Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.
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“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” Jindal told POLITICO in a 45-minute telephone interview. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”
He was just as blunt on how the GOP should speak to voters, criticizing his party for offending and speaking down to much of the electorate.
“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that,” Jindal said. “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.”
During the campaign, Mitt Romney was fairly explicit, at least during the debates, that the way he would restructure the tax code, such as what deductions he would eliminate or decrease, would affect the wealthy more. In fact, he went so far as to say that the rich wouldn’t pay less under him. But that message didn’t appear to be heard by voters.