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Maine's retiring Sen. Snowe tells GOP to stop focusing on social issues

Maine’s longtime moderate Republican Senator Olympia Snowe continued to express her displeasure with the GOP during a sit-down interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, which aired Thursday.

Snowe said the Republican Party “hasn’t expressed the views of being inclusive,” in recent years and challenged the party to relinguish its focus on social issues in favor of getting back to the fundamental issues of the economy and jobs.

"When we were talking about so many of the social policy issues—because frankly even when we were in the majority we spent more time concentrating on those issues than talking about what we should have been doing about the future," Snowe said. "I tried. Back in January 2001, I served on the Budget Committee...Chairman Greenspan was proposing a trigger to pay down our national debt with the projected surpluses that were accumulating. I thought that was a superb idea thinking I would get strong Republican support. Wrong. And I was shocked."

Despite her frustration, Snowe answered a resounding “No,” when asked if she had ever considered switching parties. She said she continues to embrace what she believes are fundamental tenets of the Republican Party, including fiscal responsibility, limited government, individual opportunity, and freedom.

Snowe has blamed extreme partisanship on both sides as her reason for not seeking re-election after nearly two decades in the Senate and more than three on Capitol Hill.

“We’ve lost the center over the years…both sides need to meet at some point in order to get things done for the benefit of the country,” she told Todd.