New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as quoted by the New Jersey Star-Ledger:

“I think his challenge over the next 70 days is the challenge it’s always been: It’s to give the American people a sense of who he is in his heart. My advice has always been, talk about those things that make you most uncomfortable. Those are probably the things that will give people the greatest insight into you.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at a Washington Post-Bloomberg News breakfast:

“He’s got to lay out a very clear plan. When it comes to the economy, he’s got a plan. He’s got a five-point plan on that. But I think most Americans don’t know it. Most Americans actually don’t know Mitt Romney. Ann Romney’s speech last night I think was the beginning of being helpful in that regard. All of us in politics and in the media, I think, sometimes find that hard to believe, but I think in my state, at least, most people know of Mitt Romney. They don’t know Mitt Romney.”

Former senator Mel Martinez of Florida at a National Journal/Univision event Wednesday.

“Primaries are never a good place for enlightened debate. I think the tone has been wrong, and I think the tone in the primary really did a lot of damage. . . . We as a party have got to get it. We’ve got to get smart about this. We could be relegated to a minority party. . . . We’ve got to find a way to make that connection.”

Former RNC Chairman Haley Barbour at a briefing held by Resurgent Republic, on the election ground game:

“That’s something we need to be very, very, very cognizant of. We used to have an advantage on ground game — get out the vote, 72-hour program, all that. They now have an advantage. We have to do what it takes to overcome the union muscle and money that goes in the streets.”

Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele to GQ:

“I wanna hear him be him. I wanna hear the governor of Massachusetts. I wanna hear the guy who built relationships with a difficult legislature. I wanna hear the guy who took risks with something innovative in health care. I wanna hear the guy who understands what it’s like to be a Republican from a blue state, and how diverse our country really is, and how important it is for our party to be less monolithic, not only in our thought, but in how we view the rest of the country. And if that guy is the one who’s talking Thursday night? Game, set, match.”

— From staff reports