Fault Lines Form In GOP After Romney Comments

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Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney's comment that he lost the election because of "gifts" President Obama gave to the poor, young people and minorities are being rejected by some Republicans.


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish


And I'm Melissa Block.

Fault lines are forming in the Republican Party over comments from Mitt Romney about why he lost last week's election. In a conference call yesterday, with some of his biggest donors and fundraisers, Romney said President Obama won by bestowing gifts on targeted groups, including young people and minorities.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn is at the Republican governors meeting in Las Vegas, where at least one top Republican strongly disagreed with that view.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: In the phone call, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney told his donors that President Obama won by using what he called, quote, "the old playbook." The president hails from Chicago and in the old Democratic Chicago machine, ward bosses dispensed jobs and other goodies in return for votes.

President Obama as glorified ward boss, and the Democratic Party as dispenser of largess to lay about minorities, has been a favorite point of view inside the Republican Party. But not all Republican governors share Romney's view.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL: No, look, I think that's absolutely wrong.

GOODWYN: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is a rising star in the GOP. He'll lead the Republican Governors Association beginning now. He's also a Southern governor, but he's seemingly more sensitive to the idea that Republicans are makers and everyone who's not a Republican is a taker.

JINDAL: I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that's absolutely wrong. That is not - I don't think that represents where we are as a party and where we're going as a party. And I think that has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election.

GOODWYN: Bobby Jindal is still paddling against the Republican current. That Mitt Romney should, in essence, repeat to donors comments that helped sink his presidential bid, reveals how deep this point of view runs. But Jindal is unabashedly pushing back.

JINDAL: If we're going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage, and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly. One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes. And secondly, our policies benefit every American.

GOODWYN: In other words, not just people who've already made it in America.

Wade Goodwyn, NPR News, Las Vegas.

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