Q. You’re 10 weeks on the job. What have you learned? Has anything surprised you? Is there anything that you’ve needed to retool in your approach?

A. The biggest surprise has been the defeatist attitude of many Republicans in Washington. A lot of Republicans felt beaten down, and that there was nothing they could do to stop the erosion of liberty in this country. I have been encouraged that the last several weeks have demonstrated that there is a great deal we can do to turn things around. Indeed, if you look at the vote on sequester, the filibuster on drone strikes and the vote on defunding Obamacare, for three weeks in a row, Republicans have stood together for principle. And in doing so I believe we are winning the argument. We are doing what the American people expect us to be doing, which is standing for principle, defending liberty and defending the Constitution. I am hopeful the pattern of the last three weeks will prove a recurring pattern going forward. I believe that’s the direction Republicans need to go.

Q. This defeatism is among incumbent senators?

A. Yes. I’m referring to those who have been here a long time and have suffered some difficult election results and who I think were discouraged about being able to get anything done.