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Schieffer: GOP should focus on women, minorities, not "old white guys"

(CBS News) Republican Party leaders are searching for the way forward in the wake of an election they believed should have gone their way.

Bob Schieffer, chief Washington correspondent and host of "Face the Nation," said on "CBS This Morning" that Republicans are still reeling from the defeat. He explained, "You started out with very high unemployment, you had an economy that was not in great shape. You had all of those signs, polls showing most people thought the country was headed in the wrong direction, and yet the Republicans lost, and I think they're just trying to figure out now how they can broaden their appeal, and that is the problem.

"They're talking a lot about what they can do about the logistics and the tactics and all of that," he said. "But what they have to do is find some way to appeal to young women, to Asians, to Hispanics, to African-Americans, and to people who, you know, are not kind of the folks that sit around the men's grill at the country club, a bunch of old white guys. They're doing pretty well with some of them, but they've just got to find a way to get beyond that, and I think that's what they're doing right now. Bobby Jindal (said) in a speech he made last night and he said we've got to stop saying stupid things and that's just kind of basic. You know, parties have a way ... of coming back. And what they'll be able to do, we'll see. But at least they recognize they've got a problem."

But it's not just the Republicans that are facing an uphill fight these days. Democrats are realizing they may have a problem when it comes to the gun control debate, as Democratic Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid, of Nevada, himself may become a roadblock to new legislation.

Schieffer remarked, "Harry Reid is up for reelection in 2014. He comes from a western state where this is a very, very serious issue to a lot of people out in that part of the world. People who live out in remote areas. You know, they feel like they need to have a gun. So this is going to be tough.

"I don't know if this assault weapons ban is going to pass or not. What I do know is I think the atmosphere around here is changed. I think before this session of Congress is passed, there will be something done, whether it's background checks, something else to strengthen these gun laws. It's just, Newtown changed things around here. I really think it was going to be a tipping point. I think what the administration is trying to do is build support out in the country, so that Washington will take notice. But this is going to be a tough one."

For more with Bob Schieffer, watch his full "CTM" interview in the video above, in which he also speaks about the recent announcement that he has been named an inductee into the Television Hall of Fame.