Carl DeMaio has strong words for the Republican party

DeMaio says GOP must be party of reform, solutions

SAN DIEGO - Less than two weeks after his slim loss to Democrat Bob Filner, former mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio has some strong words for his Republican party.

In The Orange County Register, DeMaio writes in an opinion piece that the party "faces a major crisis years in the making."

He had this advice for the state GOP.

"Stop being the party of 'no' and start being the party of solutions," said DeMaio.  

DeMaio also writes in an opinion piece that the wave of Republican losses "is a huge opportunity to evolve into a 'new' California Republican Party."

He says Republicans need to become the party of reform, but wasn't his campaign known for that? Why wasn't that enough?

"I think reform did a lot for us in this race," he said. "My campaign outperformed party registration by 21 percent in the city of San Diego."

When asked if there is anything he would have done differently, DeMaio said, "You know, I think we really left it all out there on the field. It really was a national tsunami that hit our campaign."

DeMaio is not the only Republican taking the party to task. Retiring San Diego County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price publicly questioned the party for telling women "how to run" their lives. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told Politico the GOP needs to "stop being the stupid party."

DeMaio lost to Filner by 3.5 percentage points, or  51.77 to 48.23 percent. DeMaio said even though his campaign reached out, the Republican party has alienated many.

"College kids, blacks, gays, Latinos, Asians… we really need to do a deep reflection," he said. "You cannot leave those communities behind. You cannot decide that you're just simply not going to talk to them."

However, DeMaio says there is hope.

"Look, they nominated and endorsed an openly gay man for mayor and that I think reflects a lot of change," he said.

When told that his words sounded like those from a man who might run again, DeMaio laughed.

"I don't rule anything out, but right now I'm focusing on how I can best help from the outside," he said.

DeMaio says it will take time for the party to change, but that it needs to start now. As for him, he is taking time to figure out what he will do next.

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