tea party supported, Missouri Rep. W. Todd Akin and Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, made well-intentioned but politically inept statements about rape and pregnancy. That allowed Democrats and the press to belittle the men and tag the whole GOP with their views.
After the election, Mr. Romney repeated the substance of his secretly recorded private statements to major donors during the election that nearly half the electorate — including blacks, Hispanics and Asians — is hooked on government aid and wealth redistribution and is permanently lost to the GOP.
One irony is that Mr. Romney, distrusted in the past by conservatives, was articulating a view shared by many of those conservatives. Another irony is that his now-famous “47 percent” statement about government-dependent voters was almost exactly the same sentiment expressed by Texas Rep. Ron Paul — long a hero to “government, leave me alone” conservatives who abhor compromise with “statist” views and policies of moderate Republicans and liberal Democrats. After the Nov. 6 election, Mr. Paul, too, said Americans have become too dependent on government.
In a sense acknowledging that with conservatives, Mr. Romney couldn’t win for losing, Mr. Paul said the election showed that Midwestern voters penalized Mr. Romney for his opposition to the automobile bailouts.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- DeLay: GOP failing to fight criminalization of politics
- Question for CPAC-goers: Is Congress relevant anymore?
- Rand Paul looking to hedge bet in 2016 election
- CPAC conservatives frustrated by GOP's compromises, lack of leadership
- Big money haul keeps Chris Christie's role at Republican Governors Association safe
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By David Keene
Conference showed that the values Reagan cherished still endure
- FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Hillary Clinton campaign received funds from Jeffrey Thompson
- CARNES: Kissinger's flawed and offensive analysis of Ukraine
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- Rich Peverley collapses on Dallas Stars bench; game postponed
- Atheists sue to remove 'Ground Zero Cross' from 9/11 museum
- Man with stolen passport on missing jet is asylum seeker
- EDITORIAL: Senate Democrats pointless all-night global warming talkathon
- BURTON: Tajikistans clean energy resources
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again