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. John, NC

    Why is the media so obsessed with the Palins? Why can't it just leave these people alone?

    May 10, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. David Newport, OR

    Next thing you know, Cheney and Rush will be saying this dude is a Democrat and a non-issue in terms of the Party as a whole.

    May 10, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Kassim

    Meghan should run for an office.

    May 10, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. scotto

    Yeah, there ya go,,,,Sarah Palin AND Meghan McCain on the same ticket! Can't lose! You betcha!

    May 10, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Erik Andersen

    Hopefully, the Republican party in its current form has no future. Their "ideas" have failed to secure any kind of a future for this country. Sarah Palin is a very limited politician with no ideas to offer.

    May 10, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Bill ~ Down on the Bayou

    That's great, that frigging Bennett a CNN contributor bashing Limbaugh and Palin. He names several people and suggests "there's a lot of talent in this party." Is this frigging idiot suggesting that Ms. Palin is not talented?
    This party can get along fine without Bennett, colin powell, and we certanily don't need suggestions from a brazile.

    May 10, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. John

    Palin is a devisive individual who plays to the far right. The GOP needs to move on!

    May 10, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Jo

    It's certainly nice to hear a Republican disavow right wing extremists like Rush and Palin, and I believe that Mr. Bennett means what he says.

    However, for the American people to actually start trusting the GOP again, there needs to be more that one or two leading Republicans' voices similarly raised, and some indication in the actions of Republicans in Congress that they want to govern and not just be obstructionists.

    May 10, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. American Idol hater

    Ron Paul has changed the whole landscape of the Republican party. All the old guard will have to be purged

    May 10, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  10. Eric Beck

    Wow. Meghan's getting more and more traction. Impressive young lady.

    May 10, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  11. btinc

    If you want the media to take the focus off of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, maybe you should ask Dick Cheney to stop appearing on shows like Face the Nation saying that "If I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I'd go with Rush Limbaugh. My take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican."

    It sure is fun watching the GOP talk itself into isolated irrelevance.

    May 10, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  12. Louisiana Man

    What did you expect Bill Bennett to say about Sarah Palin. Silly question. Silly article.

    May 10, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. Lynda

    I would dearly love, as a democrat to have the Republican party stick with Sarah Palin and assure us win after win. However, having listened to the very intelligent Meghan McCain I hope for the parties sake they take a good hard look at this young woman. She's bright, she's articulate and she is not divisive. I had high respect for her father until he actually ran and lost all my respect.

    May 10, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. Jonathan

    Again, why are the media elites ignoring Ron Paul – literally the only Republican who has sparked a mass movement among young people? Why are they so uncomfortable admitting that he holds a lot of traction in the party? He gets absolutely no recognition by the Republican establishment, its ridiculous.

    May 10, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. Mike Dargan

    When Rush Limbaugh spanks the GOP National Chair for contravention of dogma, that's news and the journalists are obligated to cover it. News media do not "make" news, they "cover" it. And the news is that Palin and Limbaugh are the heart and soul of the GOP.

    May 10, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. John

    Bill Bennett is wrong on this. Palin is the only Republican leader that has the charisma and experience to pull a large crowd in every campaign stop. She has a great future. Forget about Jindal. Pawlenty and all the others that some pundits are trying to push. It is not the media that will determine the right candidate for the Republican. It is the American people that will do that. Palin does touch the American people. Time will equip her on both domestic and foreign affairs.

    May 10, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  17. HH

    Dear Donna, please tell us exactly what the GOP is in need of and pepper it with all the wisdom you imparted to Al Gore that made him President. One more thing, you and Megan McCain are both fat pigs that need to stay away from the buffet lines......

    May 10, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Donnygull

    I noticed how fast Bennett's tune started to change during election night coverage. He knows who butters the bread and thou he is yet another fat white rich liar , he can at least spot a buffoon like Pallin and call her out. Congrats Bill you just moved up one notch out of the GOP pit of offal.

    May 10, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. pete at the beach

    the heavy morals guy who gambled away 6 million??? Is that the future??

    May 10, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. I used to like CNN but not anymore!

    Sarah Palin was a nobody from nowhere until McCain put her front and center! Up until that point I had never even heard the name Sarah Palin. But thanks to the MSM's (yes CNN, that means you to) infatuation with this irrelevant, imbecile I'm forced to hear all about her on a daily basis, everything she says, does, thinks, and what she has on it just never ends! How is it that the MSM can think that she actually matters or is even remotely relevant to any thinking adult when nobody outside of Alaska ever heard of her before McCain "puked" her up into our faces just a little over 6 short months ago?

    May 10, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  21. Saint Genesius

    See, here is the irony and the hypocrisy of the Republicans like Bennett –on one hand they attack the "drive-by media" for not being broad enough it its coverage of the GOP's woes. Then Bennett says the media should not focus on people like Palin and Limbaugh. They can't have it both ways here.

    May 10, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  22. Alice L.

    Meaghan McCain is dope. She is not the future of the GOP and in fact, until ten minutes ago, was registered as an independent. As for her feud with Ann Coulter, Ann was correct to ignore Meaghan, who is a twit.

    May 10, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. marcus2

    Bill Bennet is correct. Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh are extremists and pitch their message in a hateful way. It fires up and delights the20% but that's about it.

    May 10, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. rbinny

    The GOP's problem is the message not the person delivering it.

    May 10, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. JoshS

    The GOP spent 8 years almost unanimously backing everything Bush did, and then turned around and complained that there was too much media focus on Bush and his record. After Palin was nominated she had overwhelming GOP support and many pointed to her as the future of the party, but now it seems there is too much media attention on Palin.

    The small minority of Republicans who didn't back Bush, Palin, and their vision for the country should start a new political party that better represents their beliefs instead of complaining about media focus on Bush and Palin, the Republican's chosen leaders.

    May 10, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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