GOP Asks: What Went Wrong for Romney?

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, speaks at the podium as he concedes the presidency, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Nov. 7, 2012 in Boston, Mass.
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Although the focus is already shifting to the looming fiscal cliff, there is no shortage of soul-searching, blame-gaming and hand-wringing on the part of Republicans after Mitt Romney's stinging defeat on Tuesday night -- and don't expect it to end anytime soon.

"This race wasn't a problem of candidate, it was a problem of fit," one smart GOP strategist told The Note. "The GOP no longer fits the modern electorate. We have fundamental issues with Latinos, young voters and women."

Another keen Republican political observer, J. Hogan Gidley, who was communications director for Rick Santorum's presidential bid, did not mince words with ABC's Russell Goldman.

"The Republican Party hasn't done a great job, and should be ashamed of itself, for not going after all Americans," Gidley said. "We can't take any one group for granted and need to look for ways to appeal to black and Latino voters."

PHOTOS: Election Night Victory and Defeat

And Alice Stewart, a Republican strategist who worked on Mike Huckabee's 2008 campaign and Michele Bachmann's 2012 race, called for GOP unity: "This is a reminder to us that we need to rally together and solidify social, fiscal and national security conservatives."

And there will be recriminations in Boston too. Disciplined as they were during the course of the campaign, Romney's confidantes are already beginning to come out of the woodwork.

One top Romney bundler offered this blunt analysis to Politico's Maggie Haberman yesterday, "We had no message and we gave it to the worst communicator in the world."

What Now for the GOP?

And others, like the Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody, placed the blame squarely on the candidate who the party picked as their 2012 standard-bearer:

"He was never the right candidate. Plain and simple. The anti-Obama vote got him close but it wasn't enough. He wasn't a sweeping vision candidate. People weren't voting so much for Romney. People were voting more against Obama. It's tough to win that way."

The floodgates have opened, and we'll see much more pour out.

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