GOP ditches 'gaffe-prone' Romney over 'inappropriate' 'gifts' comments against Obama
Prominent Republicans have criticized Mitt Romney for his disparaging remarks against President Barack Obama in which he said that the President won after giving 'gifts' to core constituencies.
Republicans said that it was the wrong message to send voters as the party was trying to rebuild itself after a bruising defeat.
"I don't think it's helpful," Iowa Governor Terry Branstad told Politico at the Republican Governors Association conference on Thursday.
"I guess my feeling is that we need to turn the page, and we need to focus on the future and not make excuses for the past," he added.
According to the report, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a prominent Romney backer during the campaign and a possible 2016 candidate, also distanced himself from the remarks, calling them "an analysis to donors."
Rubio said that as a party, "our mission should not be to deny government benefits to people who need them," but the GOP should work to ensure "less people need government benefits."
"I don't want to rebut him point by point," Rubio said of Romney.
"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. I'm not saying that's what [Romney] 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," Rubio added.
The former GOP presidential nominee told donors that Obama had won reelection because of "gifts" he gave "especially to the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people."
The criticism comes as the party is recovering from a thumping defeat in the presidential and Senate contests on November 6.
In Las Vegas, Florida Governor Rick Scott called Romney's comments "inappropriate."
"It's wrong, it's not true," Scott said, adding: "What we've got to do is say we want every vote, we want to take care of every citizen in our state."
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who campaigned frequently alongside Romney when he visited the Granite State, said she didn't agree with Romney's comments.
"The campaign is over and what the voters are looking for us to do is to accept their votes and go forward and we've got some big challenges that need to be solved," Ayotte said, adding: "I don't know the full context of them but I don't agree with them."