After several prominent Republican governors expressed their disagreement with Romney’s statements, the hits have continued coming. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, considered at one point by the Romney campaign as a possible running mate,said on Friday, “You can’t expect to be a leader of all the people and be divisive. You have to talk about themes, policies that unite people, and play to their aspirations and their goals and their hopes for their family and their neighbors.”
Tim Pawlenty, former Minnesota governor and another potential running mate for Romney, though silent on Romney’s 47% comments, likewise shot-down Romney’s “gifts” theory.
Those who didn’t outright disagree with Romney’s words disagreed with his message. Appearing on Meet the Press on Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) stated that it wasn’t his intention to vilify those who are beneficiaries of public assistance programs:
People can be on public assistance and scheme the system and that’s real, these systems are teetering on bankruptcy. But most people on public assistance don’t have a character flaw. They just have a tough life. I want to create more jobs. The focus should be on creating more jobs, not demonize those who find themselves on hard times.
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) gave an interview highlighting his issues with Romney’s belief. “I don’t want to rebut him point by point. I would just say to you, I don’t believe that we have millions and millions of people in this country that don’t want to work,” Rubio said. “I think we have millions of people in this country that are out of work and are dependent on the government because they can’t find a job.”
New Mexico governor Susana Martinez (R) and top Romney surrogate to the Hispanic community Carlos Guiterrez have also joined in the chorus disparaging Romney’s statements and calling for more inclusiveness in the Republican party. It’s unfortunate that this many Republican politicians seem to have discovered the divisiveness of their party’s policies towards minorities and the working class only after a massive loss to President Obama.
Newt Gingrich also dismissed the remarks during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “I just think it’s nuts,” he said. “I mean, first of all, it’s insulting.” “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.”