Karl Rove tells California Republicans to 'get off the mat'

GOP strategist says rebuilding is 'a big task'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - GOP strategist Karl Rove says California Republicans need to "get off the mat" and find new ways to reach voters if they are to regain popularity in the nation's most populous state.

Referring to the state party's deep losses in recent years, Rove said it needs to focus on larger themes of restoring jobs and reducing government spending. But he also said the party must recruit candidates who reflect the diversity of the country, and in particular California.

By next year, Hispanics will overtake whites as the state's largest demographic group.

He told activists at the state party convention in Sacramento that rebuilding would be "a big task," but noted the example of Texas. Once a Democratic stronghold, the state has elected Republicans to 101 of 150 state House seats.

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