POSTED: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 9:35am
UPDATED: Thursday, November 15, 2012 - 9:37am
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."
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."
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By Ashley Killough