Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) leveled harsh criticism against members of her own party during an appearance on CNN on Thursday.
"We had Republican candidates who got very high profile and said some very stupid things," she said. "I think that really tainted the party."
The remarks come on the heels of Republicans losing seats in the Senate in the 2012 election and President Barack Obama securing another term in the White House.
During the campaign, GOP Senate candidates like Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana ignited firestorms of controversy with comments they made on the issue of abortion.
In August, Akin suggested that it's rare for "legitimate rape" victims to get pregnant and that the "female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." In October, Mourdock said in defining his anti-abortion stance that pregnancy resulting from rape "is something that God intended to happen."
Hutchison said that "even though Mitt Romney came right out and said, 'This is not right, we disagree with this,'" the damage to the GOP had been done. She explained, "The party leadership did the same thing. No one embraced Todd Akin after he said those things, including the Republican campaign committees, but it was used in the political sense against us and it was, I think, the feeling that Republicans don’t get it."
The GOP senator argued that her party has to talk about women's issues and social issues and "people have to stop acting like the woman is a throw-away here."