Minority voters made their presence felt during this year’s elections, leaving pundits and GOP strategists wondering how the party’s conservative message can be changed to appeal to key demographics. Newt Gingrich, who challenged Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination, displayed a softened GOP message during an interview with KLRU-TV, criticizing Romney’s recent “gifts” comments.
“I’m very disappointed with Governor Romney’s analysis, which I believe is insulting and profoundly wrong,” he said. “First of all, we didn’t lose Asian-Americans because they got any gifts. He did worse with Asian-Americans than he did with Latinos. This is the hardest-working and most successful ethnic group in America. They ain’t into gifts.”
“It reduces us to economic entities. You have no passion, no idealism, no dreams, no philosophy. If it had been that simple, my question would be, why didn’t you outbid him?” the former House speaker added.
After losing the presidential race to Barack Obama, Romney blamed the loss on “gifts” given by the Obama campaign to minority voters in the form of government benefits, shifting votes in the president’s favor. His comments have been heavily criticized for the generalizations directed towards the voters and Obama’s platform.
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In coming years Republicans may be forced to shift their message and their policies in order to strengthen their appeal to young people and minorities. Obama’s first term was characterized by a lack of cooperation from the GOP, but after successful election for the Democrats, Republican leaders may be forced into a corner.