Republican governors met in Las Vegas for their annual conference and worked to dissect what went wrong in last week's election.
They didn't hold back on why Mitt Romney lost.
"Time and time again, biography and experience is not enough to win an election," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. "You have to have a vision, you have to connect your policies to the aspirations of the American people. I don't think the campaign did that and as a result this became a contest between personalities, and Chicago won that."
"Our candidate got defined early without an effective response and burned in an image that was not only challenging for swing and undecided voters, I think in some ways it took some air out of the base of people who would be enthused and motivated to help out the nominee all the way through the Nov. 6 election," said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Many Republican leaders say the party didn't explain clearly why their policies and beliefs are better for all Americans, and it hurts the ground game that it isn't being discussed all the time.
"The Democratic Party does a better job explaining that year round, all the time and then getting those people to the polls," said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. "We talk about it maybe the last six months before an election and if you're talking about it solely in a political cycle, you're suspect."
Going forward, the governors say Republicans need to pursue 100 percent of the people, not 53 percent, and they have to stay focused.
"We've got to stop being the stupid party," Jindal said. "What do I mean by that? Certainly we've got to stop making stupid comments and condemn those quickly and stop making those types of silly mistakes. But it's more than that. We also need to offer intelligent, specific policies, show the American people how our policies help folks in the middle class, help people get into the middle class, help them do better."
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval was not there.
He is in Washington, DC, to accept an award and missed Wednesday's session.
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