Mitt who?

In the space of less than a fortnight, Mitt Romney has become persona non grata in the GOP.

This, despite the fact that most of the Republican leaders who skewered Mitt Romney on the talk shows yesterday pushed him on the rest of the party to begin with.

It appears that most of the Republican establishment want to forget Romney, pushing him off the national stage while washing their hands of any blame for the election debacle.

Washington Times:

Mitt Romney's excommunication from the GOP continued over the weekend, with top Republicans growing increasingly angry with the defeated presidential candidate for the damage he's done - and continues to do - to the party's image.

"I absolutely reject what he said," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said on "Fox News Sunday" in reference to Mr. Romney's latest statements implying that he lost the Asian, Hispanic and black vote by even bigger margins than expected because President Obama had supplied those voting blocs with "gifts."

"We as a Republican Party have to campaign for every single vote," Mr. Jindal said, repeating statements he made at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas last week. "If we want people to like us, we have to like them first. And you don't start to like people by saying their votes were bought."

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was equally harsh in his critique, saying Mr. Romney continued to dig a "hole" for the GOP.

"When you're in a hole, stop digging. He keeps digging," Mr. Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"We're in a death spiral with Hispanic voters because of rhetoric around immigration," he continued. "Our party can adjust. Conservatism is an asset. But rhetoric like this keeps digging a hole for the Republican Party and if we don't stop digging, we're never going to get out of it."

Even Cuban-born Romney-campaign surrogate Carlos Gutierrez jumped all over the former Massachusetts governor, saying on CNN's "State of the Union" that he was "shocked" by Mr. Romney's remarks. "I don't know if he understood that he was saying something that was insulting," Mr. Gutierrez, who served as commerce secretary under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Jindal and the views of his fellow GOP governors and of other prominent Republicans like Mr. Gutierrez have put them at odds with some conservatives, both secular and religious, who fear the GOP will now waterdown its opposition to abortion, same-sex marriage and amnesty for illegal immigrants in order to appear more friendly to certain ethnic and racial groups whose share of the electorate is increasing. Those blocs helped tip the balance of the Electoral College to Democrats in latest election.

Romney should have kept his "gift" thoughts to himself, although what else would you call Obama's executive order implementing the DREAM Act without congressional approval? Or changes in welfare work rules that benefitted African Americans, among others? And how about the HHS change that forces employers to pay for contraception, even if their religious beliefs are against it?

Hispanics, blacks, women (especially single women): these are the interest groups Obama pandered to in order to win the election. It is one of the perks of incumbency to be sure, but doling out goodies to favored groups was beyond Romney's ability to affect. And whining about it only made Romney look small and petty.

Romney will likely fade away much like George Bush has been sidelined. He will be a reminder of a lost opportunity when an unpopular incumbent with no record of achievement to speak of beat a challenger when he had no business even being close.

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