The Corner

Jindal: Republicans Need to ‘Go After 100 Percent of the Votes, Not 53 Percent’

Politico reports:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal forcefully rejected Mitt Romney’s claim that he lost because of President Barack Obama’s “gifts” to minorities and young voters.

Asked about the failed GOP nominee’s reported comments on a conference call with donors earlier Wednesday, the incoming chairman of the Republican Governors Association became visibly agitated.

“No, I think that’s absolutely wrong,” he said at a press conference that opened the RGA’s post-election meeting here. “Two points on that: One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote.

“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.”

What I don’t understand about Mitt Romney’s original claim is that if he’s right, Republicans should almost never win elections — because how often is the Republican candidate offering more “free stuff” than the Democratic candidate? Rarely. Yet Republicans often have won, because they are able to make a compelling case for their policies. But you have to make that case. Romney didn’t start talking about the middle class regularly, as far as I can recall, until the last months of the general election campaign. He didn’t talk about caring about 100 percent of the voters until his 47 percent remark went viral. And that mattered: In poll after poll, people thought Obama cared more about the middle class than Romney did.

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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