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McMorris Rodgers: GOP needs to be more ‘modern’ not ‘moderate’

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) on Sunday said the GOP didn’t need to adopt “more moderate” positions, but rather needed to become “more modern” by being better inclusive of women and minorities.

“I don't think it's about the Republican Party needing to become more moderate. I really believe it's the Republican Party becoming more modern,” said McMorris Rodgers, during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

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President Obama’s reelection on Tuesday, which was driven in part by strong support among female voters and Hispanics has led many political watchers to call for Republican leaders to take steps to bring more minorities and women into the party fold. Others have suggested that the GOP message failed to resonate with voters, but McMorris Rodgers said the party needed to better explain its vision. 

“Whether it's Hispanics, whether it's women, whether it's young people, the Republican Party has to make it a priority to take our values, to take our vision to every corner of this country,” she said.

Other Republicans, who joined her for the CNN panel discussion, had differing explanations for the party’s presidential loss.

Former Commerce Secretary and the head of GOP nominee Mitt Romney's Hispanic Steering Committee Carlos Gutierrez said he “would lay the blame squarely on the far right wing” for driving away minority voters.

Gutierrez later added that the Hispanics he knew “were scared of the Republican Party.”

“I think it has to do with our incredibly ridiculous primary process where we force people to say outrageous things. They get nominated. And then they have to come back,” he said.

Former Utah governor and one-time presidential candidate Jon Huntsman said his party had “no vision,” adding it “needs to decide whether it wants to win or lose.”

But all three said the GOP should forge ahead with immigration reform to win support from Hispanic groups.

McMorris Rodgers last week made official her bid for House Republican Conference chairmanship. She will face Rep. Tom Price (Ga.) current chairman of the Policy Committee and a former head of the conservative Republican Study Committee for the post. 

This story was updated at 2:55 p.m.