By Alicia M. Cohn - 11/15/12 01:13 PM EST
A former surrogate for Mitt Romney's campaign called the former GOP nominee "absolutely wrong" in blaming his recent election loss on President Obama giving "gifts" to black, Hispanic and young voters.
"I absolutely reject that notion," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) said Wednesday on a conference call with donors, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party. And that has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election."
“The president’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift — so he made a big effort on small things," he said. "Those small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”
But Jindal, at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), criticized the Romney campaign for failing to communicate a "vision" to the American people. He argued that the campaign, in part, allowed the election to become a "contest between personalities."
“We have got to stop dividing the American voters,” he said. “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 second, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American Dream, period.”
Jindal, the incoming chairman of the RGA, has garnered significant speculation that he might run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said on CNN's "Starting Point" Thursday morning that he agrees with Jindal "that Gov. Romney's remarks were way off base."
Van Hollen said the remarks served as a reminder of the controversial "47 percent" video that was secretly taped at a private fundraiser for Romney earlier this year.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney says in the video. “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it.
"My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” he added.
Romney's remarks from the event became an effective Democratic attack through much of the campaign, with the president emphasizing that he cares about "100 percent" of Americans and arguing that Romney's policies would hurt the middle class.