May 10th, 2009
01:34 PM ET
9 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. Kelby In Houston Texas

    “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.

    The media is only reporting what they see and hear. And the fact of the matter is that Boss Limbaugh is the de facto leader of the GOP. That's why elected officials bow down before this radio personality. The proof is in their actions. No republican has the guts to stand up to that fat bastard and that is why he leads.

    Evil wins when good people stand by and do nothing

    May 10, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Jenn

    I am sure that Donna Brazile would lovee Meghan McCain to be the face of the Republican Party.
    She is already a Republican in name only – what are the principles she holds that make her a conservative? Such a Democrat Lite would only ensure the continued election of 'Real' Democrats.

    May 10, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  3. mj

    It's about time that the republican party wakes up and realizes that they have to appeal to mainstream America and not the religious right or followers of Rush limbaugh. I used to be a republican interested in conservative economic ideas but am also a social realist who respect s the rights of all people to decide what life style is best for them. We cannot judge or tell others how to live their lives. The republicans have let the southern evangelists run the party and their extreme views turn off mainstream America. Sarah Palin represents them well, uneducated and unrealistic about social issues.

    May 10, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  4. dace

    Well Bill you better talk to the huge egoed drug addict not being the head of the party and naming his little snow billy the 2012 leader – every spineless elected GOPer agrees with his every word and crawls back begging his forgiveness if the utter a thought, word, or idea he doesn't like. And give me a break that mousy little Jindal who has already showed what an idiot he is – and Kyl! I live in AZ Kyl is just another dull right wing ideologue with not one new or original idea other than more tax cuts for the super rich and totally unregulated corporate welfare.

    May 10, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  5. James E. Kelson

    Since when does Bill Bennett have the right to lay claim to GEN David Petraeus as being a Republican? GEN Petraeus refuses to say where he stands politically, has stated he is apolitical and insists he will not run for office. Then again, it's no secret that the Republicans would love to "Draft Petraeus", in the vision of the good ol' days of Eisenhower. Always looking back and never toward a better future...

    May 10, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Robert

    Bill Bennett works for CNN and is just overwhelmed with how pride that he is to be their resident token republican. He also was a McCainiac and thinks Obama is merely a very liberal guy.

    May 10, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. SoSaysSam

    Rash is not going to take this lightly... He will likely make them apologize on Monday in time for the 12 pm news!

    And Palin... If she can put 2 sentences together, she will protest also, after all, she has spent a LOT on cloths for the up coming campaign!

    May 10, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. fred

    yes i agree with bill bennett, the republicans would have to be masochists to support her in a future republican primary.

    May 10, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. RC

    In the long run, Sarah Palin hurt the Republican party and Rush Limbaugh basically blew it up. I don't know a SINGLE Republican friend who takes either seriously, and in fact, they wish both would just go away and shut their fat mouths. Who says Republicans and Democrats can't agree on anything?

    May 10, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Brandon

    The Republican party has branded themselves as the party of intolerance and greed. They seem to be completely out of touch with the majority of Americans. It becomes harder and harder for people to listen to their opinion when all they are used to hearing is negativity. How do you win elections when you base your platform off of alienating a large chunks of people? They need to modernize to remain an option to younger generations, but that would mean giving up on half of "what it means to be a Republican" and starting fresh.

    May 10, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. LaKeela

    Even though I'm a "die hard" Democrat, I can stomach Meghan McCain. She's not a zombie Republican and speaks her mind like myself. Who wants a Stepford-Republican as the face of the party. Mix it up and put someone out front that speaks to and for the masses and not just someone who says what they're told. People connect with individuals, not myopic ceremonial figureheads... Just a thought GOP!

    May 10, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. liz, Montgomery, AL

    The GOP has to make a choice. it can be ruled by the social conservatives or the fiscal/political conservatives, but be can't be both.

    May 10, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Marie Jackson

    I would not count Sarah Palin out. I think she could possibly be the face of the repubs. I actually like her, however I did not vote for her. I think she is smarter than people give her credit for. Keep in mind – she was only campaigning the issues she was told to do. i think she is going to clean up her image and possibly try to moderate. I also think Megan McCain has a future in politics. She is brutally honest like her father used to be.

    May 10, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. sue

    Meghan McCain is most likely a Democrat.
    And Sarah Palin is probably not the face of the Republican Party because she could be the leader of a third party.

    May 10, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. J. Paulie

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin should go back to school or to college or something. She does not have what it takes to be the vice president, let alone to be the president of the United States. Are you kidding me. Sarah Palin for president? She could not even answer some basic, simple questions posed to her by Katie. You republican's ought to be ashamed of yourselves. What are you guys thinking? Do you all think we are a bunch of idots? Don't you? For your information she will never get there.

    May 10, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Dan Kellogg

    As a staunch Democrat, I have to say that Meghan McCain is the sole voice of reason I hear coming from the Republicans. Watch, as soon as she gains any steam , Limbagh, Cheney and all the rest of the old right-wing hardliners will be doing what they do best . . . tearing her apart, and consequently, ensuring their own demise. If "the party of NO" cannot get behind better leaders than they currently support, I'll stand in line to kick dirt on their graves. If, however, someone of Ms. McCains caliber should find her way to the forefront, I'll keep an open mind in future elections. The ball is in their court. If they want to lead, they should show us a leader.

    May 10, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    No, please don't remove our WMDs, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, they are the gift that keeps giving to the Democrat Party. Palin is dumber than dirt and Rush is the captain who keeps sinking the boat.

    May 10, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. Grace

    Great program!

    May 10, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Joe

    If she can't teach her daughter morals. Then how is she going to lead a country? She is a poor excuse to want to be a president of a country

    May 10, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. thank you!

    someone with some sense. she ISNT the future of the GOP. You betcha!

    May 10, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. Salero21

    Is he kidding us. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman is going to be the Republican ticket for 2012. Rush will be Secretary of State. Totally awesome ticket no way in hell they can lost, will be a complete sweep in every State.

    May 10, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. dennisintn

    who the hell is bill bennett? i don't remember anyone by that name doing anything for the republican party during the election cycle. is there someone else hiding behind a mask?

    May 10, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  23. Erik Andersen

    When you provide Bill Bennett with a forum to state that waterboarding isn't torture when we executed Japanese military after the end of WWII for doing the same thing to us makes State of the Union and John King completely uncredible.

    May 10, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Augustine

    I am a Democrat, but I admire Meghan's spirit. She is a free thinker and I would venture to say she admires President Obama, for his approach to governance. She is not afraid to voice her opinions, even though they may not be in step with some of the members of her party. But then again, she is a McCain. You go girl!!!!!!!

    May 10, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Amendment X

    Uh, help me here: we would listen to Donna and Meghan WHY exactly?

    May 10, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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