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. Alex

    If only he took his own advice 8 years ago.

    January 12, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. a REAL American

    Hey GOPloser.... your statement proves that stereotypes are alive and well in this country. There are plenty of "non-whites" in the GOP, such as Michael Steele, Condoleeza Rice, and Bobby Jindal. Maybe you should use a few of those dwindling brain cells before they're gone!

    January 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    G O P = K K K

    January 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  4. esther

    I am a christian and i feel so sad when the party GOP THAT CLAIMS they are christians spew so much hate to fellow human , cannot tolerate anyone different from them/ the BIBLE SAYs love your neighbor as yourself. Love those that hate you

    January 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  5. Ken in NC

    President Bush gives the GOP some good advice on Immigrants. Good advice but a few years to late. I hope they listen to him. If they do not listen they will be stuck with Gov. Palin again in 2012. Please do not misunderstand me. I would love to see her on the ticket in 4 years. It would give the Democrats a cake walk in 2012.

    January 12, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Matt

    Yeah, the GOP needs a nice juicey injection of political Haldol.

    January 12, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Emit R Detsaw

    Arrogant and Delusional to the end!

    I think he meant Illegal Immigrants, but someone in the White House removed the word Illegal from their vocabulary over the past administration. ;o)

    January 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. ga.

    i don't know if the republican party can recover, they have too many racists on board.

    January 12, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. Mickie

    I'm sure his party will take all of his great advice from his wonderful experience! LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL!!!

    January 12, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. Shawn - GA

    I think it is sad how so many people come on these blogs and comment as if they have any idea what they are talking about. We civilians have no idea what goes on fully, I am sure history will paint the truth. Be is a positive or negative one, however making such hateful comments while having little information just goes to show how ignorant people are. You believe 1 person made everything bad happen? Really? Talk about a scape goat.

    I am very concerned for PE Obama. He is human, he is just a man and he has to work within the same system. He can not possibly change as much as people are thinking he will, it is not possible. I pray that the warm fuzzy feelings do continue so he can get things done, I just see that people in that system are already turning on him and he has not even moved in yet.

    January 12, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. NEL E BELL ;-)

    I WILL BE TRUELY INSULTED IF WE ALLOW ANY NEW SHIP IN OUR FLEETS NOW OR IN THE FUTURE BE NAMED AFTER THE MOST UNUNITING PRESIDENT I HAVE SEEN IN MY 60YRS. HOW COULD WE BE SUPRISED THAT GW WOULD PUSH FOR HIS FATHERS NAME TOBE PUT ON A SHIP OF STATE. IN MY OPINION, THE BUSH FAMILY ARE THE WORST CASE EXAMPLE OF WEALTH GONE WILD. HIS FATHERS LETTERS SHOWED NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT FOR ENLISTED CREW MEMBERS OF HIS SHIP AND HIS SON, DIDN'T EVEN GO THROUGH BASIC TRAINING AND THERE IS STILL THE DOUBT THAT HE EVEN FLEW A PLANE IN THE TEXAS AIR GUARD.PLEASE JUST TURN THE PAGE ON THESE WHITE COLLAR CRIMINALS AND LETS MOVE ON, GOOD BYE GEORGE YOUR ONLY USE NOW IS FOR YOUR PICTURE TOBE PUT ON TARGETS SO SPORTS MEN AND WOMAN CAN REALLY SHOW YOU HOW WE CAN HIT THE BULLS EYE.

    January 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Angie-OHIO

    HE & CRAZY cheney are IDIOTS, LIARS, WAR MONGERS,LIARS, WAR CRIMINALS, LOSERS, LIARS. GOOD RIDDANCE TO BAD RUBBISH. AND AS FAR AS THE GOP GOES THEY ARE A BUNCH OF POINTY HOOD WEARING HATERS.

    January 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Brian From Fort Mill, SC

    @Shawn – GA:

    You've given one of the most balanced viewpoints I've seen in months. We need more posts like yours.

    January 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  14. Steve

    SOUTHERN HOTTIE January 12th, 2009 11:26 am ET

    G O P = K K K

    Really?? You do realize that Sen Robert Byrd (DEM-WV) was ACTUALLY in the in Klan, don't you?

    January 12, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. Ariana

    I'm actually impressed with Bush's insight. He's learned something, too bad its all too late.

    January 12, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    well, I don't agree with him on much.......but on this I do.

    January 12, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. REG in AZ

    These quotes seem to accurately point out how stupid, how fixated on his own self-serving views, how just apathetic to others concerns Bush can be. He sounds better when others write his speeches but it doesn't really matter as the focus and mentality has always been the same. Some real sound advise for the Republicans could be, to get in touch with all of the people, with more than just trying to manipulate using different biases, dump your dependence and fixation on the limited few, become more centrist with concern for everyone and reject the dishonest and cocky arrogance of the Bush-Cheney-Rove-Rice-etal era.

    January 12, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Michael, Houston Texas

    GOPloser, that is not fair to say that the GOP is a "white" party and yes I am African American. The problem with the GOP is that they are still stuck in 1950. The world has changed. The idea of conservatism is a thing of the past. For so long the GOP has centered thier ideas around nationalism and with the diversity of America and the racial deminsions shifting from European Americans to African American and Latin Americans, the GOP has to rethink it's approach. I see why you say GOPloser what you say, even though I think it's unfair. The GOP party will have to start paying attention to the needs and the wants of African Americans as well as Latino Americans, which make up the majority now in our political landscape. What we have been seeing is AA and Latinos more engaged in the political process and when you give the appearance that you don't care about what our issues are, how we feel or what we want as well as other Americans, of course we will gravitate to those who at the very least, act like the care. But for so long the GOP as placed it's politcal captiol in those who they felt had a voice which is why people GOPloser feel the way they do. But their are good GOP people out there, but the old guard has overshadowed those in the GOP who want diversity.

    January 12, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Laverne

    In other words, learn to fake it, lie, grin and steal, just so long as others think you can tolerate them, everybody will be happy and we will be back in charge. Give me a break!

    January 12, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. chuck

    THIS IS THE ONLY THANKS I COULD GIVE TO GEORGE BUSH---------HE POLUTED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY LIKE THE AIDS VIROUS ----–I HOPE THEY WILL NEVER RECOVER TO WIN ANOTHER ELECTION. THIS IS THE REAL"MISSION ACCOMPLISH" BY GEORGE BUSH. GEORGE THANKS FOR SCREWING THE REPUBLICAN PARY UP --THIS WAS THE MUSHROOM CLOUD BOMB YOU LANDED ON YOUR PARTY.

    January 12, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  21. J. Dean

    THIS IDIOT, NAMED GEORGE BUSH, SHOULD DISSAPEAR FROM WASHINGTON THE SOONER THE BETTER.
    THE PARENTS OF ALL THOSE U.S. MELITARY PERSONNEL WHO WERE SACRIFICED IN IRAQ FOR THE STUPID DECISION OF GEORGE BUSH ARE STILL WAITING TO HEAR THAT, THE GREATEST MISTAKE THAT THIS IDIOT, NAMED GEORGE BUSH, CIMMITTED WAS TO TAKE OUR YOUNG BOYS, OUR HEROES, TO IRAQ. THAT IS GEORGE BUSH'S GREATEST MISTAKE, AND HE, ONLY GEORGE BUSH, IS THE DIREST CAUSE FOR THE DEATH OF OUR YOUNG BOYS. OVER 4220 MEN AND WOMEN WERE SACRIFICED BECAUSE GEORGE BUSH COMMITTED AND CREATED THE DARKEST PAGES OF OUR HISTORY.
    WHAT AN IDIOT WHO IS STILL TALKING. THOSE PARENTS, FATHERS AND MOTHERS, HUSBANDS AND WIFES, SONS AND DAUGHTERS AND THE INTIRE NATION IS STILL WAITING TO HEAR FROM THIS IDIOT, NAMED GEORGE BUSH, THAT HIS GREATEST MISTAKE WAR HIS DECISION TO GO TO WAR IN IRAQ. THAT HE IS THE ONLY CAUSE FOR THE LOSS OF OVER 4220 AMERICAN HEROES WHO WERE SACRIFICED BECAUSE OF GEORGE BUSH'S MISGUIDED DECISION.
    NOTHING WILL REPLACE THE LOSS OF OUR OVER 4220 YOUNG MAN AND WOMEN WHO DIED AND WHOSE JOYFUL LIVES ENDED BECAUSE OF THIS IDIOT WHO STILL HAS THE COURAGE TO TALK WITHOUT ACCEPTING HIS GREATEST MISTAKE. A MISTAKE THAT WILL GO DOWN IN OUR HISTORY AS THE DARKEST DAYS OF THIS GREAT NATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    January 12, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  22. Objective thinking

    Though as a Ron Paul supporter I think Bush has been wrong on so many important things, I also think that a lot of America and a lot of people who comment on these CNN articles would react to Bush saying "2 + 2 = 4" by saying, "Well if Bush thinks 2 + 2 = 4, then I guess 2 + 2 does NOT equal 4." People are willing to go that far to say Bush is wrong.

    But this is one case where he's right. Now as far as taking his own advice, which a couple people mentioned, I think it's fair to point out that Bush called for legislation that allows illegal immigrants to become legal with relative ease, thus inciting more criticism from his own party than from Democrats. On all the issues that Democrats call him out on, illegal immigration wasn't one of them (unless they were uninformed/ignorant).

    Now again, Bush is a big screw-up, but don't let that stop you from objectively seeing that he's right: the rest of the Republicans should push the message that they are perfectly fine with immigrants.

    Not that this one issue by itself will get them votes. John McCain had more support of immigrants becoming legal than Barack Obama did, yet minority groups including Latinos continued to vote Obama anyway. It's possible, though, that America just never educated themselves to be AWARE that McCain had more of a record of supporting immigration.

    January 12, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  23. Patrick - Indianapolis

    Bush prescribing what is wrong with you is like asking the guy at gas station to treat your cancer.

    January 12, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  24. Don in Albuquerque

    If Obama lets this guy and his cronies slide for torture, illegal wire taps, outing CIA agents..................The list goes on and on. He deserves to serve only four years. AMERICANS want justice!!!! The graves or American and Iraqui dead scream out for justice!

    January 12, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  25. Moody

    Immigration was the only thing Bush was right on. The only moderate view he has. It was everthing else he was so far right on, that destroyed the republican party.

    And now they are going to make it even farther right by electing Sarah Palin as their Queen. Democrats will rule for a very long time.

    William Buckley must be rolling over in is grave to know that the crazies he worked so hard to keep out of the republican party have taken over.

    January 12, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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