Republican recriminations start early after Romney defeat
Whose fault was that? Romney for being too weak? Chris Christie for buddying up to Obama?
THE Republican party is in danger of tearing itself apart in the wake of Mitt Romney's defeat to Barack Obama, as activists on both wings of the GOP point the finger of blame for their second straight White House loss, The Times reports.
Before the election result had even been announced, Fox News blowhard Bill O'Reilly was taking aim at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for praising President Obama's reaction to Hurricane Sandy and for touring disaster areas with him.
"There was Christie and President Obama walking down the beach, you know, with a little 'Seth in the Moon Glow' music behind them, and it just wiped the governor's [Romney’s] campaign off the map for five days," O'Reilly said.
Meanwhile representatives of the Tea Party faction, smarting from the defeats of their favourites Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock in Senate races following ill-advised comments on rape and abortion, blamed Mitt Romney's "moderate candidacy".
The Hill blog reported Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots saying: "For those of us who believe that America, as founded, is the greatest country in the history of the world — a 'Shining city upon a hill' — we wanted someone who would fight for us.
"What we got was a weak moderate candidate, hand-picked by the Beltway elites and country-club establishment wing of the Republican party. The presidential loss is unequivocally on them."
However, members of the Republicans' more pragmatic wing are cautioning against the party heading further to the right. Lindsey Graham, Senator for South Carolina, warned the party earlier this week in an interview with Politico that "if we lose this election there is only one explanation — demographics."
Graham went on: "If I hear anybody say it was because Romney wasn’t conservative enough I’m going to go nuts. We’re not losing 95 per cent of African-Americans and two-thirds of Hispanics and voters under 30 because we’re not being hard-ass enough."
The initial exit polls from last night bear out Graham's point: 93 per cent of African-Americans and 70 per cent of Hispanics went for Obama, while the Democrats also led by 12 per cent with all women and a remarkable with 38 per cent with unmarried women.
America's electorate is changing at a rapid clip, and the war in the Republican party over the coming years will be about whether the white, male-dominated GOP can keep up.