The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

November 17, 2012

Shelby: GOP was beaten in election on ground game

— HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Republican Mitt Romney lost the presidential election in part because the GOP failed to run its ground game, getting enough of its supporters to the polls, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Saturday.

"Romney got a million fewer votes than (John) McCain got" in the 2008 election, Shelby told a meeting of the Republican Men's Club in Huntsville. "A lot of our people didn't vote. We can't do that."

Shelby joking referred in his remarks to a person who told him following the election that Republicans should become more like the Democratic Party, according to (http://bit.ly/XlQk4h) AL.com.

"I said, 'Are you kidding? I was in that party. You want to leave there as soon as you can.'" But Shelby said he understood the person's point — that Republicans must broaden their base. He said the party needs to reach out to minority groups, including Hispanics and Asians.

"Romney's biggest vote was the white male," Shelby said. "If we'd gotten our share of the women's vote, we'd have won big."

He also blamed a contentious Republican primary for weakening Romney ahead of the general election against President Barack Obama, the Democrat who won.

"We were fighting among ourselves," Shelby said. "Romney came out of the primaries wounded."

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