Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was there, of course, giving the lip service to the appeal he feels Republicans should have to immigrants that will keep him a much talked-about 2016 presidential prospect even as polling suggests his appeal to Latino voters is highly overrated by his party. But a few other Republicans whose interests are less immediately served by this reality were willing to say that maybe being the party of white guys isn't the recipe for success:
"Our party needs to realize that it’s too old and too white and too male and it needs to figure out how to catch up with the demographics of the country before it’s too late," said Al Cardenas, the head of the American Conservative Union and a longtime GOP leader. "Our party needs a lot of work to do if we expect to be competitive in the near future."The delicious thing is, the majority of the loudest voices in today's Republican party are extremely unlikely to figure that out any time soon. They'll be too busy pointing fingers at their flawed presidential candidate (as if they nominated a robotic job-killing plutocrat in a vacuum, unrelated to their demographic problems) and blowing dog whistles about the black president to start undoing the damage they've done to their reputation among rapidly growing parts of the electorate.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), a prospective 2014 statewide candidate in a state moving sharply to the middle, was just as blunt: "After tonight, the GOP had better figure out that a big tent sounds good, but if there aren’t any seats in it, what good is it."