Martin Bashir | November 08, 2012
>>> republicans still seem a little groggy after crashing into the reality of modern america on tuesday night. mitt romney 's comprehensive defeat reflected badly orn a party that seems to struggle with the racial, ethnic, and gender changes that this country has undergone. after taking such a beating, are republicans prepared to confront reality or will they carry on whistling in the wind? joining me now from philadelphia is julian epstein, a democratic strategist and in nearby bethlehem, pennsylvania, dr. james peterson , an associate professor at lehigh university and a contributor at he grio.com. on tuesday republicans learned you can't win an election with only 6% of black voters, one-quarter of latinos, and a minority of young voters. so do you hear anything from their party circles today that makes you believe they may have now understood this fact?
>> no, but i mean 6% of the black vote for the republican party that was polling at 0% at a certain point in the election might seem like a boon to them. clearly though they have got to rethink their strategy politically in a lot of different ways, martin. i'm also interested in the ways in which the democratic party is going to actually work with and maximize this new coalition of voters that they've assembled through this election process as well. the republicans have got to keep their hands off of women's bodies. that's in rhetoric and reality. we can't be talking about rape and birth control and even pro-choice and pro-life issues which they lav to talk about. we can't be talking about those things in the runup to elections. that doesn't work for them. they have to change their social conservative policies and think more about more pragmatically about ways they can expand their base with the latino vote. they have to get on this side of the century with respect to immigration reform and the ways they want to talk about race and identify the in american culture .
>> no more with delusion more obvious than among house republicans . today we hear eric cantor say house republicans will try to repeal part of the president's affordable care act . i ask you, julian , isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing and expecting a different result?
>> yes. that's a very apt description here. these guys are like the japanese soldiers in world war ii who hid out in the cave and didn't real identifies the war was over when, in fact, world war ii was over. there was an election a couple nights ago which should have settled these questions. look, this is a republican party that not only lost in the presidential election by an electoral landslide, when florida is counted, the president will have somewhere on the order of i think 336 electoral votes .
>> i think closer to 332.
>> 332, sorry.
>> that math is correct.
>> in the senate where everyone expected democrats to lose seats, 2k789s picked up seats. in the house democrats actually won a majority of the popular vote . republicans are losing every single demographic except for white men. they're losing women, losing nonwhite voters, they're losing the youth. this would be a great strategy if you were joe mccarthy in the 1950s running for president. but it's hardly a strategy in the year 2012 . and the fact of the matter that the republican leaders by their rhetoric don't get this, it's like the inmates in charge of the asylum. what the republican party needs to do is look what happened in the easterly lir 1990s with bth w bill clinton who was able to stand up to the extreme left parts of the democratic base and say we are going to move towards the center. we were going to move toward where the american electorate was. the republican leaders right now do not -- they have an interest that is different from the american public. they have an interest that's different from the long-term interests of the republican party . they are catering to the extremists inside the house caucus and this is a recipe for turning them into a permanent minority regional party .
>> haley barbour , an ex-governor and former head of the gop spelled out the preferred republican story line on why romney lost on the "today" show today. here is the first part of that excuse.
>> they decided they're going to have this negative personal campaign to try to convince people that romney was a bad person. they didn't attack his policies very much. they said he was a vulture capitalist, that he was a bona fide bureaucrat married to an equestrian. dr. peterson, first the president's camp didn't call romney vulture capitalist, rick perry did.
>> second, how does haley barbour say with a straight face that romney was innocent of negative campaign tactics? i seem to recall about 37 lies delivered in about two weeks.
>> i mean, again, this is unfathomable and maybe a little bit of a waste of our time. remember, we did address and attack the policies. he just kept changing positions. when we wanted to talk about reproductive rights for women, he want 20d change his position. it's not that people didn't deal with romney on the issues, that's the campaign and pundits and news media. it was a very, very comprehensive, i think, engagement with what mr. romney was trying to do and what he said his vision was for leading this country. but at the end of the day is what you and julian are talking about, the reason why he loft, demographics is destiny. this country has been changing in demographic for some time ever since clinton made that collection in the democratic party . i don't know if if it was the right one to make, but we have been becoming a much more diverse nation. in that kind of environment, you cannot have a base that shrinks and expect for your party to expand its influence. it doesn't make any mathematical sense. i think eventually those folk who want there to be a republican party are going to have to make some adjustments along some of these demographic and identity lines we have been talking about.
>> maybe dr. james peterson and julian epstein could explain this to the republican party . in the meantime, gentlemen, thank you