“We need to have a brutally honest assessment of what we did,” said Haley Barbour, the former Mississippi governor and Republican uber-strategist. His party’s entire political operation, Barbour said, needs “a very serious proctology exam.”…

“Our candidate got defined early without an effective response,” said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker…

“What [the American people] heard is, we are a party that cares more about people that have already lived the American Dream and made it, as opposed to the rest of the country that is still trying to climb that ladder,” said Bob McDonnell, the governor of Virginia and outgoing RGA chairman. “That’s not our position. We honestly did not do a good job saying why those principles of limited government and lower taxes and individual responsibility and energy independence, et cetera, why is that better for every American family.”…

“The honest truth is, look, Governor Romney’s campaign I don’t think laid out a specific vision that connected with American voters. Governor Romney is an honorable person, and he should be thanked for his many years of public service, but his campaign was largely about his biography and his experience,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. “But time and time again, biography and experience are not enough to win an election. You have to have a vision; you have to connect your policies to the aspirations of the American people. I don’t think the campaign did that. As a result, I think this campaign became a contest about personalities.”