Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., disagrees with Mitt Romney’s comments Wednesday that President Barack Obama won the election by dint of the “gifts” he bestowed on minorities and younger voters.
But Rubio, a potential candidate for the presidency, wasn’t as harsh in his criticism as some other Republicans. In an interview with Politico
, Rubio said Romney’s remarks were merely "an analysis to donors."
Still, "our mission should not be to deny government benefits to people who need them," but the party should work to ensure "less people need government benefits," Rubio said. "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.”
That’s not necessarily what Romney meant, Rubio said. But the reason why millions of Americans are dependent on the government is that they can't find a job.
The problem is that the economy isn’t generating jobs and many among the unemployed don’t have the skills necessary for jobs that are open, Rubio said. "Therein lies the challenge for the conservative movement. How do our ideas help change that?"
As for Romney, Rubio said he admires him tremendously. "I think he was a good candidate, he ran a hard race, there were a lot of factors at play, and I thought he’d be a great president. I hope he’ll stay involved with our party and stay involved with conservatism."
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal leveled what may have been the harshest rebuttal of Romney’s comments by a fellow GOP politician, saying Thursday, “I think that’s absolutely wrong. . . . We have got to stop dividing the American voters.”
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