GOP: 'We will rebuild'

Nov. 5, 2008 at 2:11 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. House Republicans said after Tuesday's losses to Democrats the GOP will rebuild, but one party leader said he would relinquish his leadership post.

Even though the Republican Party seemed likely to lose fewer seats than expected in the House, party leaders reacted by acknowledging a need to change direction, Politico reported.

Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida said he would step down as third-ranking Republican in the House, the report said. Virginia Rep. Tom Davis characterized his party as a "white, rural, regional party" and said it would have to retool. And House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio promised that Republicans will rebuild the party.

Putnam has been a rising star in GOP circles and his announcement caught leaders off guard, Politico said. His decision seems to make room for other young Republican House members, including Jeb Hensarling of Texas, to move up the leadership ladder.

Boehner may not face a challenge to his leadership, Politico said, but there is speculation that Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri might relinquish his leadership position to clear the way for Deputy Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.

"We will rebuild our party the way it was originally built by President Lincoln and renewed nearly three decades ago by President Reagan," Boehner said, "by fighting for the principles of freedom, opportunity, security, and individual liberty."

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