Mitchell Reports | November 07, 2012
>>> was it a superior ground game, better message, chris christie 's embrace or bill clinton 's charm? joining me former senior adviser to al gore , michael feldman and michael gerson former adviser to george w. bush . welcome both. what a night it was. some surprises. michael feldman , what surprised you the most?
>> well, i think the fact that the president really ran the table in the battleground states with the exception of north carolina , i mean it was a more impressive victory than i would have predicted from that respect. it was thorough and, you know, look, i mean i think the president's campaign, the president's campaign had a strategy and they executed it flawlessly and the results were evident last night. it was a really impressive victory.
>> michael gerson , were they just beaten.
>> were the republicans beaten by a better ground game and more mathematical targeted approach or is there something fundamentally flawed in the republican strategy in the way they ran the primaries and ignored the demographic changes in america?
>> i think it goes deeper than the ground game. this is a case where the largest republican problem is they looked at this election and thought that the 2010 election was a trend. it seems more like an aberration. the natural state of the election in 2012 is more like 2008 . you have to appeal to the electorate you have, not the electorate you would want. and that's going to require significant changes in a variety of areas for the republican party . i think democrats were prepared for the change after the reagan/bush era made changing with bill clinton . republicans were prepared after the clinton era, made changes with george bush and compassionate conservatism. the question is if republicans can after eight years of barack obama make a similar kind of change and, you know, we'll see. that's the process of the next few years.
>> you're hearing already, what i'm hearing is, what could lead to a civil war , where conservatives say mitt romney wasn't conservative enough, and where other republican leaders say this primary, which was so skewed to the right, really hurt us on issues like immigration.
>> well, andrea, look, i think michael makes a great point about just the fundamental changes in the electorate. if you look at states like nevada and colorado, and virginia specifically northern virginia , and florida along the i-4 corridor, the changes to the electorate are facing the republican party in a stark way. president bush realized this and michael and his team and there was significant outreach to the latino community in understanding that the party needed to evolve in that direction. some of those lessons were lost and the devicesive ideological primary that mitt romney made, proposed the dream act to beat rick perry has cost him in the election. there will be that conversation and a loud conversation in the republican party but look, that's what elections do. they teach you lessons. i think michael is right, the party will have that conversation internally and i believe they will be competitive moving forward because they don't have a choice.
>> go ahead.
>> i think it's a one-sided conversation because if you get 27% of the hispanic vote, you cease to be a national party moving forward. i think most smart republicans will get that. there will be disagreement on how you respond to that but this is one area where mitt romney unfortunately deserved what he got. that wasn't always true in every case in this election but he demagogue this issue in two separate election cycles against five opponents including rick perry this last time around. that came back to hurt him. it puts people like jeb bush and marco rubio in a commanding leadership position on these issues. the party should and i hope will look to them for signals on how to deal with this.
>> michael gerson , thank you both