KC Republicans give postmortem perspective of election losses

KC Republicans give postmortem perspective of election losses
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Republicans now ask themselves, "What next?"

After a long, hard campaign, their presidential candidate won't be heading to the White House.

Eyewitness News was at the Republican victory party in Bakersfield on election night, and party faithful watched with long faces as Ohio was declared for President Barack Obama. They knew then Mitt Romney could not win,

At that minute, Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R - Bakersfield) stared at TV returns with a grim look on his face.

"it's not the outcome I was hoping for," McCarthy told Eyewitness News. "First reaction, depressed. I was looking for a new direction for this country."

Others shared that view Tuesday night. "I think it's a shame," Don Moody said. "The nation needs recovery, and this is not going to do it."

"I'm truly upset with our country," Annemarie Eggert said. "There's no jobs out there for us. I don't get it, people just don't get it." She wonders why people voted for Barack Obama.

Republicans are also asking themselves why not enough voters cast ballots for their ticket.

"Blue collar is what we lost in the north," Ken Mettler said Thursday. "Blue collar voters." Mettler is past president of the California Republican Assembly.

He spotted a huge drop in votes for the GOP in the "Rust Belt," speculating they felt taken for granted and just didn't show up at the polls.

On election night, McCarthy was also speculating after seeing very early returns.

"It's a tough place to run," McCarthy said. "The President, he had very a very big win four years ago, it was a tighter race for him this time."

But, Republicans have to take a hard look at the numbers they got. "We're going to look at it and see where we made mistakes," McCarthy said. "There's always places we look at and see where we can improve."

The party has to ask why more voters didn't get behind their man, Mitt Romney.

"I don't think he got his word out like Obama did," Alan Holzman said. The party message is something else Republicans are thinking about.

"The Republican party's got to articulate that we're not excluding anybody," Mettler said. And, he points to that, when it comes to reaching Hispanic voters.

"I think with Hispanics, we need to probably be better in our message that we're the party of opportunity." And he thinks the GOP can do that.

"I look at Texas," Mettler continued. "Texas has a very large Hispanic population, yet they voted for Mitt Romney."

But, Romney isn't heading to the White House, so how will Republicans work with the Democratic President Obama for the next four years.

Mettler says the country has a spending problem and huge deficit, and needs to shrink government.

"This President needs to compromise," he said. As for Republicans compromising with the administration? "Yes," Mettler "but we can't compromise our principles, or do something that destroys this country in the long term."

McCarthy also looks ahead to serious problems to be solved. He wants to stop tax increases, reform the tax code, grow the economy with more jobs, support small business and develop an energy independence policy that's good for business.

"We have big items to do," McCarthy said. "I hope the president will sit down, work with us, because we're wiling to work with him to put America first and get us moving again."