Bobby Jindal is the latest prominent Republican to comment upon what appears to be an ever more marked electoral divide — one many believe cost the GOP the election last week due to firm adherence to a platform that many Americans increasingly difficult to embrace.
Bobby Jindal himself espouses a fairly conservative set of ideals considering his relative youth, but freely criticized his party in a lengthy telephone interview yesterday with POLITICO as he urged the GOP to “stop being the stupid party.”
Jindal, who notably delivered the response in 2009 to Obama’ first State Of The Union speech from Republicans, spoke plainly about the GOP’s reticence to move their party into the world of modern politics. The Louisiana governor decried what has been described as pandering to the lowest common denominator, saying that the party’s brand has been “damage[d]” by an element that underestimates voters:
“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that … It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”
Jindal also admitted that running on an anti-Obama platform had failed to produce turnout in the numbers expected by many on the right, urging his party fellows to forge an identity separate from partisan bickering, relying on concepts rather than fear to motivate the electorate:
“Simply being the anti-Obama party didn’t work. You can’t beat something with nothing. The reality is we have to be a party of solutions and not just bumper-sticker slogans but real detailed policy solutions.”
Jindal also lashed out at the GOP’s inability to secure votes among the middle-class, lambasting the party’s embrace of the wealthy that may create a disconnect with average Americans — he says:
“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything … We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”
Bobby Jindal has been floated as a possible contender for the GOP in 2016, and if his kinder, gentler version of Republican politics remains, he may be a strong bet for the next big-stage showdown.