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. len

    thats the same thing that was said about reagan in '76

    May 10, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Troy Riser

    Bennett doesn't like Sarah Palin? Too bad. Palin doesn't have nearly enough support among hypocritical degenerate gamblers who loudly argue the virtues of virtue between hands.

    May 10, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. cats

    This is not exactly breaking news:
    An old school Republican names a group of men, almost exclusively white men, as best capable of leading the Republican party back. As for Megan McCain, his high opinion of her is right on target, but she says she will never run for office. Who can blame her, after she saw first hand what the Party did to her father after his years of loyal and level headed sevice?

    May 10, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  4. ynot4tony2

    Donna Brazile said: "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.”

    First, why would Republicans take advice from a Democratic strategist? Remember, those same clowns endorsed John McCain, and you can see how well that worked for the conservative cause.

    Second, this woman's track record should be enough to make pundits of any stripes dismiss her advice as the rantings of a loser.

    May 10, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. barbati

    She probably could reinvigorate the GOP, but the timing isn't right yet. The GOP will either have to marginalize the Cheneys and Limbaughs or it will likely continue its implosion into irrelevancy.

    May 10, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. JoeHanson

    I don't think CNN, the 4th rate network, is the future of cable news.

    May 10, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. John, Brooklyn, New York

    Bill Bennett makes me laugh...

    His notion that the Republican Party has deep bench strength is like saying that the break up of the Beatles was fine since the world now has the solo career of Ringo Starr.

    May 10, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. joe Collina

    The future of the Republican Party does NOT involve either Sarah Palin or Rush Linbaugh. They represent the radical fringe of the Republican Party. If Republicans want to remain a viable party, they had better get their butts into the middle of the ring – where the voters are.

    May 10, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Daivie

    Right wing extremists have been very successful in promoting their candidates over the last 30 years; and, as such, it's far too premature to dismiss the possible ascension of Palin. Palin is very much aware of the potential influence of the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh as we move towards the next primaries, which is why she's not making any secret of the fact that she is running for president right now–full bore–with less and less interest in Alaska's well-being. We will be seeing a lot more of Palin in the lower 48 over the next couple of years; and she is the front runner among republicans today. The irony of it all is that, to millions of Americans, she comes off as the most repulsive and grotesque reactionary to seek high office since Spiro Agnew.

    May 10, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Steve

    Allowing Democrat strategist Donna Brazile to help define who the GOP "might look to" is absurd. It's like allowing a follower of Isam to tell me as a Christian who I should "look to." That's Dr. Bennetts point. The media is being allowed to define who and what the GOP should be. That's like permitting the enemy to decide where you should attack and how you should fight and letting them determin the tactics you will employ.
    The GOP allowed its Presidental candidate to chosen under similar circumstances and they continue to listen to the othe side of the isle to tell us what we should be and who we should embrace and what our core principle ought to be.

    May 10, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. yen

    I am not a republican but I can easily vote for Meghan McCain. She makes sense to me. It is not the brand name that matters,it is what she stands for.

    May 10, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. hdrider69

    They're just figuring out Palin is NOT the new face of the GOP? She's not the new face of ANY party.

    May 10, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. charles almon

    Until the Republican stop APOLOGIZING to Rush for alleged slights and faux pas, HE will continue to be the face, (the ass?) of the Republican party. They want it both ways. They won't distance themselves from that buffoon because he reaches a large audience and they want the platform.

    The Republican's large tent is actually Limbaugh's pants.

    May 10, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Steve in Jacksonville, Fl

    The young McCain is quite the refresher. The Republican Party was founded on the belief of small government and little intervention in peoples lives. I don't care to debate where this concept mutated, however, restoring this basic belief structure, dropping the social and moral issues, and fighting for ALL our rights (whether it be UFO-reverse engineered technology, gun rights, abortion rights, BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS), will reach out to people of all people, gay, straight, black, white, atheist, christian, hispanic. We have a few guys at the top running the show, hoarding all the gold and holding back progress for all mankind. We outnumber them, and the sooner you people wake up, the sooner all our lives get better. The truth will win out.

    May 10, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. joseph

    I gotta admitt much as I much as I dislike john and the rest of the republicians Megan is a breath of fresh air. but these old fools would have to step down and not on there lives will they do what is right for country they owe too many favors. We will have to run them out of town!

    May 10, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Lass

    Becky, Please get your facts straight before you tell a lie like that. Look and listen to Palin really said and you will see that is NOT what she said.

    May 10, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |

    There is no future for the GOP As long as Cheney and Limbaugh Run the Party there will be no future for them!

    May 10, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Kevin in NoDak

    Cheney & Windbaugh are calling for Colin Powell to leave the GOP.

    If they don't have room for a patriot like Powell, what's left besides the Palins of the world?

    May 10, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Malcom Z.

    Whether Palin is the future of the party is really a moot point. The Republican base will decide that as time goes on. But Meghan McCain is a legacy mouth that really has no direction and is irrelevant. The MSM likes to focus on her because her negativity creates the image of chaos within the Republican party. This is the agenda of CNN, MSNBC, and the NY Times. Of course Brazile would like her, weight issues aside. Meghan McCain is not a Republican. It's unfortunate that Bennett and other Republicans would even comment on Palin to begin with. Leave her be and we'll in 2011 what the country is like. Palin is definitely relevant and this article and negative opinion reporting/gathering is a testament to that.

    May 10, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. nick

    Bii Bennett is an intelligent, educated man... So´how come he is still supporting the Republican causes? Can he not see the damage being done by Fox News commentators, by Rush Limbaugh, by Newt Gingrich, by Dick Cheney, by has beens like Dick Morris, by Ann Coulter, and many more, of the extreame fringes of his party. Why is he not offering intelligent, sound advice to those who are cutting the middle out of their own party? How can they afford to lose,Specter, Powell, Barr,etc and not see the loss of those who voted and support these individuals? Bill´use your wisdom to bring some light into your party. They are sinking fast and need a strong voice to toss them a life preserver. Good luck Bill

    May 10, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Richard

    Wait till the wolves get to Megan McCain like they did to Sweet Sarah, George Weasel / Cheney set back that party light years

    May 10, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Ronald Schwartz

    Palin is better then any oe else the republicans have Tuff,defends the seconda amendment and if family orientated. Every one else is just political.

    May 10, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Marc

    Bennet isn't, primarily, a Republican or a great thinker. Job One is as a talking head, and his job is to keep his jaws flapping continuously. This results in a great deal of nonsense. See, for example, his stunningly and frequently inaccurate commentary, hundreds of hours of it–for CNN–during election year 2008. Nothing he says should be regarded as more than noise. And when he's right? Well, a blind squirrel finds a chestnut once in awhile.

    May 10, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. Richard

    We have seen the face of the "new" republicant party and it is not pretty. Its also foul-mouthed, utterly racist, mean spirited, homophobic, espousing hatred, redundant and dumb. Did I leave out anything that describes either Limbaugh or Cheney?

    May 10, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. dennisintn

    palin did not say god wanted us to go to war with iraq. her actual speech is on youtube if you want to hear the truth. palin has never tried to force her religious views on anyone. she says what her views are and lets everyone else make up their own mind.

    May 10, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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