GOP should be ‘Closed for repairs,’ says Dole
May 26th, 2013
11:49 AM ET
11 months ago

GOP should be ‘Closed for repairs,’ says Dole

(CNN) – National Republicans have shifted so drastically in the past decade that the party’s most vaunted figure - former President Ronald Reagan - would no longer find a home in the GOP, former Sen. Bob Dole claimed Sunday.

“Reagan couldn’t have made it,” Dole said, adding he too would also have faced challenges in today’s Republican Party.

Instead of operating day-to-day in a nonelection year, the national party should focus on broader plans to rehabilitate itself after the losses of 2012, the former Kansas lawmaker said.

“I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says ‘Closed for repairs’ until New Year’s Day next year. Spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” Dole, who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

MORE: Republicans want to end perception as 'stuffy old men'

He also assigned blame for Washington’s current state of gridlock to President Barack Obama, who he argued was failing to bridge divides between the capital’s ideological camps.

“I think that the president, he lacks communication skills with his own party, let alone the Republican Party. And he’s on the road too much,” Dole said, quipping Obama was a “good golfer.”

“I think one mistake he’s made was not getting together more with Congress early on in his first administration. There's nothing like knowing the person you are talking to on the telephone, if you had an opportunity to sit down with that person and visit - not about anything, but just visit."


Filed under: Bob Dole • Republican Party
soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Sorry Mr. Dole but the termites (aka tea trolls) have done too much damage to your party to repair it., It needs to be torn completely down and start fro scratch with intelligent men and women who want what is best for the country.

    May 26, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. gord

    start buy getting rid of the hate net work-fox news

    May 26, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. bill

    At last a real Republican speaks for me too.

    May 26, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. aicohn

    I think Bob Dole should be "closed for repairs".

    Wait!! Hes' closed and beyond repair.

    May 26, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. rs

    While I had long left the GOP when Dole ran, I really have to agree with him. There simply has to be a viable two-party system in our nation and today's GOP isn't there. It is neither "Conservative" in any sort of fiscal sense ("deficits don't matter" certainly revealed Bush-Cheney for what they were), nor in any traditional sense.

    The GOP simply has no logic platform. Small(er) government is in conflict with micromanaging women's reproductive rights, and drug-testing the poor; Restricting voters' rights with new ID laws, while making guns as plentiful and available as candy; devastation of working class America- fighting unions, minimum wages, and benefits in exchange for insane tax breaks for the super rich and corporations.

    The GOP NEEDS to return to its roots: investment in America, and her people, smaller, sensible government, social neutrality, and a logical world-view.

    Indeed, Bob Dole is by far better choice as a candidate than the TEA Party fascists (with their violence-threatening "2nd-Amendment solutions and their racial hatred) and anti-science, anti-education radical social engineers now occupying the GOP.

    I'll wait. Gladly. I WANT a choice.

    May 26, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Pete

    Dole is getting too old to take anything he gives as his responses any consideration,just an old man lost in todays world nomatter what you think of him,he's just irrelevent in todays politics and republicans know it!!McCain is the old forgotten warrior that modern times,younger warriors have passed him by and now its he who'd fighting a bigger battle the teaparty for his political career as well.Say good bye to the old and God help us on the new,the new face of the republican party ,same old red and same old ideologies,both outta date in todays ever changing world!!

    May 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  7. MaryM

    GOP "closed for repairs"? Ha, as soon as the GOP gives the tea party people the boot, then they can start the road to recovery. Until then, the tea party people will continue to destroy the Republican party

    May 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. abbydelabbey

    Closed for repairs? How about shut down permanently? It has ceased to be anything but a tool of the corporations and the extreme right.

    May 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. BPM

    Oh come on. Obama's fault? The right pledged no cooperation and to make him a one term president pretty early on. The have used the filibuster as a matter of routine. Obama is *the most right-wing president* the dems ever produced, yet he is labeled a socialist by these nuts.

    May 26, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. Doc1

    Criticizes his party on one hand, then embraces their modern day ideology(stupidity) on the other. Obama could chain himself to Washington for the next 3 years and wouldn't get anymore cooperation out of Republicans. Heck, I'd go golfing too.

    May 26, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  11. ignatius ibsage

    old RINOS never die, they just turn more blue due to lack of oxygen to the brain.

    May 26, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. Larry L

    The Republican problem is quite basic. If you really represent the interests of a small, extremely wealthy, group of corporate power-brokers you must get votes from some larger population. The fearful, white, hate-media drones are the optimal target because they can be energized with conspiracies, distortions and hot-button issues that really cost nothing to the fat-cats. Gays, guns and God are really cheap issues and the hate-media crowd will believe anything you tell them. Unfortunately (for the GOP) they went too far and developed a hard-core group of extremists too far to the right to get elected beyond the primaries. Even worse, the haters believe their own manufactured sound-bites. Delusional! The fat-cats were too successful in firing up the ill-informed masses and now they pay for that mistake.

    May 26, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    That's not the real problem. The real problem is a Democratic Party that has literally, become subversive to America, and is leading this country into the abyss of socialist dictatorship.

    May 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Kelly Walker

    The Republican party is dysfunctional according to everyone except Fox News. Yet, even though the President offered cuts on cherished Democratic ideas, such as, Social Security and Medicare the gridlock is his fault? Those proposed cuts cost Democrats a lot of support from the left; has the Republican Party offered anything like that? No they have not; just 37 silly efforts to repeal Obamacare...

    May 26, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. labman57

    But first they'll need to take down their "Out to Lunch" sign that has been posted since 2009.

    May 26, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. john nicoletti

    What Dole said, I have been saying for the last few years. I agree with him. Also, there have always been different political parties in America, and, Presidents have always been challenged to bring the differing ideas together, to create laws, and create an environment that benefits the American people, but, Obama lacks the proper Leadership skills to get things done.

    May 26, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. MarkyMark

    He hasn't met with Congress enough??? This is the same Congress that got together on election night 2008 and had a meeting about making him a 1 term President, How can you negotiate with those who refused to negotiate with you since day 1???

    May 26, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. us_1776

    Bob, couldn't agree with you more.

    I left the GOP more than 20 years ago when it started going completely off the rails.

    Creating massive huge govts and spending like drunken sailors, adopting more and more fringe groups that had nothing to do with fiscal conservatism. And more to do with extremist social conservatism.

    And now the GOP has completely lost control of everything it once stood for. It has no moral ground on which to stand because of its behaviors over the past 40 years.

    .

    May 26, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. elucidated1

    It's unfortunate that the GOP continues to blame 1. Obama and 2. the mainstream media for every single thing. At what point in time do they honestly look in the mirror? If they cannot engage US women and latinos. . they will never win another national election. unless they actually believe that Chris "the biggest loser" christie can beat Hillary.

    May 26, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Tired of Right-wing Sound-bites

    @Rick McDaniel

    "That's not the real problem. The real problem is a Democratic Party that has literally, become subversive to America, and is leading this country into the abyss of socialist dictatorship."

    Rick – "Subversive to America"? "Abyss of socialist dictatorship"? You use dramatic terms but don't say anything. I assume you oppose Medicare, Social Security, and Obamacare. What are your pragmatic solutions to these critical social needs? Are you 100% willing to do without all social programs? Be specific and actually say something meaningful rather than simply repeating hate media sound bites.

    May 26, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Orygun Duck

    The GOP has morphed into the John Birch Society.

    May 26, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Gem

    When you have people like McConnell, Boehner, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor - who are running loose doing anything but what is right by the people - your party is going to get hurt. And, they've truly lost credibility. Further, this Grover N. pledge and "compliance" was bound to catch up with the party. Citizens need to take more seriously who they're voting for...

    May 26, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Kris L

    I'm pretty sure the last President set the record for number of days 'on vacation' for one. Two, bridging the gap requires the opposite party to actually attempt to want to. Pretty hard when they've flat out said the goal of their Congress is to block anything Obama wants. And as it became apparent, that would even include cuts to programs that Republicans wanted to cut. They would vote no to cuts because 'they did not go far enough'. If you can't take the little victories, you cannot be expected to win the big ones. As for Obama's communication with his own party in Congress, that is because even the Democrats are becoming more polarized in direct response to the GOP becoming more polarized. Hard to pitch hard choices when your own party has decided it won't play ball.

    May 26, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Paul

    I wish I could find a party that was fiscally responsible and socially tolerant – one that truly believed in letting people live their lives without the approval or disapproval of the government. But what we have is the Democrats: tax and spend, can't seem to end the war, yet are more tolerant on social issues; vs the Republicans – tax and spend, never saw a military budget they didn't want to increase, and intolerant and ignorant on social issues. Neither party can manage money – the only one who could was Bill Clinton. Every other President has exhibited a terrible lack of fiscal responsiblity. I think future generations will force a change on the social issues by the sheer fact that they were raised in a multicultural society and don't agree with the meanness and intolerance of some of our politicians views. But I feel so sorry for the future generations, who are going to have to shoulder the burden of the debt that is going to be their problem. Neither party can stop their addiction to spending and the voters are hooked on government aid.

    May 26, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. dljr60

    a single party system means communist or a kingdom. Is that would you really want for America?

    May 26, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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