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Thursday, November 15, 2012

More Republican Reassessments

CNN reports on Haley Barbour's comments to RGA:
"The ground game is really important, and we have to be, I mean we've got to give our political organizational activity a very serious..." he said, taking a pause and looking for the right word. "Proctology exam. We need to look everywhere."
Speaking at a conference for the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas, Barbour said his party needs to not only adapt to demographic changes but also reform its messaging.
"We can catch up in four years doing this," he said. "This isn't rocket science, but it is hard work that we can't wait and start in 2016."
The party needs a "brutally honest assessment of everything we did," he added. "We need to take everything apart and look at all of it."
Like other Republicans in recent days, Barbour stressed the importance of being more inclusive to Latinos, African-Americans and other minorities. Barbour in particular chided the party for its tone on illegal immigration, saying many illegal workers contribute to the economy and comprise an important part of society.
Karl Rove also writes about doing better with the ground game and appealing to African Americans and Hispanics.  He makes other points as well:
One reason the GOP didn't do better with its pro-growth agenda was that Mr. Romney's character and record were undermined by early, relentless personal attacks that went largely unanswered. In a world of Twitter, YouTube and cable TV, the cliché that "if you're responding, you're losing" is dead. Republican campaigns need to get better at responding, setting the record straight, and bending the argument back toward their narrative.
 The GOP must reduce the destructiveness of the presidential primaries. In the first place, activists can withhold support from candidates who make reckless assaults on competitors, which happened too often this time. Also, the Republican National Committee should limit the number of debates and, by showing wisdom in picking debate moderators, limit the media's ability to depict the party as a fringe group.
Another idea: Holding the convention in late August made sense when candidates relied on public financing for the general election. That will never happen again. The Romney campaign had tens of millions it couldn't spend for months until he was officially nominated on Aug. 28. Future conventions should be held as early as late June.
At The Christian Science Monitor, Linda Feldmann notes a disagreement between Romney and Jindal:

Mitt Romney is complaining about “gifts” – but to Democrats, it’s Mr. Romney who’s the gift. And he keeps on giving.  
The Republicans’ failed presidential nominee has inflamed intraparty tension by blaming his loss on President Obama’s “gifts” to young voters and minorities – health coverage, contraceptive coverage in health insurance, forgiveness of interest on college loans – not any failings of his own as a candidate.
Mr. Romney made the comments Wednesday afternoon on a conference call with fundraisers and donors, a few of whom allowed reporters to listen in. Later in the day, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana, new chairman of the Republican Governors Association (RGA), became “visibly agitated” at a press conference when asked about Romney’s remarks, according to Politico. 
“No, I think that’s absolutely wrong,” said Governor Jindal, a rising Republican star who is Indian-American, speaking at an RGA meeting in Las Vegas. “Two points on that: One, we have got to stop dividing the American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent. We need to go after every single vote.”
“And, secondly,” Jindal continued, “we need to continue to show how our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children an opportunity to be able to get a great education. … So, I absolutely reject that notion, that description. I think that’s absolutely wrong.”