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Conservatives Feel the Optimism at Heritage Retreat

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Southerland said he thinks the Republican Party is on firm ground and said the mood among conservative House members is optimistic.

“Maybe our efforts were premature. Maybe not enough people know yet the downsides of Obamacare because they haven’t been impacted,” he said. “Maybe there will be a renewed interest in repealing it, scaling it back, replacing, because we tried last year and we didn’t get it done.”

There was also a fair amount of cheerleading and team building. Entrepreneur Steve Forbes took the group to Camden Yards for a tour of the baseball field and dinner on Thursday night, and on Thursday morning, the group toured the USS Constitution, which is docked in Baltimore Harbor.

“It’s a healthy mix of preaching to the choir — which sometimes you’ve got to have because sometimes a choir gets kind of down — and then sometimes you want to go into the wonkish details,” Mulvaney said. “There can be a lot of lonely times in this business when you think you’re the only one who feels like you do and you come here and you realize you’re not.”

An earlier version of this article misidentified the home state of Florida Rep. Steve Southerland II.

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