But the reality remains that Republicans do not have enough seats to marshal through a full repeal if Democrats remain steadfast in their support. Even if Republicans were able to sway enough Democrats to support their effort, it would face a certain veto from Obama.
"Admittedly, it will be difficult with him in the White House," McConnell said. "But if we can put a full repeal on his desk and replace it with the kind of commonsense forms that we were advocating during the debate to reduce spending, we owe it to the American people to do that."
Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who will take leadership of the House budget committee, said the GOP will rein in the overhaul through oversight hearings and cutting off money to implement the law, "but then again, the president has to sign those bills, so that is a challenge."
"You can't fully repeal and replace this law until you have a new president and a better Senate. And that's probably in 2013, but that's before the law fully kicks in, in 2014," Ryan said.
Meanwhile, Rand Paul, the tea party-backed winner in Kentucky's Senate race, said cuts to military spending and programs such as Social Security had to be considered, a break from Republican positions that both are sacrosanct. "We're coming. We're proud. We're strong. We're loud. And we're going to co-opt. And, in fact, I think we're already shaping the debate," he said of his fellow tea party candidates.
And Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who emerged as a leader of tea party-style candidates, said the GOP was to blame for its loss in Delaware's Senate contest between Republican Christine O'Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons. "Unfortunately, she was so maligned by Republicans, I don't think she ever had a chance," DeMint said of the candidate whom party leaders tried to block from the nomination by highlighting her previous statements on masturbation and evolution.
Pence and Paul appeared on ABC's "This Week." Van Hollen spoke to CNN's "State of the Union." Cantor and Ryan were interviewed on "Fox News Sunday" while McConnell and Clyburn appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation." DeMint spoke in NBC's "Meet the Press."