Weber to Republicans: Be more like the Gipper
July 22nd, 2011
02:37 PM ET
3 years ago

Weber to Republicans: Be more like the Gipper

Washington (CNN) - Conservative Republicans love to invoke the name of Ronald Reagan, the icon of GOP purity, in the eyes of many.

But as the debt ceiling stalemate drags into the weekend, former Republican Congressman Vin Weber is urging the party's present-day rank-and-file to be more like Reagan - and that means compromising.

Listen to Constantini's interview with Rep. Weber:

Download: race.08.html


Weber, now a GOP consultant in Washington, tells CNN Radio, for the good of the party, House Republicans, especially those elected in the 2010 midterms, need to remember history. He knows. He was there.

"Reagan typically, also was a shrewd political leader. I think that the Republicans in the House of Representatives, who came here with all the right ideals … need, if I can use a phrase that would seem counterintuitive, to rise to the level of politics."

In his day, President Reagan, facing a Democratically controlled Congress, was forced to compromise, including on some tax hikes.

Weber says that as the debt ceiling face-off has dragged on for weeks, he's had occasions to speak with some House members. His message?

"It's easier to simply stake your ground and say, 'I'm not going to move from here.' But if you're actually going to try to accomplish your objectives, you've got to wade into the political thicket."

But of course, playing politics and compromising are what many freshmen members, particularly those aligned with the tea party movement, vowed they'd never do once they arrived on Capitol Hill.

"These are people that are extraordinarily principled. They came here, in their view, with a mission to save the country from economic collapse," Weber says.

"What I've tried to emphasize to them is that in order to accomplish their goals, they need to be ready to engage more politically, than they have now. That seems counterintuitive to a lot of these newer members."


Filed under: Congress • Debt • Deficit • Republicans
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    Intelligence and common sense are counter-intuitive to these folks( the Tea Party freshman). Ideology makes your decisions easy, but reality has a way of rendering ideology impotent. Its too bad they seem to crap on experience and wisdom of people who've been through this sort of thing before. I hope enough of them listen to people like Weber.

    July 22, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. sammieb51

    Yeah - he only raised the national debt by ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SIX PERCENT (186%). We need a guy like that now don't we. Busted the Unions and it has been downhill since ..... how is that "trickle down" working for you.

    July 22, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. A real American

    More like Reagan? How? Like giving amnesty to 7 million illegal aliens? Like raising taxes to get out of a recession? Like selling arms to Iran? Reagan was a socialist!

    July 22, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Impossible for Republicans to be like Reagan when they have the stinch of GWB, Cheney/Halliburton et al, Karl Rove et al, Koch Brothers, etc. swarming them like buzzards with money.

    July 22, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. Democrat Class Warfare & Race Baiting - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Compromising on a non-solution that kicks the can down the road yet again does the country NO GOOD. Passing a balanced budget amendment is what over 70% of Americans want, and demand is not an unreasonable request. Unfortunately, the far left Democrats have no intention of letting this country live within its means. They intend to bankrupt the country as fast as they possibly can. The American people will have to finish cleaning the rest of the Democrats out of the Senate, House and especially the Whitehouse if fiscal sanity is ever to return to Washington.

    July 22, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Teabaggers are unhinged like Allen West. Weber and Reagan are RINOs to them. The Wall street masters are making sure that the debt ceiling is raised. The teabaggers wiil know who really owns the GOBP.

    July 22, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. T'sah from Virginia

    [Weber to Republicans: Be more like the Gipper]
    COMPROMISE is the answer and definitely the clipper
    "It's easier to simply stake your ground and say..."
    'I'm not going to move from here..." HELL NO – NO WAY!!!

    July 22, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    Oh my God ! Are those teleprompters next to His Highness !

    July 22, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. logic in LA

    Yes, PLEASE be like Regan- when he lowered taxes the top level went to 50%- he understood the country needed income to operate and that a minimum wage tax base was not a logical way to run the country. He understood social programs were necessary to help those in need. He understood the government should stay out of private lives. He also knew how to stand firm for what was right.
    Ronnie was more a Democrat than the clowns in Washington now and would have only winced at what the Republican party has become.

    July 22, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  10. TomInRochNY

    Yeah, they just don't get it. Tell me something I don't know.

    July 22, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. A SURPLUS = REVENUES - EXPENDITURES

    These people are myopic. They are arrogant and they feel privaledged. Otherwise they wouldn't even think that they have a chance to force their way on the majority. The Democratic Senate needs to neuter their arrogance through their majority vote - as demonstrated on the C/C/B bill [which was sorely lacking any details]. Over time the reality of divided government will restore balance.

    It will take time for them to learn that lesson though. The president needs to veto every debt ceiling bill EXCEPT a simple, 2 sentence version that raised the limit by $2.7T. To do anything else will ENCOURAGE these GOPTp'ers. The President has the power, through the 14th Ammendment to protect the nation's economy from any dissruption and he's going to have to use it. Otherwise he will alter the balance of power in the Congress and will face other demands from the TEA Party hostage takers.

    July 22, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Republican Robber Baron

    The TRUTH is Reagan and our grandfathers' Republican Party would be ashamed of the Right-Wing extremists and Riff Raff that has hijacked the GOP agenda. Compromise on a routine basis, raised taxes 11 times and even Nixon invested heavily into Social programs that the current wingnuts would label as "Socialist". Good job Weber...time to stop the insanity peddled by the far right nutjobs.

    July 22, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Ronald Reagan and Bill Clintons work with decent politicians now politicians love camera and name calling (calling a woman your not lady)
    2010 taught us a lesson angry vote never produces good result

    July 22, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. 4merRepubCT

    But of course, playing politics and compromising are what many freshmen members, particularly those aligned with the tea party movement, vowed they'd never do once they arrived on Capitol Hill. "These are people that are extraordinarily principled. They came here, in their view, with a mission to save the country from economic collapse," Weber says.
    _____________________________________________________

    Does that mean they'll vote to raise the debt ceiling? At this point, that's the best way to save the country from imminent economic self-destruction. Or do their principles only include theoretical proselytizing, and reject actually doing anything helpful?

    July 22, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    In his day, President Reagan, facing a Democratically controlled Congress, was forced to compromise, including on some tax hikes.
    -------------
    They were not tax hikes as much as they were corrections for overzealous tax cuts. Cuts that allowed Reagan to become the standard bearer of deficit spending. He doubled the national debt during his first term, and triped it by the end of his second term. Almost forget, his massive cuts were followed by extended recessions, just like GWB tax cuts.

    July 22, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. vet in texas

    Reagan, the former democrat turned republican
    Reagan, the former UNION BOSS
    Reagan, the provider of amnesty for illegals
    Reagan, the raiser of taxes
    Reagan, the arms provider to Iran (yes that Iran)
    Reagan, the armer of South American rebels who are now the gang MS-13
    Reagan, the former "Hollywood Elite"
    boy, if I replaced the name Reagan with the name Obama for the above people would be forming up in the desert heat wanting their country back.......Amazing.

    July 22, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. sue

    To bad they won't take your advice and do what is right for the country instead of their Party or for the Tea Party....if our government is going to survive, if the people of this country are going to survive, if we are ever going to get this country back on it's feet, it's going to take compromise on the part of the Republican party instead of their agenda of NO NO NO and their Hard Headed Coarse of trying to make this President FAIL....what they are trying to do to this president will do the opposite and cause each of them to FAIL and Democrats will win back the House and Keep the Senate and the WH......so the Republicans better start showing some level headedness on their part....they are only hurting themselves..,

    July 22, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. vet in texas

    "House Republicans, especially those elected in the 2010 midterms, need to remember history."
    ===============
    they can't remember history, because years and years before they ever thought to run, they were spoon fed "others' version of history, the current debt ceiling gaggle is proof of that and the talking points of virtually all current GOP candidates, "fair and balanced news", and the EIB network and their insenuations, misleading facts, and highly paid opinions are truly not factual.

    July 22, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. vet in texas

    What I really find amusing in this whole thing is that everything Obama is being lambasted for by the right, a republican either voted for, proposed, passed or signed into law at one point in time. This is what the above article has just confirmed for me, the freshmen and some of the current ones have seemed to forget their memory and hate bringing up actual facts because it undermines their goal to slander the president at every turn. "the most blank and blank in history", "he wants to fundementally change America with this law, blah, blah, blah..........if we as Americans conveniantly (sorry for the misspell) forget history, then what we see becomes "thistory (this-story)". question your leaders and look into the past for any and all things they tell you, turn off the partisan hacks and google things to see if it's been done before, because there are alot of people getting paid alot of money to tell you what to think and you get nothing in return and they get huge contracts and private jets.

    July 22, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Ginger

    "Compromise" is not in the Teapublicans dictionary which is limited to so few lexical items anyways, the most common one being "no." Should they force the US in default and all its horrific consequences, may their souls rot in hell, which is also in their dictionary.

    July 22, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  21. Clwyd

    The new ground that arrived to destroy our government in 2010 don't know the word compromise or negotiation. They are selfish republicans nut case right wing loony tunes!

    July 22, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Ha! Good luck with that, Weber. The GOP is the party of no, the party of "my way or the highway," the party that destroyed the American middle class.

    July 22, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. SecedingfromTexas

    "Extraordinarily principled" is not what I would call the tea partiers and certain Republicans.

    July 22, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    St. Ronny raised taxes to cover for his dumb tax cuts for the ultrawealthy.

    July 22, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  25. GOP = Greed Over People

    Ronald Reagan did not want "America to fail", the GOP tea baggers do.

    July 22, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |