January 12th, 2009
10:09 AM ET
5 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. Tom in S.A.

    Angie in Ohio,
    Bring facts, not hatred ignorant comments you've been reading on blogs for years, you show your true colors.

    January 12, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Mick in Mesa

    The GOP is dying because most repuglicons are living in the 50's. As they die off maybe – just maybe – the party will survive. Doubtful though – to many political evangelicals in the US and they in turn will keep the GOP alive but always in the minority...

    January 12, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Steve

    Republican Party will never recover. There will be a rush to retire in 2010 just like there was in 2008.
    People are already in the process of form ing a completely new party to replace the Republican Party which Bush has destroyed.

    January 12, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. lovable liberal

    Bush telling anyone to be broad-minded is like the Abu Ghraib abusers telling their relief to respect the prisoners.

    January 12, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  5. Bea

    Finally Bush admits what i have thought all along. The G.O.P is the rich white people click. but i guess they didn't realize that AMerica belongs to every race, colot, creed...you name it, it is America. Thank you democratic party for making it possible for everyone to get a chance. Clinton and Obama would not have made it as far as they did if they were in the current G.O.P

    January 12, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Lisa M

    Here is my suggestion to the GOP.

    Ditch the Bible thumpers.
    Get some real conservatives.
    Get back to basics

    January 12, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  7. john

    isnt it ironic how many poeple dont realize that if it hadnt been for the GOP the south would still be in the slave trade buissness. However, the civil war would have never happened either, so I guess it depends on your knowlege of History.

    January 12, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Jordan in San Marcos, TX

    ...like a psychologist performing heart surgery...

    January 12, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. Dave

    Sorry, but this party will come back only when the neo-cons are run out of it. They have taken over and turned into something that no longer resembles conservatism.

    January 12, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. William, from Cali!

    The Republicans will be heard from again...No doubt! It's just the democRATS......will be in the "HOT SEAT", now! 1/20/2009, is gaining on you It's your turn......What are you going to do???????? We shall see, sooner than later! Good luck for all our sake!

    January 12, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  11. Lori

    For once, Bush makes sense. The problem is... if the Republicans now pretend to 'like' people of color it will be disingenuous.and everyone will know that they are just doing it for votes (which will be the case). People don't like being patronized- if the GOP dislikes Mexicans, Blacks, homosexuals, etc. they like a leopard cannot change their spots, and the rest of us will see through it. The GOP is a 'Whites only' party and I for one do not want to be a part of that racism.

    January 12, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  12. Whats left in your wallet?

    This is like have successful cancer surgery,it feels great to know hes leaving.

    January 12, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  13. Franky

    I just wanna say that if the GOP betrayed our president during the campaign, you think they are gonna listen to him?? The GOP only care about themselves, they don't know nothing about feelings and emotion, they gotta work on that. And in my opinion, they gotta work on some character issues. This is the same party that praised Senator McCain because he selected Gov Palin, and now they don't give him the recognition for it. They are slow, they don't realize that they contradict themselves. One minute they are praising one another and another minute they are criticizing one another. One minute Gov Palin tells her story after the election, another minute she's blaming the system that elected our beloved President 8 years ago. Another minute she tells her side and another minute she wants to tell her story. Like I said a long time ago...

    You have a major identity crisis. Something is terrible wrong with you guys. You don't care, why?? Because if we don't care, then you don't...GOP, we've been in this game A LONG TIME! We were once a Red State in case you don't remember...think GOP, think!!

    January 12, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  14. Ron in Missouri

    I wanted to be more active in politics but I found out that to be in the GOP you must be two of the following if not all three: White, Christian and make over 100k a year. I have never been in a room with so much hate as when I went to a county GOP meeting. Its sad we need two parties in our system for checks and balances. RIP GOP

    January 12, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. IndiePA

    As usual, the words out of his mouth are BS. If he and any of the other members of Congress of either party were listening, the message is NOT "we don't like immigrants". The message IS that ILLEGAL immigrants are showing no respect for the laws of the U.S. and SHOULD NOT be granted amnesty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enforce the laws as they exist. Any employer using ILLEGALS should be given an immense fine. Begin to backcharge the U.S. financial aid to Mexico with the billions of dollars of costs incurred by the American taxpaying citizens for healthcare, education and incarceration of the ILLEGALS. Go back to Texas, Dubya. We've had more than enough!

    January 12, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Tony

    Advice from BUSH????????????????????

    What a joke!

    January 12, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  17. mb

    I was kinda proud of President Bush today. How he stood up to the msm and everyone. It was like a weight off his shoulders, and although I haven't read it, he also admitted to have stopped drinking. I really think he has grown up in the last eight years and I can appreciate the praises, support and happiness for PE Obama and his family.

    I really wish he (Pres. Bush) and his family well.
    May God bless them and may God Bless America.

    January 12, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Dawn

    Go away quietly, do not deregulate or you have over a billion people on you a@#. Do not drill on lands that is our Natural parks or you will have over a billion people on your a@#, and you need to tell the American People that Global Warming is indeed man made, and last but not least, study the laws, they do pertain to you.

    January 12, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. chuck

    GEORGE BUSH IS A PATHOLOGICAL LIAR.LET ME BREAK THIS DOWN SO THAT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THIS CLAIM BY ME---–GEORGE BUSH BELIEVES WHAT HE DID WAS 100% RIGHT AND IF HE HAD ANOTHER CHANCE HE WOULD DO IT EXACTLTY IN THE SAME MANNER. I CALL ON GEORGE BUSH TO CHECK HIMSELF IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION IMMEDIATELY AND DO SOME DRUG REHAB ALSO. THIS IS SAD TO SAY BUT THIS MAN IS NFG.

    January 12, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. I'm Not Missing The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    George Bush, our own misunderestimated "illegal" immignorant.

    January 12, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. coming together

    We need to move on as a nation from party polotics and see what we can do as individuals to change our country. After 9/11 we all came together. Will it take another tragedy for that to happen again? We need to come together as communities. We have schools that can't by toilet paper much less educate our kids. We have homes and churches in foreclosure. We have families being separated as dad leaves to find work while mom and the kids move in with family. If we don't come together, volunteer, US & Municipal savings bonds to finance governments instead of foriegn money, we will never make it to the America we were or could be.

    January 12, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Eric

    Well at least he knows part of the reason that his ratings are in the crapper, mainstream Republicans can't stand his position on ILLEGAL immigration.

    January 12, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PRESIDENT BUSH,

    PLEASE SAY A PRAYER FOR OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!!

    ALLOT OF AMERICANS (OBAMA SUPPORTERS) BLAME PRESIDENT BUSH FOR EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY AND WILL CONTINUE TO BLAME PRESIDENT BUSH FOR YEARS TO COME.

    THE FACTS ARE THE ECONOMY GOES UP AND DOWN IN CYCLES AND MOST AMERICANS LIVE OVER THERE BUDGET!!!

    FRAUD IS ANOTHER PROBLEM WHICH NEEDS TO BE HANDLED!!
    UNTIL THE CROOKS ARE PUT IN PRISON IN THIS COUNTRY CRIME WILL PAY VERY WELL!!!!!!

    THE HUISSAIN OBAMA SUPPORTERS WILL BLAME BUSH FOR EVERYTHING NO MATTER WHAT OBAMA DOES WRONG AND THATS REALLY A SHAME.

    THANK YOU PRESIDENT BUSH FOR KEEPING OUR COUNTRY SAFE AND ENJOY YOUR RETIREMENT YOU DESERVE IT!!!!!

    January 12, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Justin

    @shawn ga

    Like you know whats going on. History will look unfavorably on this Bush neocon error. The GOP is the party for the ignorant. Shawn did you get your copy of the song Barrack the Magic Negro? Please. I hope the grand OLD party is dumped onto the ash heap of history along with Whig and Fedaralist party.

    January 12, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. coming together

    John
    on your slavery comment.....................Lincoln was a Republican. Blacks started voting democrat this century and southern democrats became southern republicans. Let us leave all that behind and work together though. Together we stand/ divided we fall. we can disagree without falling out surely. find common ground and work from there

    January 12, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.