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Mitt Romney should have embraced the Republican platform, and the current Republican leaders in Congress should step down from leadership as a result of their "massive failure," according to legendary conservative activist Richard Viguerie.
Viguerie has been a fixture in the conservative movement for more than 50 years, pioneered direct mail political advertising and is chairman of ConservativeHQ.com.
After great initial concern about Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee, Viguerie told WND's Greg Corombos the former Massachusetts governor did a good job of embracing conservative policies. But he said Romney needed to fully embrace the core values of the GOP.
"Romney took good conservative positions. The problem is, he did not follow through," Viguerie said. "Phyllis Schlafly says the Republican platform adopted in Tampa this past August was probably the most conservative platform ever. And I think that's probably true, but Romney did not run on the platform, and the Republican Party did not run on the platform."
Instead, Viguerie said Romney ran on his business record and his accomplishments in Massachusetts.
Republicans are now doing a bit of reflection to figure what can be done better in future campaigns. Some conservatives insist their principles are fine but the marketing of conservatism needs some updating to appeal to a wider audience.
Others say the GOP must take more moderate positions on issues ranging from homosexual marriage and amnesty to rape exceptions to the pro-life position. Viguerie said moving to the left is never the right answer for conservatives.
"The idea that conservatives need to abandon our principles and move left is nonsense," he said. "The way that we win elections and not just appeal to the base but to the American people is when we make the campaign about our issues, our views our values. Republicans never win national elections unless we nationalize the elections and present to the voters two dramatically different worldviews – a worldview of a big, all-encompassing, powerful government versus a small government, individual responsibility, traditional values, lower taxes (and a) balanced budget."
The current crop of Republican leaders in Congress has never impressed Viguerie, and he said Obama's re-election means the GOP needs new blood at the top.
"What I would like to see from them is that they resign," he said, noting that in most governments party leaders step down in the wake of massive failures like Obama's re-election. "This president was just hanging on by his fingernails. Most people expected he would lose his re-election, and he won a strong victory. The leadership of the party, including (Reince) Priebus at the Republican National Committee, Speaker Boehner and Leader Mitch McConnell and all the others, including John Cornyn of the Senate campaign committee, they all need to resign and bring some new leaders in there."
However, Viguerie isn't holding his breath.
"I don't expect that they will do this," he said, hoping tea-partiers will challenge the leaders in 2014. "They've been complicit in growing government – Boehner, Mitch McConnell and a lot of other Republican leaders. Today's Republican Party is not yesterday's Republican Party, and they just can't continue to grow government and hold on to the levers of power they have at this time."