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. Ross

    My final comment, promise :). When Gov. Bill Milliken (sp?) (the two time moderate Republican Lt. Gov and the two time moderate Republican Governor of Michigan) backed President Obama they said he was irrelevant and no longer a GOP voice. He backed candidate Obama because the party left him. Me also. Well he was my GOP voice and the GOP's mean spirited dismissal of one of their own is a big part why I am no longer a Republican. They seem to have a circular firing squad.
    Ross
    Ross

    May 26, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. amazed2

    So tell us Mr. Dole exactly what is it that our President can do to work with the Party of No? A party of no agenda but fighting whatever it is presented by our President no matter it is or who it benefits.

    Your party is dying sir.

    May 26, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  3. mickinmd

    As I noted many times on these comment boards, I object to the right-wing of the GOP being called "conservatives." They are closer in ideology to the American Nazi Party and the Skinheads. Past traditional conservatives like Dole, Reagan, Ford, Nixon and on back to Teddy Roosevelt would not find themselves welcome in today's GOP. The last two GOP Presidential inominees, McCain and Romney, have been called "Democrats in GOP Clothing" by the far-right, trying to place themselves in the center of the GOP yet pointing out that most Republicans can't stand far-right candidates.
    The GOP needs to get rid of the Tea Party and those who promote the idea that no worker should have a say in his job – just the boss – and that workers should be happy to work for peanuts.

    May 26, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. Nate

    A good, pragmatic statesmen like Lugar getting voted out by someone like Mourdock: that's all you need to hear, to know where the republican party is going.

    May 26, 2013 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. Tony Torres

    I hope to God that their constituents wake up and get these narrow-minded bigots & loons out of office, if not we will just stay stagnate and not get anywhere. We must convey the urgency of their removal to these people and show them that they are harming themselves, not just the rest of us. I pray this occurs.

    May 26, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  6. blf83

    For the first time in my life, I agree with Bob Dole. Who's a-thunk-it?!

    May 26, 2013 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  7. gwtheyrn

    Exactly, Mr. Dole. I always liked that guy.

    The GOP has been ceding the middle to the Democrats lately. If that trend continues, and they allow the Democrats to monopolize the moderates, it will have done nothing but castrated itself out of spite. Their power base will be reduced to idiots in the South and the midwest. And Arizona.

    Even Texas, with its rapid growth, is turning purple. How long can they keep adding thousands of new residents before it shifts to blue completely?

    May 26, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  8. Really?

    Closed yes, repairs NO. thanks Bob for half a solution.

    May 26, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  9. Dougie

    There is no sense talking with someone if they won't listen and I think the President has tried more than enough times. I still believe many of the tea party members are not cooperating for one reason and one reason only and that is the fact Obama is black, plain and simple..

    May 26, 2013 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  10. Brian Smith

    Bob Dole CAN'T even get along with his new "republican" party....but he expects President Obamo to do so! Let's not forget that Dole lost to Clinton...by what....about 10% back when his party was more "moderate."

    May 26, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. TM

    It is not the President that "lacks communication skills". It is the Grand Old Tea Party that has lost the ability to communicate in any meaningful way. The very day that President Obama was sworn into office the Republican "leadership" in Congress reduced their vocabulary to one word: "No". And they have repeated that word to the point where they sound like nothing more than a two year old throwing a tantrum. Well, the rest of the country is tired of indulging the behavior of a bunch of whiney, partisan, brats. Senator Dole is correct in one thing. The Grand Old Tea Party needs to close down until such time as they can act like adults.

    May 26, 2013 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    GOP is gone to DOGS. Their idiocy is war strategy.

    May 26, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. craig

    He's completely right about the GOP, but honestly, given what's been said would anyone with a functional brain sit down and talk with them. When Mitch said "...a one term President" it sounded pretty much like the usual rhetoric, but when the party continually demonstrated that the idea was indeed their first priority they gave up all rights to expect to be treated as "the loyal opposition." They care not a whit about the American People nor what's in the best interests of the country...and now they've been caught. When they demonstrate some remorse, we'll talk. Until then...they need to close down for...well, "repairs" is much to mild a term.

    May 26, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. Jeff

    If the GOP goes away and never comes back, would anyone miss it?

    May 26, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  15. Lori Ross-Lincoln

    If all the American people like our teachers, firemen-women, policemen-women, other government workers sick back and vote the Tea-Party- Republicans and The “Party of Hell No –Do Nothing Republicans back into office in the near future elections then We the People deserve what in the heck these fool give us. “ Nothing from Nothing Nothing. We have seen this game played before when the Republican had control in the past for at least 12 ++ year starting with Nixon and these fools the Republicans practically destroyed the country and many people lives. Now that redistricting ( and Republican’s Gerrymandering and Filibuster Abuse) is in play we will be lucky if we are ever able to vote their butts out of office again until the new Censes are taken in 10 years for the previous. Heck, I wish that I had a job that I did not performed my duties and could take so many vacation and still get paid for doing nothing other than “ Just Say Hell No “ Let us make up some S- – T (pretend scandals as a cover so we do not have to work on some real issue that would help to make the people lives better- “forget it be have been given our order no work just make up pretend scandals and blame it on President Obama he is an easy target because we got 4 year to do nothing and blame if for not addressing the many crises impact some many American people life today.

    So this is the problem we are going to be faced with until “We the People say that we have had enough of crap from “Do Nothing Republicans” . Bob Dole , apparently did not hear what Mitch Mc Connell had stated that the Republicans only plans were to make sure that President Obama was not re-elected and they must do everything in their power to make sure that he failed his first term and now they are once again working behind the scene to make sure he fails his second term. So my question to Mr. Dole, how in the hell can you work with someone who hates you and not will to work with you toward a common and toward resolving real issues facing a lot of people like the unemployment crisis. Heck there are lots of jobs that people could be retrained or fast track or on the job training to help get people who are unemployed back to work on job repairing levees, bridges, power grid, water system, roads, and many other areas. Yet the only solution from the Party of Hell No- Republicans we need to lower taxes for the job creators, and repeal Obamacare are not real solutions. Yet this the Republicans parrot like talking points. People will open their eye one day to see who the heck is willing to destroy the country just to keeping from working with President Obama, only then I just hope it is not too late.

    May 26, 2013 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  16. Craig from Pa.

    Hopefully the Republican party is beyond repair and will just die!

    May 26, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. NY Repub

    I'm sorry to say I'm a registered Republican. (In NY you can't vote in primary as an Independent) I have only voted for a few Republicans nationally in the past 15 years. If it wasn't for the NY Democrats in local and state politics I would switch to Democrat.

    May 26, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. revolting peasant

    I think it would be great if both parties moved to the middle so that they could balance each other without swinging to the extremes. Our country is very diverse and there is no one right answer.

    May 26, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  19. Nino Dagostino

    I remember in 2000 I voted for Bush the First and last time I would vote for a Republican and I seen more and more Republicans blaming Clinton. The anger Hate and agression is what turns me off to this party not to mention the name calling. and how the country is not moving fast enough. I will never vote for a party who creates havoc in thier lower class tiers and feeds them snake oil ever again.

    May 26, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  20. rudedog

    He wants Obama to bridge devides? Obama can't cough without the GOP trying to make a scandal of it. The more the GOP whine, the more irrelevant they become.

    May 26, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. kols

    The Republicans need to get rid of John Boehner, Mitchell McConnell, and Eric Cantor if they ever hope to get back to a viable party. If you refuse to compromise on anything and nothing ever gets done because of it than you are done. The American public is sick of these do-nothing but obstruct Republicans. We pay them to move the country forward to prevent any and all legislation unless it benefits them directly.

    May 26, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. don draper's brother

    Radicalism never works – it prohibits any sense of compromise. Now, it is seen as weakness to not get 100% of what you want. As in Independent, I once voted mainly Republican, but unless foot-stomping crybabies and evangelicals reduce their power within the party, I can possibly see myself voting anything other than Democratic for the foreseeable future.

    May 26, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  23. David

    All of Congress needs to close down and re-group. Too much politicking and not enough doing what's right.

    May 26, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  24. Brian Smith

    Compromise is so...1980s – nobody does that anymore.

    May 26, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. Gustaw

    How can he say that Obama didn't talk with Republicans? What about all the talks with Boehner he had before the sequester to try to balance the budget.

    May 26, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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