Barbour: GOP needs a 'proctology exam'
November 14th, 2012
08:46 PM ET
10 years ago

Barbour: GOP needs a 'proctology exam'

(CNN) - While Republicans continue to soul search after their party's loss in the presidential election, former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour injected a new term Wednesday to describe the GOP's introspection.

"The ground game is really important, and we have to be, I mean we've got to give our political organizational activity a very serious..." he said, taking a pause and looking for the right word. "Proctology exam. We need to look everywhere."

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Speaking at a conference for the Republican Governors Association in Las Vegas, Barbour said his party needs to not only adapt to demographic changes but also reform its messaging.

"We can catch up in four years doing this," he said. "This isn't rocket science, but it is hard work that we can't wait and start in 2016."

The party needs a "brutally honest assessment of everything we did," he added. "We need to take everything apart and look at all of it."

Like other Republicans in recent days, Barbour stressed the importance of being more inclusive to Latinos, African-Americans and other minorities. Barbour in particular chided the party for its tone on illegal immigration, saying many illegal workers contribute to the economy and comprise an important part of society.

"What are we going to do? Send them home? Send five million people home and then try to figure out how to replace them? We need those people to do those jobs," he said, adding the issue can be resolved "if we'll just follow good economic policy."

"But," he continued, "then we have to follow up with Latinos and show them that we want their vote - not only that we're for good policy, we want their vote. We need to do the same thing with African-Americans."

President Barack Obama overwhelmingly won the Latino vote over Mitt Romney, taking 71% of the group. Among African-Americans, the president won 93%, according to CNN exit polls.

Furthermore, the Republican National Committee has stated it will undergo a major review of the party's performance in 2012.

Filed under: Haley Barbour • Latinos • RGA
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Frank

    Yep, it takes seeing his party getting shellacked in an election for a Mississippi Governor to overcome racist bigotry long enough to admit that illegals are a critical component of the US agricultural labor force. Well done, Barbour, even though it's 2012. It's not going to help your party much though – the GOP is about 70% bigots and has no chance of embracing class, race, and gender equality by 2016. A lot of them didn't even vote for Romney because they didn't consider him to be a Christian! Lol!

    November 15, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  2. steve harnack

    so when is this introspection slated to begin? So far all they are doing is insulting the majority of Americans and making very lame excuses, excuses from an alternate reality where it was President Obama that suppressed voters and not the GOP legislatures in all of the battleground states (with help from ALEC); the storm did it ; Obama gave things away( even though the Congress appropriates all monies); and I would go on but I'm getting dizzy from all of the spin. They need to do two things. 1) Wait for the 75+ year old fossils to die off, and 2) Get a divorce from the entertainment/news wing of their party and impose a gag order on the proceedings.

    November 15, 2012 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  3. Jeremiah

    Soul searching? Is there somebody who doesn't understand that Republicans scared people with their statements about rape, women's health, religion, education and even economy. They have to understand that the world is moving forward. Next 4-8-12 years will bring more and more voters who don't want to live in the past while being brainwashed with religious dogmas and aynrandian ideas. Unfortunately "conservatives" (by definition) have problems with adapting to the ever changing world.

    November 15, 2012 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  4. SN

    Finally, someone came close to saying it the way it is.

    November 15, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  5. perrochato

    Good Idea! I'm taking patients and your covered now. I promise I will be gentle.

    November 15, 2012 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  6. TravelSheryl

    You need to start at home by not doing totally ignorant things like releasing murderers from prison. You would have been all over a Democrat if he did something so stupid.

    November 15, 2012 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  7. Donkey Party

    Apparently Romney didn't get the memo. He's out there telling his campaign donors how the greedy minorities, women, and the youth stole the presidency for Obama. Too little, too late, the GOP is headed toward extinction.

    November 15, 2012 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
  8. Gary

    Barbour's comments for Romney during the campaign also helped Obama's win, maybe all of the surogates that are now complaining were part of a conspiracy for a Romney loss.

    November 15, 2012 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
  9. Collin

    A another thing you can do is to stop referring to everyone who votes democrat as lazy government hand out parasites. It's almost as if republicans have just now realized that minorities are allowed to vote.

    November 15, 2012 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  10. LakeRat1

    The Republicans have already been performing "Proctology exam"s. That's where they found all their presidential candidates during the primary!

    November 15, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  11. darthmeow504

    Perhaps they'll find their head while they're looking around up there.

    November 15, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  12. Wes Thompson

    Barbour said the only thing that wasn't a lie about any Republican. That statement was the GOP needed a proctology exam. Amen to that, that is probably where you will find the brains of most Republicans; maybe Obamacare will cover a surgical procedure call proctobrainoculary snif lift.

    November 15, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |

    They need to get rid of the tea potty. 2014 will look like 2012 if they don't.

    November 15, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  14. bess moore

    They need a mental exam also. Godless creatures All! God bless America!

    November 15, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  15. sick of republican phonies

    He IS correct- a proctology exam will reveal the location of the republican party's head.

    November 15, 2012 06:38 am at 6:38 am |
  16. margie stephens

    they are so funny !! they still don't get it–it's not enough to talk the talk-you gotta walk the walk and a little empathy and compassion wouldnt hurt–thats not "mesaaging" its actions

    November 15, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  17. flowmyfears

    So long as prominent Republican's are able to court Limbaugh, that bloviating tick of a man who makes his fortune enriching and mining the very worst seams in America, who used his radio show to characterize the first nonwhite president as Barack the magic negro, they will never get this 'negro's' vote. They pander to racists (recall 'Spanish is a ghetto language' Newt?) then act surprised when the targets of their rancor turn out to defeat them. Frankly, unless something changes the entire lot should be driven into the sea. And no Mitt, I didn't vote for Obama because he's offered me gifts, I have no use for a handout. The insensitivity of Mitt's nasty dismissal of the women, the youth, the African Americans and Latino citizens who voted against him perfectly exemplifies everything that is wrong with the GOP.

    Being conservative doesn't have to mean being racist, misogynist, xenophobic and homophobic. And the GOP doesn't need a makeover as many seem to be suggesting. The entire body needs to be tossed on a slab and examined, and all the rotting bits need to be completely excised.

    That's one option. the other is oblivion.

    November 15, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  18. TomInRochNY

    They also need a crow bar to get their heads out.

    November 15, 2012 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  19. USMCJock

    As a republican, this sounds like the GOP will try to do its famous repackaging of the same ol' tired policies, by pulling a Scott Walker: Running moderate campaigns from the middle, not divulging the real agenda, gain enough cross over votes then when in office, go back to far right extremist positions; attacking social issues (i.e. collective bargaining, etc.)

    November 15, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  20. onlyfacts

    How about a tea party enema!

    November 15, 2012 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  21. vlbuch23

    A fine place to start in this process is getting rid of Reince Preibus. I'm still trying to figure out why they fired Steele. After all he led the party to the largest house turn around in history. Preibus on the other hand, was a vitriolic figure at best. He didn't hesitate or flinch about lying to his base about the smallest things. The Republican party will never get the AA vote and may never get the Latino vote. They don't care about these two constituencies and these groups know it.

    November 15, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  22. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    You can add a labotamy to that !!!!

    November 15, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
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