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Tom Davis: GOP needs to be inclusive to win

Republicans in Congress will lose if they don't retool, says former head of GOP's congressional committee.

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As Democrats focus on how to unify the Clinton and Obama factions of their party, Republicans are worrying about a rout in the 2008 Congressional elections.

Some of the toughest talk about problems the Republicans face comes from Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia. Davis served two terms as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee and is a ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He was the speaker at Wednesday's Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters.

Having decided not to run for reelection, "I feel a great freedom now" to speak out, Davis said. Last month, Davis fired off a much commented upon memo to his Republican congressional colleagues. Among its key conclusions: "Without some meaningful changes in direction, the GOP is heading for losses bordering on another twenty seats in the House and up to a half dozen Senate seats."

While noting that John McCain ran ahead of Congressional Republicans, the Davis memo predicted that "McCain's coattails will be short," and that "McCain may lose but he's not likely to collapse, especially in targeted districts."

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