In the words of GOP strategist Ed Rollins, the Republican Party can still be summed up as "a bunch of old white guys."
Appearing on Fox News Tuesday morning, Rollins was asked whom he would pick as a running mate for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Rollins said he would choose Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who is a Cuban American, and also addressed criticism of the Republican Party's relative homogeny.
"It is a bunch of old white guys. Unfortunately, a lot of them are fat like me," he said. "We need to basically broaden the base. We need to have more women. We need to have more Latinos. We need to have more African Americans."
Rollins is not exactly out on a limb with his comments.
Research, notably by political scientist Ruy Teixeira, has suggested that various ongoing demographic shifts -- the rising number of Hispanics, a growing gender gap between the two parties and the movement of urban professionals to the Democratic side -- benefit the Democratic Party.
For Republicans to remain competitive in the next few decades, this research contends they need to expand their base beyond their core white male voters.
But will the party heed Rollins' advice? Jonathan Chait of New York magazine thinks not.
"The modern GOP -- the party of Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes -- is staring down its own demographic extinction," Chait wrote earlier this year. But instead of compromising by moving to the center to attract independents, he argued, the Republican Party has moved further to the right. "It has appeared increasingly likely that the party's great all-or-nothing bet may land, ultimately, on nothing," he wrote.
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