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. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    To see Bush blaming the tone in Washington on others was enough to make me gag. His "my way or the highway" approach to everything, combined with his "if you don't support my war, you are against the troops and are un-American" stances brought the negative tone in Washington to a fever pitch. He has done nothing but divide Americans in order to achieve his own political means. The tone in Washington is directly related to the tone set from the top.

    January 12, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Mary

    Follow me as I destroy the party, that is what the advice show have been. I want to see some reporting on when Bush got elected he was going to be the uniter and not the divider. He united the rich people and divided the races and poor people. When will the healing begin.

    January 12, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. It sounds good

    Maggie is one of those revisionist historians.

    January 12, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. 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 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  5. Maggie from Virginia

    Objective Thinking – Lincoln belonged to the republican party. GOP is a nickname derived after the civil war. Anymore questions?

    January 12, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. CanIcallyouJoe

    Shawn-GA @ 11:34
    "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."

    Perhaps you don't understand that they work for us? We, the people (who provide their salaries), have a right to know that they are doing the right and legal thing to solve the problems we have hired them to solve. If they do not do this, and we find out, we get angry – very very angry – and rightfully so.

    History is written, sure, and then it is rewritten. We are angry and want Bush to be seen as he is when the time comes to write and rewrite that history. We want it to be correct in showing that Bush was the most dismal of any failure we've ever had in the White House. (and without even being elected, no less!)

    January 12, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. flybyshoeing

    For you information, the Republican Party was formed in 1854 in Kansas. The GOP which actually stands for "Gallant Old Party" was created in the 1870's.

    January 12, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Louis

    ADVICE TO THE GOP–DON'T NOMINATE MORONS FOR PRESIDENT.

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Ernie in LA

    Obama is now saying that he is not going to be able to do everything that he promised in his campaign. He lied to win and the majority fell for it. Obama probably knew some of this as time was going by but would never change his promises of such great things. He knew what Bush was leaving for him a long time ago. He just thinks he smokes cigarettes now. Wait until the pressures really start. A real great example for his kids.

    January 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. mike

    Boy, this Bush guy was a genius. Think about, got away with torture, got away with cherry-picking intelligence to start the Iraq war, got away with stealing an election ...the list goes on. Honestly, could you have got away with all that?

    January 12, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. AnaB

    James in Nebraska

    @Shawn – GA

    Whoa, whoa…whoa…
    We don't need your common sense and intelligent posts here. These blogs are for the neolibs, neocons, trolls, and those who grab a bag of popcorn and watch the show.

    Seriously though, we do need more posts like this. The kids on here are getting pretty bad. It's pretty sad there are so many one sided people.

    *************************************************

    I agree with you both. The hate on these blogs from all sides is sad.

    January 12, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  12. Ken

    Well, that's a nice fairytale Mr. soon-to-be-x-preseident. If only you had run your administration that way. And, as the leader of your lame party, if only you had instructed the congress and others in your party to behave that way. But you didn't. You ruled in a hyper-partisan vacuum, and the mindless neo-lemmings that followed you were trained like Pavlov's dog to continue on in your hyper-partisan footsteps.

    Many pundits are saying we need to all come together now - I'm all for that, except I will not let down my guard against the mindless few that don't have the brains to see what harm they've done to the country, those who want to continue down the failed path of the last 8 years, and who cheer on these CNN blogs for Mr. Obama's and America's future failure. I have no taste for a reconciliation with this kind of rightwing ilk, and my foot will be on their throats at every turn.

    January 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. California Gold

    This is a particularly poignant quote of President Bush: "I'll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office." –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

    So applicable.

    January 12, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    GOP had a better plan for immigrants. Why I chose the republican candidate. They seem to understand economic issues holistically better than democrats. They just did not do a good job of selling it in the campaign. Democrats had no idea really. The still don't have a detail plan as reported. Just hoping adjectives like 'bold, swift etc.' work in sale speech for their stimulus plan .

    January 12, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    In order to institute change, some things must die and the GOP is dying because they can't fight change and they aren't willing to embrace change.

    January 12, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. RealityKing

    No worries.. Obama and his 111th band of liberal spenders are clearly reminding America why free spending democrats are worse than even free spending republicans.

    January 12, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Dieter Zerressen, Denver, CO

    Immigration wasn't the biggest issue. The fact that Bush said that shows what an idiot he truly is. The Bush Wars, letting 9-11 happen, tax cuts for the rich, the religious bigotry, the taxcut-and-overspend budgets, getting rid of oversight, THAT'S what lost it for you clowns and you're too stupid to see it. Great, keep doing what your doing and there will be 70 Democratic senators soon.

    January 12, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. DJ in TX

    President is right.........(I must need my head examined). Pople, he's not stating the GOP IS a party for only whites, but the perception is just that. As a Democrat, I don't want the the GOP to "give up" on their conservative principals, but they do need to not be so idealogical. The GOP likes to believe that everyone is on an even playing field. Unfortunately that's not entirely true yet. Think about this. Slavery was abolished in 1865, right? But it took another 100 years (1965 Civil Rights Act) before ALL laws were abolished that prevented Afircan Americans from voting – 100 years. That's only 43 years ago (I was born that year). Do we REALLY think America can completely change that fast?

    Anyway, GOP, this is one time you probably should listen to President Bush. Don't abandon your principles, but stop being so idealogical and learn to listen to other ideas.

    Tax cuts are NOT the answer to everything:-).

    January 12, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  19. Maggie from Virginia

    it sounds good – I'm no historian, but I do know that the republican party did not adopt the name "GOP" until after the civil war. Before and during the war, it was just plain old republican.

    January 12, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Bea

    @Realityking....please get a reality check....the G.O.P has always done a good job at messing up what the democrats have built up.....please live up to your name.

    January 12, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Extremists are funny

    My popcorn's getting stale.

    January 12, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. Katie in Pennsylvania

    Maggie from Virginia-Okay, but you made it sound like the party itself wasn't founded until after the war.

    January 12, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. RMGofCO

    Thank you Shawn from GA ~ I am an Obama supporter but we have all got to get a grip as you stated. Let's move on ~ stop with the hatefulness and support our next president and his admiistration. We should also question him and the administration when appropriate.

    I hope the Republican party will regroup but until they do...let's just look to the future.

    January 12, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Paul in FL

    This is the genius that engineered the multiple disasters facing the country and he is now trying to list the mistakes he made. Sorry...we don't have that much paper.

    January 12, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Humored in Texas

    Taking advice from Bush is like getting a facial from a leper!!!!

    January 12, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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