Jindal: GOP Must Stop Being 'The Stupid Party'

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 25, 2013 | Go to article overview

Jindal: GOP Must Stop Being 'The Stupid Party'


Byline: Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the Republican Party to "stop being the stupid party" on Thursday as GOP leaders promised fundamental changes to help stave off future losses.

In the keynote address at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting, Jindal said the GOP doesn't need to change its values but "might need to change just about everything else we are doing."

"We've got to stop being the stupid party. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults," he said. "We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I'm here to say we've had enough of that."

Jindal, thought to be a potential 2016 presidential contender, offered little detail in the 25-minute address. He called on conservatives to shift their focus from Capitol Hill number crunching to "the place where conservatism thrives -- in the real world beyond the Washington Beltway."

Hours before the speech, Republican leaders promised to release in March a report, dubbed the "Growth and Opportunity Project," outlining recommendations on party rules and messaging designed to appeal to a rapidly changing American electorate. President Barack Obama's November victory was fueled, in part, by overwhelming support from the nation's Hispanic, Asian and African-American communities.

"Losing is not fun. We want to win," said GOP strategist Sally Bradshaw, who is among five people appointed by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to craft the report.

"I think you're going to see a very renewed, aggressive effort by this party to put on a different face," Bradshaw said. "We are going to go into areas that we do not go into and see folks that we do not see."

Republicans presidential nominee Mitt Romney struggled last fall to win over women and minorities, who overwhelmingly favored President Barack Obama's re-election bid. GOP officials conceded this week that they must change their tone and message, if not their policies, if they hope to expand their appeal in the coming years.

Romney alienated many Hispanic voters by highlighting his support for a fence along the Mexican border and "self-deportation" of illegal immigrants. Down-ticket Republican candidates alienated female voters by backing new abortion laws in a handful of swing states like Virginia and New Hampshire, while Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri hurt himself and his party by declaring women's bodies could prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape."

GOP strategist Ari Fleischer suggested his party could learn an important lesson from Democrats on messaging: "Republicans talk policy and Democrats talk people. …

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