Republicans blame message, not ideas, for failures

WASHINGTON Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:11pm EST

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrives for the Barack Obama second presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2013 in Washington. REUTERS/Win McNamee-POOL

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrives for the Barack Obama second presidential inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2013 in Washington.

Credit: Reuters/Win McNamee-POOL

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Days after President Barack Obama's inauguration, Republican leaders said on Sunday their party needed to change the way it communicates, not its ideas, to win back the White House.

Former Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, appearing in his first live television interview since the November 6 election, said his party needs to demonstrate that Republican ideas can improve people's lives.

"We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty, how our ideas are better at solving healthcare, how our ideas are better at solving the problems people are experiencing in their daily lives," the Wisconsin congressman told NBC's "Meet the Press" program.

Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned aggressively and lost by 4 percentage points, said his party's message has failed to reach voters who don't pay close attention to politics.

"I think they don't understand the conservative message," McDonnell told CNN's "State of the Union."

McDonnell said the party should look away from Washington and toward the country's 30 Republican governors for lessons on how to gain voters' support.

Representative David Schweikert of Arizona said his party has failed to connect with many Americans.

"We are accountants," Schweikert said on ABC's "This Week," arguing that the Republican Party offers a more analytical approach to solving problems than Democrats. "Sometimes, though, being an accountant doesn't pull at the heart strings."

Republican leaders gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina, last week to address the party's future. There, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential candidate for president in 2016, told his fellow Republicans to "stop being the stupid party" and reject anti-intellectual strands within the party.

In the 2012 campaign, Republicans struggled to attract support from single women, Hispanics and blacks. Some Republicans are looking to embrace immigration reform as a way to alter the party's image and welcome new voters.

"How can we be a party of growth, of opportunity, of free enterprise, of prosperity, but not be the party of immigration?" said Carlos Gutierrez, a former U.S. commerce secretary, on "State of the Union."

Highlighting a Florida Republican senator's approach to providing a path to citizen for undocumented immigrants, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told CBS's "Face the Nation:" "Republicans had better listen very carefully to Marco Rubio."

(Reporting By Samuel P. Jacobs; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Comments (24)
Burns0011 wrote:
No, it was the ideas. The spiteful ultraconservative social policies combined with the heartless and ruthless fiscal policy ideas made it pretty clear that the Republican Party has now been taken over by a radically fundamentalist ideology, and is no longer the party of Ronald Reagan.

Jan 27, 2013 3:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ArghONaught wrote:
Ah denial! The right wing way or the highway. Marginalize minorities and the poor and extend that to the middle classes earning $100K a year. Try sugar coating the hubris and protection of the uber wealthy while chopping away at everyone else… how disconnected can anyone get? this could be the new benchmark.

Jan 27, 2013 4:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Speaker2 wrote:
Hey guys, maybe consider changing your party’s name, the reality is the current Republican Party is not the party it use to be. Now its driven by right wing nuts, Television programing by media attempting to call their broadcasting news, when in reality it is extreme right wing concepts, dress up as the news by guys like Rush and Beck.

Messaging is bad and the result of poor ideas that are not mainstream America. The only reason they have the House is because of Gerrymandering by state Republicans. Keep at, maybe change the party name to Retards.

Jan 27, 2013 4:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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