Mitt Romney sent Republicans a gift they now want to return.
Audio footage from a very telling conference call between the defeated GOP presidential candidate and his donors blaming his loss on the “gifts” President Obama gave to minorities is plaguing his party as prominent members are fighting from being sucked down the vacuum of Romney’s Election Day blame game.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was the first to make noise that he should not be guilty by association to Romney, the man who once was thought to have considered Jindal as a potential running mate. Jindal called Romney’s comments “absolutely wrong,” and even gained speed after his comments were picked up in the media, to up the ante to calling them “insulting.”
Aside from showing how out of touch he is with the portion of the electorate he once characterized as “victims,” Romney is creating a separate set of headaches for conservatives serving in statewide offices who can’t afford to turn their backs to moderates and Democrats.
“It’s time to pivot and move on,” New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie said on Morning Joe Friday. ”The leaders of the Republican Party in America are going to be the Republican governors.”
“You can’t expect to be the leader of the Republican party and be divisive,” he added.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who was a rare female minority voice onstage at the Republican National Convention, spoke out against the man she once stumped for, saying Romney’s comments “set us back as a party.”
“Republicans need to stop making assumptions, and they need to start talking to younger people, people of color, and ask them–not talk to them–ask them, What is it that we can do better? How do we earn your vote? How do we earn the ability for you to see that we can be the party that will make your life better and that of your children?” Martinez said in an interview after the conference here. “But we can’t be the ones that come and tell them how things are going to be and how we have all the solutions.”
Martinez is the country’s first female Latino governor, adding her to the list of possibilities for a 2016 presidential run.
The Republican Party already housed fringe accusations that the Obama administration “cooked the books” on the unemployment rate this election cycle, but with the former head of the party suggesting that Obama bought his votes, conservatives with sights on the White House four years down the pike are maintaining their distance.
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, another Romney vice presidential short-list nominee, tried to put the 2012 race and the candidate she formerly endorsed, behind her. President Obama ultimately carried Ayotte’s swing state on Election Day, claiming 52% of the vote to Romney’s 46%.
“I think the campaign is over and what the voters are for us to do is to expect their votes and go forward,” Ayotte told msnbc’s Andrea Mitchell. “We’ve got some big challenges that need to be resolved.”