GOP lawmaker tells party to stop focusing on 'white, male conservative' voters

Outgoing Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenEx-GOP Rep. Denham heads to lobbying firm K Street boom extends under Trump, House Dems Bottom Line MORE (Fla.) cautioned her party’s leaders about focusing on white, male conservative voters, warning that the GOP would lose “this whole generation” if they don’t "aggressively pursue" young and diverse voters.

Ros-Lehtinen, who is the first Latina to ever be elected to Congress, said in an interview with NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Friday, that her party needs to reach out to women and minorities.

“The young people rejected the Republican Party,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “There’s really no other way to say it. Suburban women left our party, and minorities did not see us as a welcoming voice.”


“You just have to show people that you care, and we’re not even willing to do that. We don’t go to those neighborhoods, we don’t go to suburbia, we don’t talk to women — we’re not doing anything to appeal to those groups,” she continued.

Ros-Lehtinen added that the Republican Party needs to “pay attention to the changing demographics of our country.”

“We have not been attuned to that,” she continued. “We have been appealing to one certain section of America. I don’t know what you want to call it. The white, male conservative is definitely getting a lot of issues thrown their way.”

The retiring congresswoman also took aim at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rips Dems' demands, impeachment talk: 'Witch Hunt continues!' Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push MORE.

“I’m not saying that I’m leaving because Donald Trump got elected,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “I’m a Republican, but I did not vote for Donald Trump.”

“I’m a Jeb Bush Republican, I’m a George W. Bush Republican. We had a lovely Mass for Bush 41, and I’m thinking, ‘Boy those speeches. Can they really be made in this day and age?’ Things have changed. My party has changed,” she added.

Ros-Lehtinen has represented Miami in Congress since 1989. Democrat Donna ShalalaDonna Edna ShalalaLawmakers celebrate 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher McConnell, Kaine introduce bill to raise tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21 MORE will succeed Ros-Lehtinen after winning her election last month.