May 10th, 2009
01:34 PM ET
5 years ago

I don't think Palin is the future of the GOP, Republican says

Bill Bennett, a Republican, and Donna Brazile, a Democrat, expressed very different views Sunday about who might be good candidates to represent the Republican Party in the public's mind.
Bill Bennett, a Republican, and Donna Brazile, a Democrat, expressed very different views Sunday about who might be good candidates to represent the Republican Party in the public's mind.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Prominent Republican Bill Bennett took issue Sunday with what he called the “media’s focus” on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Asked about the Republican Party’s increasingly public struggle to define itself and identify new leaders after eight years of the George W. Bush administration, Bennett said the press should be less myopic in its coverage of the GOP.

“One of the things the media could do – some of the media – is to move the debate off Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh,” Bennett, a CNN Contributor, said on State of the Union. “This is probably not the future of the Republican Party,” added Bennett.

“You don’t think Gov. Palin’s the future of the Republican Party?” queried CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

“I do not,” said Bennett. “It could talk about a Paul Ryan or a Mike Pence. It could talk about a Bobby Jindal. It could talk even about a John Kyl or a David Petraeus. You know, there’s a lot of talent in this party.”

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile has her own ideas about who the GOP might look to, to help find its way out of the political wilderness.

“They’re having an internal discussion about what kind of a party would it like to be in the 21st century,” Brazile told King.

“I ran into Meghan McCain last night. And I have to tell you, Bill, she’s refreshing, she’s honest and she’s a face that could really help them galvanize young people and independents.”

The young McCain also had kind words for the Democratic strategist and former campaign manager for Al Gore.

Brazile “said she would kick some *ss for me if anyone attacks my weight again,” Meghan McCain tweeted Saturday night while attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington. “Who doesn't love her?,” the daughter of Arizona Sen. John McCain rhetorically asked the Twitterverse.


Filed under: Bill Bennett • GOP • Meghan McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    Bill is lost and meghan will probably change parties very soon because the base of the republican party .doesn't know what to do but complain threaten and lie

    May 10, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    Bennett didnt have the guts to say anything about Limbaugh,Hes just another chicken little,afraid of the boss.

    May 10, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Jinny Lee

    The Republican brain is extinct.

    May 10, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. cindy

    I'm a democrat. I do believe right now Megan McCain is a very smart woman, and republican. She has some good ideas. To bad the Republican party pays her no attention. Keep on going Megan, you are a good voice for your party!

    May 10, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. BW

    Of all the qualified republicans to run for president why do they keep Sarah Palin in the forefront? It's going to make the American people's choice for president next election a no-brainer!!! I am sick and tired of hearing about this women and her dysfunctional family. She single handedly switched my vote from McCain to Obama.

    May 10, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. cindy

    I'm a democrat. I do believe right now Megan McCain is a very smart woman, and republican. She has some good ideas. To bad the Republican party pays her no attention. Keep on going Megan, you are a good voice for your party! Bill Bennett is right, Sarah Palin needs to go away. She's a joke for their party. People a not listening to her, just enjoying the entertainment value she brings daily!!

    May 10, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. Larry

    The Democrats are afraid of Sarah because she speaks the "plain truth",she is not anywhere as good at reading a teleprompter as Obama,but she has a way of firing up the people that do work and pay their taxes,not the people that want and expect entitlements,those people will always be Democrats,but the average American will respond to truth ,justice,and the American way,not Socialism.

    May 10, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Bill P in RI

    I certainly hope that alin is the future of the republicanParty.
    She is endlessly entertaining in a car wreck sort of way and with her as the standard bearer for the Republicans she will ensure that we never have to live through another 8 years of incompitance in the White House.
    Sarah Palin is the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party in a long time!

    May 10, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Jake

    but so many of us Democrats are looking to her and wanting her to be the future of the Republican party!

    May 10, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Now they'll say Bennett is a Democrat.

    May 10, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Aaron

    We're all very hopeful for a Sarah "Moose" Palin and Little Bobby Jindal ticket. The very idea had us holding our ribs and gasping for air near the end of 2008. To have it become a reality would meet 98% of all America's entertainment needs for 2012.

    May 10, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. elleestmal

    Did he say David Paetrus? I thought he was still in the military. This is late breaking news!

    May 10, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. Andy

    The GOP will win when and only when the get back to being fiscal conservatives. Bush set the party back 20 years on his spending increases. And stop being all or nothing on social issues. If anything, gives states their rights back to determine social issues(abortion, gay marriage) even though thise issues give me major tired head.

    May 10, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. 60's survivor

    yes Meghan may have a future in the political scene. at least she has gumption and appears to me a brain!! and she appears to be able to say something other than "NO!!".

    May 10, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. KLS

    I agree, the GOP needs to move away from Palin and Limbaugh as their new leaders or there won't be any hope of bringing back moderates to the party. But then again maybe they don't want to move to the middle but instead move more to the right.
    There are BIGGER issues than tax cuts for the rich, a woman's right to choose, gay marriage and back ground checks for guns facing our great nation.

    May 10, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Ken in NC

    I'm a 61 year old Democrat and I must admit that Meghan McCain is a breath of fresh air to the Republican Party. The problem is that so many of the Old Guard are not willing to give into change even if it could mean a rebirth of their party or even the survival of the party.

    That is exactly what got the Republican Party where it is today. Even one of the Old Guard (General Powell) sees the new blood that is being drained from the ranks of the party is because of the stead fast unyielding of the Old Guard. The Republican Party reminds me of the old Edsel cars of 1958, 1959 and 1960 that refused to change it's body style and look where it is NOT today.

    May 10, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Palin couldn't even get elected governor of Alaska again.... she's a LOSER.

    May 10, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Deborah

    I'm not fan of Sarah Palin's but I do find it interesting that Bennett could only list MALE names as who he thought might represent the future of the Republican Party.

    That in and of itself is one of the reasons why the Republican Party is becoming and will continue to be, irrelevant. How can they expect to represent ALL the people when they forget more than half of the people by excluding a gender??

    May 10, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. JonDie

    "You know, there’s a lot of talent in this party.”

    From 2001 to 2009 NO talent of any kind has been seen in the Republican Party.

    May 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. JustDerek

    Meghan McCain is awesome. Although I am a democrat, a conservative democrat more precisely, if Meghan McCain was actually reflective of what the Republican party is like, I might be convinced to jump over.

    May 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. Obama Network

    The media hopes she is the future of the GOP.

    May 10, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    Finally somebody with guts enough not to worry about what that woman and the talking radio head think or do.
    It still won't help the GOP though. They have dug themselves such a hole that it will take years/decades to get back on top, if ever.

    May 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. IMHO

    The media wouldn't focus on Palin and Limbaugh if they kept their mouths shut and didn't keep putting their white trashy selves in the spotlight.

    May 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. David Dee

    Meghan McCain? Only if the Repugnickan party kicks out all the old angry rich white guys and gets some new ideas

    May 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Rich

    Wait a minute! Didn't Bennett get the message! Rush Limbaugh controls the Republican Party. We have heard the Republican politicians grovel before the mighty Rush, and they dare not offend him. Truth is, the Republicans have sold their soul to right wing talk radio, and right wing talk radio controls the so-called Republican base. Rush and his band of misfits can't make or break the Democrats, but they sure can make or break the Republican Party, because they can deny them their political base by their rabble rousing using the usual smear tactics. So in the end, the Republicans must bow to the mighty Rush.

    I think Bennett is 180 degrees off the mark. Right wing talk radio loves Sara Palin. She'[s a shoo in for right now. Until they change their mind. If the Republican party is to survive, Sara Palin, or someone like her, is it's future, unfortunately.

    Oh, by the way, watch your back Bill. Rush is probably aming a lance at it right now.

    May 10, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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