National Republican Senatorial Committee executive director Rob Collins needled his opponents on Thursday, saying that Democrats had "sidelined their best messenger" by avoiding Obama.

"They were so focused on independents that they forgot they had a base," Collins said in a session with reporters assessing the election, according to CNN. "They left their base behind. They became Republican-lite."

GOP strategists said they were baffled that Democrats had focused on issues like abortion rather than making an argument about the economy — and using Obama as a surrogate to do so.

"If you are running ... Mark Udall's campaign, there is an argument to be made that unemployment was higher when he took office," the NRSC's Brad Dayspring said in the same session with Collins in Washington. "There is an argument that gas prices were higher when he took office. But they never made it. They stuck to a flawed strategy that talked about birth control and abortion through the election. That was something we never understood."

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Midterm elections are about turning out the base rather than appealing to independents. Republicans understand this which is part of the reason they destroy Democrats almost every midterm election.