Politics

03.18.13

Sore Losers: 7 Juicy Bits From the GOP’s Autopsy Report

Time for some tough love—Republicans leaders have dumped a 100-page report that spells out why their party is in dire straits. Caitlin Dickson on the seven biggest problem areas.

Ladies and gentlemen, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived! Well, kind of. After months of traversing the country, talking to everyday Republicans and minority groups and taking a good, hard look at why it lost the 2012 presidential election, the Grand Old Party has determined exactly what it needs to change about itself going forward: everything.

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty (L, C), J. Scott Applewhite/AP (R)

“When Republicans lost in November, it was a wake-up call. And in response I initiated the most public and most comprehensive post-election review in the history of any national party,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said, as he presented the 100-page “Growth and Opportunity Project” report at the National Press Club in D.C. Monday. “As it makes clear, there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement.”

The report is long, quite detailed, pretty blunt. In case you don’t have time to read through 100 pages of the Republican party’s biggest issues, we’re here to break down some of the key revelations for you.

1. “We are losing in too many places.”

First and foremost, the report addresses the main reason why it was conducted in the first place: the Republican Party is tired of losing. While the gubernatorial branch of the GOP is “growing and successful,” the federal wing—the part that nominates and tries to elect presidential and congressional candidates, “is increasingly marginalizing itself, and unless changes are made, it will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future,” the report declares. “States in which our presidential candidates used to win, such as New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Florida, are increasingly voting Democratic.”

2. “Public perception of the Party is at record lows.”

Since politics is, in fact, a popularity contest, the party realizes that you can’t win if no one likes you. People really don’t like the Republican Party, the report finds. “Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents, and many minorities wrongly think that Republicans do not like them or want them in the country.”

3. “We sound increasingly out of touch.”

Kids have always had a tendency to roll their eyes, especially at old people who talk about things they’re too young to remember. The report makes the surprisingly self-aware observation that, “At our core, Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next. Ronald Reagan is a Republican hero and role model who was first elected 33 year ago—meaning no one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for President.”

4. “We must recruit more candidates who come from minority communities.”

Republicans have realized that, despite believing its policies “are the best ones to improve the lives of the American people, all the American people,” the party’s candidates and elected officials have a tendency to speak in a way that is confusing, off-putting and unrelatable to the average American. “We need to go to communities where Republicans do not normally go to listen and make our case,” the report states. “We need to campaign among Hispanic, black, Asian and gay Americans and demonstrate we care about them, too.”

5. The middle class needs love, too.

In conducting the research for this report, it has come to the RNC’s attention that the Republican Party tends to give off the impression that it cares more about the one percent of wealthy American and corporations than the middle class. “We have to blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare. We should speak out when a company liquidates itself and its executives receive bonuses but rank-and-file workers are left unemployed,” the report reads. “We should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions in retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had a meaningful raise in years.” Elizabeth Warren, you may have some new friends on your side.

6. “We must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform.”

While election results show that most minority groups find the Republican Party to be unwelcoming, Hispanics in particular are discouraged from hearing what a Republican candidate has to say about other policies when their attitude towards immigration is perceived as hostile—such as promoting self-deportation. “If Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies,” the report observes.

7. Two can play the gotcha game.

After several Republican campaigns were killed when candidates were caught on tape making less than flattering remarks—Mitt Romney’s 47 percent fiasco, for example—the party has determined that it needs an “allied group dedicated solely to research to establish a private archive and public website that does nothing but post inappropriate Democratic utterances.” This means war!