Newt Gingrich Calls Romney 'Gifts' Comments 'Nuts,' Republicans Distance Themselves
By Eli Epstein | November 20, 2012 3:27 AM EST
“Dumbfounded” last week by Mitt Romney's loss, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich returned to the political talk circuit this week, telling George Will Sunday on “This Week” that Romney's comments about the Obama campaign's “gifts” to voters were “nuts.”
Earlier in the week, Romney held a conference call where he opined that the Obama re-election committees focused on specific members of the President's base coalition, “gave them extraordinary financial gifts,” and then worked aggressively to go them to the polls.
Romney's comments drew ire across the political spectrum, with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney calling them “grotesque,” and a host of Republicans, including former Rep. Tim Pawlenty (MN), Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.), Gov. Chris Christie (NJ), and Newt Gingrich, coming out to repudiate the sentiments and scold Romney for uttering them.
Speaking in front of George Will and the “This Week” roundtable, Gingrich said Romney's comments insult and ignore the American people.
“I think it's nuts,” said Gingrich. “I just think it's insulting. It's like Walmart having a bad week and saying, 'the customers have been unruly.' The job of a political leader in part is to understand the people. If we can't offer a better future that is believable to more people, we're not going to win.”
Asked how best to offer a prosperous future, George Will echoed the sentiments of Bobby Jindal, arguing that a candidate has a problem when the voters don't like him, but an even larger obstacle when the populace doesn't think you like them.
“Quit despising the American people,” Will advised Romney.
Following the election, Jindal has been intensely critical of his Republican party. He told Fox News Sunday that the party was regressing by saying “stupid things,” like Romney's now-infamous “gift” comments and the heavily-controversial rape remarks made by Indiana senatorial candidate Richard Mourdock and outgoing Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri.
"If we want people to like us, we have to like them first," Jindal said. "You don't start to like people by insulting them and saying their votes were bought. We are an aspirational party.”
Jindal stated he thinks the next step for the GOP is to reestablish the party as a home for the middle classes and upward mobility.
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