Stop being 'stupid': Bobby Jindal to fellow Republicans

Arun Kumar

Washington, Jan 25 (IANS) Louisiana's Indian American governor Bobby Jindal has lashed out at fellow Republicans to rethink their arguments against Democrats and appeals to voters.

"We must stop being the stupid party."

"We must stop looking backward."

"We must stop insulting the intelligence of voters."

These were some of his sharp jabs for Republicans in his remarks Thursday to party members attending the Republican National Committee's Winter Meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Republicans have not only lost elections, he said, but lost issue arguments with Democrats, said Jindal who was elected last year to lead the Republican Governor's Association.

Republicans "must reject the notion that demography is destiny, the pathetic and simplistic notion that skin pigmentation dictates voter behaviour", he was quoted as saying by CNN.

"We must treat all people as individuals rather than as members of special interest groups," added Jindal, considered a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate.

"We must shift the eye line and the ambition of our conservative movement away from managing government and toward the mission of growth," he said.

Republicans must move, he said, beyond a notion of "if we can just put together a spreadsheet and a power point and a TV ad, all will be well".

Instead of being the "party of austerity", Jindal said, Republicans must "boldly show what the future can look like with the free-market policies that we believe in".

"We must compete for every single vote: the 47 percent and the 53 percent and any other combination of numbers that adds up to 100 percent," he said referring to comments made by 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Romney was reported to have said at a closed door fundraiser during his campaign that 47 percent of Americans were "moochers" living on government dole who would not consider voting for Republican candidates.

"The first step in getting the voters to like you is to demonstrate that you like them," said Jindal as he spoke out against those and other "completely unhelpful" comments from Romney during the election campaign.

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