“I think half of us fell in love with this guy,” Woodward said of Romney, praising his values. “The country didn’t want a leader like that. … It’s not like (they) didn’t know him. It’s that they just didn’t want what he stood for.”
Utah GOP Chairman Thomas Wright sees the message from the presidential election differently. Wright said it’s time for the national party to rethink the focus on social issues.
“We don’t need to adjust our positions to win elections. But the demographics of the country have changed. The demographics in Utah are changing,” he said. “There are issues out there that are hurting our candidates, that are hurting us in races.”
Wright said he believes Republicans share his view that social issues aren’t always as important as economic issues. Romney, he said, may have been hurt because not enough attention was paid to how his business skills could have helped ease the nation’s fiscal difficulties.
“In an economy like this, with the failed economic policies of the last four years, to have a guy like Mitt Romney and his qualifications run and not do well should say only one thing,” Wright said. “We’re missing the target.”
Utah State Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis also said Republicans need to do some soul-searching after Romney's loss about how far some in the party push candidates to the right.
"The Republican Party is going to have to look at itself and see why they can destroy a great candidate like Mitt Romney," he said, citing the pitched battle over social issues Romney faced during the Republican primary.
Dabakis said Utah Democrats liked Romney, too.
“I want to say a big ‘We feel your pain’ to so many Utahns who had such warm feelings toward Mitt Romney,” he said. “Utah Democrats respect Mitt Romney. We think he would have been a great leader.”
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