Date registered: Aug 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS (USA)
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Republicans vow to rebuild after big defeats
Party to demand 'accountability' from Obama, Democrats
By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch
Last update: 4:09 p.m. EST Nov. 5, 2008
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Fresh from a beating in the presidential and congressional elections on Tuesday, the chairman of the Republican National Committee vowed to rebuild his party in the months and years ahead as well as hold President-elect Barack Obama accountable for promises he made during his historic campaign for the White House.
In the weeks ahead, Republicans are "going to take a deep breath and listen to the American people," RNC Chairman Mike Duncan told an audience at the National Press Club on Wednesday, a day after Obama won the presidency and Democrats padded their majorities in both houses of Congress.
Republicans will also spend the next four years "demanding hope's accountability," Duncan said, pledging to hold Obama to campaign goals like cutting taxes for 95% of Americans.
Duncan and his Democratic counterpart, Howard Dean, both spoke at the Press Club on Tuesday. Dean was reluctant to offer details about policy but said the new Democratic president will work with his Republican colleagues in a bipartisan fashion.
"I think this new group of voters will enforce that," Dean said.
With newly enlarged majorities in both the House and Senate, Democrats are calling for a stimulus package to revive the struggling economy. On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants a lame duck session of Congress to get such a package through but that no decisions have been made on a post-election session.
Duncan said that for Obama to be successful, he'll need to work with Republicans and rein in the liberal wing of the Democratic party.
"If he can't, well, we look forward to the midterm elections," Duncan said.
Democrats picked up at least five Senate seats in Tuesday's election. In the House, Democrats added at least 18 and perhaps as many as 22 seats. With at least 254 representatives and 56 senators (including two independents who frequently vote with them), the Democrats will have their largest majorities since the early 1990s.
Duncan said Obama should "reach out and work with the Republican party." But he said that the Republican party will be asking its members how it can improve itself following the bruising defeats of Tuesday.
"I believe that we will come out of this stronger," said Duncan.
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