January 12th, 2009
10:09 AM ET
6 years ago

Bush gives prescription to GOP

Bush said Monday Republicans must broaden their appeal.
Bush said Monday Republicans must broaden their appeal.

(CNN) - Reflecting on a brutal election cycle that saw his party lose the White House and several seats in Congress, President Bush warned the GOP to avoid instituting an ideological “litmus test.”

"I am concerned that in the wake of the defeat, that the temptation will be to look inward, and to say, 'Well, here is a litmus test you must adhere to," Bush said in his last press conference as president. "This party will come back. But the party's message has got to be that different points of view are included in the party."

The president specifically cited the at-times heated debate over illegal immigration, and said Republicans appeared as if they "don't like immigrants."

"If the image is we don't like immigrants, then there is probably somebody else out there saying, 'Well, if they don't like immigrants, they probably don't like me as well,'" Bush said. "Our party has got to be compassionate and broad-minded."

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. NiceGirl

    Finally.... the end of an ERROR!

    January 12, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  2. Maggie

    The worst president ever to sit in the Oval Office is giving advice about how to change the GOP?

    Is this one of those 'pot, meet kettle' moments that the late night tv hosts will have fun with?

    January 12, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. Joe the Troll

    Yeah, pretend to change what you stand for, that'll help you "sell the brand" next time around. Whenever parties talk about changing what they stand for, it proves that they stand for nothing but public relations.

    January 12, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  4. Scott Tucson

    Don't worry George...after four years of Obama and his democratic majority failed policies and tax hikes, the nation would be ready to toss them out.

    January 12, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. GOP losers!

    The GOP will be divided between Sarah Palin, Joe the "plumber" and the ilkes of Rush and Hannity. Absolutely no intelligence!

    January 12, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  6. BB

    Ha – a loser giving advice to losers.

    January 12, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  7. Rob

    First smart thing you have said Bush. The repubs must be more inclusive and broaden the message without loosing your core principles.

    January 12, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  8. Mike D

    correction, if you look like an immigrant, they DEFINITELY don't like you.

    January 12, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  9. Chuck

    Go hide quietly Mr. Bush, and hope that a good patriot who lost his home because of your anti-worker policies doesn't find you.

    January 12, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  10. Kat

    Nope, sorry... you do have to actually have Republican beliefs to fit into the GOP. Otherwise, hypocritical big government pro-war socialists like Mr. Bush here will take over. And they already have, sorry to say... there was only one real conservative running in 2008, and he was Ron Paul.

    January 12, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. JP

    Broadminded? Do you even know what that means, Mr. Prez?

    January 12, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  12. Fenarkleman

    Thanks for the advice, Dubya. Hmm, wonder where we would be now with President Gore? Hmmm.

    January 12, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |

    Bush is right on the message of inclusion. Unfortunately, he ran the most partisan administration in recent memory, as if only the right wing loves this country. Good riddance, GWB. And the GOP too!

    January 12, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  14. Mike

    After all he said this is what CNN reports?

    Those suffering from Bush Rerangement Syndrome post vile excremental comments in 3....2....1....

    January 12, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  15. Old white lady in Birmingham, AL

    Oh I guess he did learn something while he was in office. Too little too late.

    January 12, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. JohnBoy

    Thanks President Bush, Job well done. Thanks for keeping the USA safe. We will see if Obama does.

    You are a great American.

    January 12, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. Bob in Kansas City

    The only litmus test the GOP will ever adhere to is look out for the rich and the Corporate Robber Barons as they have always done. Do we really think the 700 billion dollars bailout went anywhere else but the Corporate Robber Barons bank accounts?

    January 12, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  18. CanIcallyouJoe

    Once again, Bush proving himself largely useless and clueless.

    GOP has worked hard to maintain the ideology of "Corporations First, People Second (as long as those are white people, of course)". They have worked very very hard to earn that stigma.

    GOP: If you want to be a viable choice for any level-headed modern American, change... well.. pretty much everything about your party. No more war profiteering. No more racial suppression. No more policies that screw over the average person. No more Theocrats. The only Republican left in the Republican party is Ron Paul.

    ($5 says Bush doesn't know what a "litmus test" is – any takers?)

    January 12, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. Neal

    Bush is insane, he is the most anti-opposing viewpoints president of the modern era!

    January 12, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. Tom

    Final words from the WORST PRESIDENT EVER.

    What a relief, don't let the door hit you in the back Bush.

    January 12, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. dave

    Or the Republicans could just wait until the stench of W. leaves town, then they'll be doing a lot better. Priceless to hear the man lecturing others on being more "broad minded." Just an ounce of self realization and the Republicans will be effective again some day.

    January 12, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Ken in Dallas

    Bush's recommendations for the future are the exact opposite of his behavior as President. Could it be that even he realizes his administration has been one of the great debacles of American history?

    January 12, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. Ted

    Wow well he waited long enough to say something worth wild.. I think he is dead on bullseye with this one. but i wonder if he has enough gaul left for those to listen.

    January 12, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. jaye

    The republican party is like Disney World – it's too white. Racism is very obvious and wealth is a requirement.

    Anyway, I watched the press conference. Good to see him open up.

    CNN should promote Suzanne Malveau – she deserves her own show. She is a pleasure to watch, and an excellent news reporter.

    January 12, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  25. Susan

    In order to survive, the RNC must stop the divisive, hate-filled, spiteful, and threatening maneuvers and language. The American people will no longer accept such!

    January 12, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
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