Some Republicans demanded the resignation of the party's House leaders while others worked on a "re-branding" strategy emphasizing change to cope with a feared Democratic congressional landslide election in November, a Washington Post report published Thursday stated.
"What we've got is a deficiency in our message and a loss of confidence in the American people that we will do what we say we're going to do," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, told the Post.
The Republican soul searching was triggered by Tuesday's defeat of GOP candidate Charles Davis in what had been considered a safe Republican Mississippi district. Davis lost despite a $1.3 million effort by the party to back him and a last-minute campaign appearance from U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, the Post said. The GOP also has lost special House elections in Louisiana and Illinois in recent months.
The GOP setbacks have Democrats talking of a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the U.S. Senate and gains of up to 20 seats in the House of Representatives.