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. Helen Hilelman

    The Republicans have become a "cult". They will stick by their leaders and drink the kool aid until their dying breath, as in the Bob Jones cult. Can't ANYONE in the GOP get this through their brain? Me being a Democrat should just smile and let them self destruct, but they are taking the whole country down with them. I AM SHOUTING, WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    May 26, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  2. NealR2000

    If you watched the full interview, you would have seen that he also had plenty of criticism for Democrats as well, but CNN has crafted this story to make it appear to their liberal readers that Dole was just bashing his own party.

    May 26, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  3. S.B. Stein

    He said it truely! There is little that the GOP hasn't said once and then gone against later. Reagan wouldn't recognize what is going by Rove, Gingrich and others.

    May 26, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  4. MarkinFL

    Sorry, with the clearly stated agenda of opposing Obama at all costs, no amount of "face time" was going to change anything. I after the third time the GOP shot down their own proposals after Obama indicated his support for them that there was going to be permanent gridlock as long as that black man was president.

    May 26, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  5. uisignorant

    What a bunch of idiots. BHO had full control for 2 years and now has 2/3 control, but yet it is still the (R).

    May 26, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. logicnothuff

    GOP stands for the Constitution and for Law and Order and for Freedom for Americans, all of which are vociferously opposed by the Democrat Party. Democrat Party is evil.

    May 26, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. srichey321

    The GOP has had only one goal and that is to take down Obama and pander to a shrinking, but influential fringe base. They are going to lose in 2016 also.

    May 26, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  8. Tom

    Should be "closed permanently" along with the democrats. Get some independents who think doing what works is more important than promoting dogma.

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

    Well of course, President Obama should have "gotten to know" those republican congressmen and senators better. After all, who wouldn't want to sit down with people who swear to make you a one term president, constantly question your birth certificate and nationality, your faith and your political beliefs? Who among us would not gladly keep getting slapped in the face to "know the republican senators"? Mr. Dole, you should have stopped right after getting the first part right....about the gop being broken. You had pretty good creds then.

    May 26, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. Puddin

    Dole was right on.......until he started blaming the president for not "visiting" enough with Repubs. Why would he when all the Repubs have done is disrespect and obstruct the president's agenda, thus, the office of president for all these years from 2008. The harm the Repubs have caused this country is jaw-dropping shameful. They are less than real men.

    May 26, 2013 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. PGriff

    Hold on Mr. Dole, you feel you would have no chance and Reagan would have no chance with today's Republican party, but Barack Obama has not done enough to work with them ????? If the Republicans want their asses kissed, they can appear on Fox News.

    May 26, 2013 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  12. T. Lee

    On the VERY NIGHT OF OBAMA'S FIRST INAUGURATION – 20 key Republican members including Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor and Newt Gingrich met in a private, closed door meeting to plan out their strategy for blocking, obstructing, impeding, and defeating every single initiative Obama and his administration put forth to repair the mess they (the Republicans) had left behind leaving the nation in a terrible mess fiscally and internationally.

    Mr. Dole – always had respect for you – but in this – this is not Obama's fault who has many times tried to reach out to today's Republicans who unlike yourself and those like you – turned away and spouted slogans and the empty rhetoric of nothing but condemnation.

    May 26, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  13. snowdogg

    "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."

    This is absolute BS.

    May 26, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  14. notogop

    How do you get together with a party whose Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, tells his fellow Republican Senators not to vote for ANYTHING President Obama puts forth? Not exactly the welcome mat one would hope for if consessions are to be expected. Concessions have to come from both sides of the aisle.

    May 26, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  15. DoubleW

    Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of bigoted, obstructionist, anti-working-class loons.

    May 26, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  16. peoples choice

    The Republicans are losing a large percentage of their base each and every day as the folks that were born in the late twenties and thirties that have supported them in the past are dying out. Older folks tend to vote for the ones that spew the most venom and pretend to be God-fearing. The new breed of Republicans have burned too many bridges behind them and are not building any new ones. The so-called tea party folks are pouring gasoline on a simmering bed of coals.

    May 26, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  17. wxqz

    The party hijacked by fools and baffoons. Versed in the coersive ways.

    Brainwashed by group think, insulated from the reality of the real world,

    In blind pursut of the narrow interestes of the GOP rich and powerful.

    May 26, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  18. IvotedforObama

    Dole, by blaming Obama is showing EXACTLY why the GOP is in the rut it is in now. That is all they do, hate on the black man.

    May 26, 2013 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  19. Teabags falling off cliffs

    being intellectually & morally bankrupt, dominated by wingnuts, sounds like the GOP should stay closed.

    May 26, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  20. briawinde

    I am an Independent and never have registered with either party. I Used to vote for who I thought could do the best job and who was intelligent, reasonable and well educated on the issues. It often was someone from either side. That being said, I will Never vote Republican until they get rid of the fringe elements that have hijacked the party. Right now they are incapable of doing what is best for the country and seek only to obstruct or to enact laws that will hurt the majority of Americans.

    May 26, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  21. Jack

    Lol...I have to laugh at the hypocrisy on display here by most of the commenters. The same ones who denounce Republicans and the GOP as being a party of extremists/far right loons/out of touch/Democrat-hating warmongers etc...look at the statements they are making and they are no better! The rhetoric being used by the left is no better, so how does that sit with you? There used to be sensible people in this country who didn't vilify or demonize the other side of the aisle. But those days sure are gone aren't they? Logical political discourse in this country is dead...and the fault lies on both sides. Too many people at the far ends of the spectrum and not enough in the middle. Truly disgusting, truly sad, and probably truly our eventual downfall if we don't start finding ways to compromise and come together.

    May 26, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  22. briawinde

    I am a registered Independent who use to vote across party lines. I would vote for the best educated, informed and intelligent who would make the best choices for all of us. That being said, I can NO longer vote Republican after the fringe elements have taken over. They only attract the angry and those who are gravely misinformed about the issues.whether it is economics or general policies. They obstruct and vote for laws that are detrimental to the majority of USA citizens. I don't really care for the Democrats either, but as a Professional Business Economist assisting businesses and individuals nationwide, I can assure you they have a better grasp of Econ 101 then any Republican currently in office. Both favor big business more then they should but one side at least tries to favor the "common man" in their general policies..That is NOT the Republican party. I pity those that think it is...I will not vote for that party until reason, education and decency becomes once again a part of it.

    May 26, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  23. Dean

    The trolls missed the point where Dole blamed Obama for the gridlock in Washington.

    May 26, 2013 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. Mercury

    If the Republican Party is an embarrassment to famous, lifelong Republicans - just imagine how much of an embarrassment it is to the rest of us!

    They need to just hang a sign on it reading "Out Of Order."

    May 26, 2013 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  25. Shayna

    Once the Republicans were hi-jacked by the fundamentalist religious loonies, no one with a functioning brain could vote for them. At this point, I'd sooner vote for a toad!

    May 26, 2013 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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