Nightly News   |  March 16, 2013

GOP needs to broaden appeal

CNBC’s John Harwood joins Lester Holt with his analysis of the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's bring in chief washington correspondent john harwood . all this talk of the party recasting itself, that means reaching out to a lot of different groups, different interests. is it practical?

>> it's pretty complicated. it's not easy at all. republicans need to do better with young voters who are socially liberal but older voters and the religious right are the heart of their base. they need to appeal to working-class voters, especially hispanics, but also do better with upscale voters, college-educated women in particular. one telling piece of advice came from zeb bush, he said, republicans can't be against everything, they can't be against the changes coursing through american society and the world that voters can see with their own eyes.

>> and this conversation primarily talking about the campaign going forward to 2016 . what about the here and now? does this mean a change in the way the party deals with the president, for example?

>> that's an interesting challenge as well. as they fight president obama on specific issues they have an overarching problem to deal with, they're identified as the party of congress. they need to show congress can function. the most obvious sweet spot for them appears to be the issue of immigration which marco rubio telling hi did not talk about at cpac.