GOP should be ‘Closed for repairs,’ says Dole
May 26th, 2013
11:49 AM ET
1 year 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. CraigRB

    The Grand Old Party is now the Goofy Old Party.

    May 26, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. jan smith

    Sen Dole is correct in pointing out the deficiencies in the GOP. This is not the party of Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan. They have focused on "hot button" issues, many of which are actually not on the table, in lieu of pursuing conservative strengths.
    The GOP is down but not out, the country needs conservative input, but the current iteration off the Republican Party lacks the proper focus to provide it.

    May 26, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. blakenaustin

    Bob Dole is old, senile, and apparently has little self control. Time to remove himself from the public's eye. The only problem the GOP has is with RINOs and little backbone to stand up to the Democrats and the far left media.

    May 26, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. itsy_bitsy

    What a bunch of crap!! Republicans take a look at the losers in this party, Dole and McCain! Their time has come and gone, and we are the worse for wear because of both of them! They both ran for President and they both lost! What else needs to be said? Get them the hell off of the Republican "stage" and let's start to make progress!

    May 26, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. GOPSux

    But there are still lots of good Republicans around.........the cemetaries are full of them.

    May 26, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Joe

    Bob Dole is a true American patriot. It is Tea Partiers that are truly 'RINOs' (Republican in Name Only) and need to be flushed. They are lead by the Cuban-Canadian 'Texan in Name Only' Senator Ted Cruz and propagate policies against the American middle class. They attempt to stop disaster relief or bridge repair and fight to keep assault weapons in the hands of terrorists and the mentally ill. They attempt to bankrupt our country with endless and needless wars, and to give away our jobs, business, and land to China. They fight to keep Mitt Romney and the ultra-rich paying a lower percent than the rest of us in taxes. They fight to keep minorities, gays, and women as second class citizens. The question is, who will be foolish enough to vote for them in the next election?

    May 26, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. roy

    How about closed for major renovation..

    May 26, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  8. momnancy

    One the one hand, Mr. Dole says the GOP is dysfunctional; on the other, he wants Obama to do something to make things better. The two together make no sense. GOP, diagnose thyself before looking to elsewhere for healing.

    May 26, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  9. NYKnows

    I have to disagree with Mr. Dole. May be the fake Reagan would not find a place in the GOP today – but the real one would be just fine. The real Reagan was a con man, a fraud and a villain. He said whatever it took to get what he wanted, he sold out the unions to make his wealthy backers happy (amazing for someone who was supposed to have headed SAG), he shut down the nation's large mental institutions with no thought for the patients – let the families and the communities take care of them, he said – leading to tens of thousands of mentally ill homeless dumped everywhere. Yes, the real Reagan would be just fine and dandy with the hate-filled, block everything if we don't win, who cares about the little people GOP. You cannot fool us about Reagan, we know what a terrible president he was, a shame to this country. The GOP would love him!

    May 26, 2013 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  10. Searcher

    Bob Dole is too SMART for today's GOP. Today's GOP is ANGRY and BITTER.

    May 26, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. noly972

    So, now Dole is a RINO. That is, anyone with a (R) who says or does anything that their ever-expanding fringe finds disagreeable. It's a process called 'purifying the party'. Just like Hitler did with the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany and Stalin did with the Communist Party in the USSR. And, it would seem, for the same reason – total control. GOTPers like to refer to people to their left as 'sheeple'. I feel like the sheeple here are to be found in the right's fringe. They act like a flock of sheep being controlled by a sheep dog named Rove(R).

    May 26, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  12. Marilyn

    The lack of communication is not because of Obama. The Republicans are stubborn and oppositional. They just want to say no to the black man in the White House. They don't care about their constituents. But they care greatly about big business.
    And Mr. Dole, the nerve of you to say that Obama plays a lot of golf when George W., the Republican president we were saddled with for 2 terms, took more vacation than any other president in our nation's history.

    May 26, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. bewhiskered

    Poor GOP, sold out to the fringe
    Now, it’s freedom upon which they impinge
    No more choice, no more science
    No more thought, no noncompliance!
    It’s enough to make a decent person cringe.

    May 26, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  14. Marty

    Bob Dole just can't bring himself to say why the GOP really....really...works relentlessly trying to make President Obama fail.

    Thirty-seven votes to repeal Obamacare highlights the stupidity of the GOP. Maybe they should try golfing since they can't seem to legislate.

    May 26, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  15. LouAZ

    Bob Dole forgets that the only blacks at Repub/TPer dinner will be servants.

    May 26, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. So sick of this....

    @paddylol: good heavens! what does a true GOPer look like? are there any you can name? just curious.....

    May 26, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  17. rc

    How can any president work with a congress that stated their first job was to make the president a one term president. Not only did they fail at that , but got nothing else done in the process.

    May 26, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. Name

    Bob Dole doesn't know what Obama is up against. It wouldn't matter if he played patacake with the GOP, they don't want our agenda period

    May 26, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. ted

    I agree with a statement above regarding Mitch McConnell's sole goal was to make Obama a one term president. They were focused on tripping Obama up with obstructionism and now the GOP is focused on everything but improving the economy and jobs. The GOTP is fast becoming irrevelant. Actually it is a shame to see it happen. Wonder what nutjobs will be in the lineup to run in 2016?

    May 26, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Not Chicken Little

    If Dole had run his campaign like he fought in WWII he would have won. And America would have won, too, instead of losing with Clinton who cheapened and disgraced the office.

    May 26, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. josh

    The new wave of tea partiers and right wing bizarre beliefs in general represent the greatest htreat ot our democracy...the power of talk radio almost completely dominated by the right wing echo chamber and a 24/7 propaganda sire like Fox News has distorted reality ..these people who wrap themselves in the constitution ( usually based on the most faulty interpetations) will be the first to remove our freedoms and personal choice..

    May 26, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  22. Obahtr

    The GOP will be no longer as long as the Dems. Keep giving stuff to the lazy people that don't want to work.

    May 26, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. jimmy

    The TEA PARTY will go down in history for the destruction of the GOP.

    May 26, 2013 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. mssimmons

    The GOP has destroyed the middle class and now it is destroying the poor wanting to not raise the min wage for 12 years and last week the bill to eliminate over time pay and that nut Bachman saying get rid of min wage so we would work for what peanuts they threw us , I know when a rich corporation pays it's employees min wage the tax payers pick up their food stamps because they are eligible min wage is poverty Americans who work for min wage are Americas back bone they work the hardest jobs and should not have to apply for Food Stamps because they are so under paid, Min wage employees are cut at 38 hours so they are not eligible for health insurance and Americas hardest working Americans deserve better

    May 26, 2013 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  25. steven

    Bob's stating the obvious. Reagan, Nixon, Ford, Eisenhower, as well as many (Halle Barbour, for one) current GOP leaders, would support Bob's comments.

    May 26, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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