"Party" might not be the right word for the Republicans' predictably somber campaign-night gathering on Capitol Hill.
An aide to retiring Florida Rep. Dave Weldon told Politico's Sarah Abruzzese that the results Tuesday night are "very disheartening" for congressional Republicans, saying, "There is only so much you can do if Congress is controlled by the other party."
Weldon aide Lindsey Craig said, "We've seen a lot of good conservatives lose their race already" in seats "that shouldn't be close."
While “a little leery to lay blame,” she said. “We have to live with the mistakes that we’ve made.” But in the end she noted that “It will be really bad for republicans during the next couple of years; but it is an opportunity for true conservatives to come out and make a difference.”
Jeremy Steffens, the communications director to Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), expressed relief that his boss didn't have a race - "I have a job," he said - before suggesting that a lot can change in four years.
“We’re obviously losing seats, but four years ago it was a very different story," Steffens said. "Republicans were talking about ruling for the next 20 years. Let’s see where we are in the next four.”
The evening is a repudiation of President Bush, Steffens argued, saying the president “promised to be one thing, and he was for the first four years. He was a conservative, and he ran under that label. But then he was the exact opposite” in areas like fiscal policy.
"The brand really got tarnished by what he did," Steffens said.