Rep. Tom Cole: Idea that GOP faces ‘existential crisis’ is ‘overdone’

February 10, 2013

Even as he acknowledged that Republicans should have a discussion about the future of the party, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said Sunday that the notion the GOP faces an "existential crisis" is "overdone."

“We didn’t do badly in the election," Cole said in a roundtable discussion on ABC News' "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." "The president won with less than he was elected by in [2008]. ... We held the House, we have 30 governors. So the idea that this is some existential crisis, I think, is really overdone right now.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) disagreed, saying on the same program that "Republicans have a core values problem."

While he suggested that the GOP problems have been overblown, Cole said that when "you lose an election, you ought to be a little bit reflective," and that the current conversation among leading GOP figures about the future of the party is "a really good debate" for the party to have.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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Sean Sullivan · February 10, 2013