The President was elected on the basis that he was not Romney and that Romney was a poopy-head and you should vote against Romney.
~ Grover Norquist on CBS This Morning
The numbers we were looking at looked like we stood a pretty good chance of winning. So, when the numbers came in, going the other direction. When we saw the turnout that was occurring in urban areas that were unprecedented, it did come as a bit of a shock. So, those are the toughest losses to have -- the ones that catch you by surprise.
~ Ex-Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan, R-WI
To too many swing voters in the country, when you hear the word conservative now, they think of loons and wackos. We gave up 5 U.S. Senate seats over the last two election cycles by people who were just out there, completely extreme. Manifestly unprepared for the offices that they're running for. Our elected leaders are scared to death of the conservative entertainment complex - the shrill and divisive voices that are bombastic and broadcasting out into the homes. And this country is rejecting the social extremism of the Republican Party on issue after issue.
~ 2008 McCain Adviser Steve Schmidt on Meet the Press
(The Tea Party) brings some talented people into politics — think of Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson for example — but it also brings some wackos and weirdos and witches, and we put too many of them on the ticket.
. . . The Constitution, in its wisdom, guarantees us a free press, but not a fair one. And Republicans need to learn to have candidates that don’t make unforced errors. … Don’t nominate dogs, okay? Tea party folk, like the peace movement folk, want to nominate the … purest candidate.
~ Conservative Analyst Michael Barone
The president won an extraordinary victory. And the fact is we owe him the respect of trying to understand what they did and how they did it. But if you had said to me three weeks ago, Mitt Romney would get fewer votes than John McCain and it looks like he’ll be 2 million fewer, I would have been dumbfounded.
. . . The great thing about elections is they belong to the American people. I was wrong last week, as was virtually every major Republican analyst. And so, you have to stop and say to yourself, if I was that far off, what do I need to learn to better understand America?
~ Newt Gingrich
It's pretty funny to hear Gingrich make his mea culpa on the Today Show when he spent two years saying 'The only way you can understand Barack Obama is to see him as an anti-colonialist Kenyan.' And now he's surprised that he's out of step with most of the country?
~ David Corn of Mother Jones on Hardball
It must have been confounding to discover that the guy they said was not 'one of us' - was somehow 'the other' - turned out to be the leader of the country. That's a big mistake to make. (laughter)
~ Chris Matthews on Hardball
The Republicans drowned in a sea of spin within an echo chamber within a time machine. There are so many levels of denial that led them to this point - it's stunning.
. . . They thought most Americans agreed with them that Barack Obama was an evil maniacal figure, purposefully leading America to ruin! We have the birthers on the far end of that. They portrayed him as being feckless, someone who apologizes for America, and they said the economy was worsening when actually it's not . . . it's getting better, just not fast enough.
They were just again and again not in tune with, whether it's polls or attitudes towards women, it was 1950s versus 2012. So it's not surprising to me they feel 'dumbfounded' now.
~ David Corn of Mother Jones on Hardball
Do we want to stay in the Moral Majority mindset? Or do we want to get into a 21st century mindset that recognizes just how diverse this country is, and how valuable an asset they are to our party.
~ Ex-RNC Chairman Michael Steele on Hardball
You have to demonstrate what you're for, not what you're against. I think that's the key ingredient, and sell a vision that's positive for America, not a negative vision about what's wrong with America. I think you have to have both. We didn't sell a positive vision, we didn't explain to people what we're for.
~ Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma
It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot, just don't reload the gun. So, I intend not to reload this gun when it comes to Hispanics. I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an American solution to American problem. But we have nobody to blame but ourselves when it comes to losing Hispanics. And we can't get them back with some effort on our part.
~ Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on Face the Nation
Democrats complain furiously that Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity smear the left, but I wonder if the bigger loser isn't the Republican Party itself. Those shows whip up a frenzy in their audience, torpedoing Republican moderates and instilling paranoia on issues like immigration.
All this sound and fury enmeshes the Republican Party in an ideological cocoon and impedes it from reaching out to swing-state centrists, or even understanding them. The vortex spins ever faster and risks becoming an ideological black hole.
~ Nicholas D. Kristof