GOP should be ‘Closed for repairs,’ says Dole
May 26th, 2013
11:49 AM ET
2 years 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. David

    I was a Republican through the Reagan years and into the Bush then Clinton years. I left in the early 2000s when the loonies really started taking over, for so long the GOP was the party of promise and opportunity ("a new day in America") but now it's become almost Taliban-like in how fundamentalist it is. I hope it comes back some day, we need a strong and effective counterbalance against liberal power.

    May 27, 2013 03:37 am at 3:37 am |
  2. wordcreatr

    Bob Dole has it right. I'm an independent, though I was once a Republican, though I never let that stop me from voting for a quality Democrat. Other than John McCain, I have a hard time voting Republican because the lunatic fringe and the religious fanatics have hijacked the party - and to be honest, I couldn't vote for McCain when he took on Palin as his VP candidate – the only time in my life I have never voted for him. The GOP better take a hard look at itself and make some changes, or the reasonable people need to start a new party, because they're dead in the water right now. Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan would be kicking Republican backsides if they were still around.

    May 27, 2013 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  3. g.r.r.

    While he is right about the republican party, he is dead wrong about Obama. That is why he was re-elected.

    May 27, 2013 04:37 am at 4:37 am |
  4. g.r.r.

    What is needed by the dems is for them to allow 3rd parties in place. The reality is that by only debating with the republicans, they have allowed extremists to take hold of that party and to disallow 3rd parties to come in.
    If the dems will require that future debates involve 3rd parties that have at least say 3-5% signatures of registered voters, then it would either create a decent 3rd party that would replace the republicans, OR it would force the republicans back to being what they were .

    May 27, 2013 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  5. Stan

    Presidential golf has a long history. Taft was avid, even missing key meetings to golf. Politicians should do their research before they dismiss golf as something daft and unworthy of office. This has been ramped up by both parties in recent years, and I am repulsed.

    May 27, 2013 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  6. abcd1

    Hint ,for the republican ,work for the people not lobby money . Remember ,for the people for which it stands . Our Gov't stinks . and they want a world to be just like them .

    May 27, 2013 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  7. CarlWstCoast

    I have been unable to vote for either of the major parties in these last few election cycles. And lest the democrats think it's just a republican problem, they should really think about the 2010 midterm elections. I think the electorate is ready for a solid, reasonable 3rd party candidacy, or at least that's my hope. Both parties should put up the repair sign, as neither is offering anything new in the way of leadership...

    May 27, 2013 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  8. Anonymous

    Neither party resembles its former self. We haven't had an honorable president since Lincoln. Americans do little or no research on candidates, preferring to accept as truth poisonous political bias and hateful rhetoric from both sides. We continue to vote party line. We get what we deserve.

    May 27, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  9. johnny57

    They need to get more moderates in the party, people that can negotiate. When you go to far to one side, you aren't going to win a majority of votes.

    May 27, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  10. tom

    This independent will not vote demoncrat again, the Republican party is out to protect America. All we have to do is get rid of the RINO's like dole.

    May 27, 2013 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  11. James V Fields

    Does anyone else remember Obama inviting the GOP leadership from the House and Senate over to the White House early in his first term, and their reply that they were just too darn busy to deal with him? They then spent the majority of the first term obstructing everything the president was interested in doing, in hopes of keeping him from being re-elected. Now that he's into the second term they are crying that he hasn't reached out enough.

    May 27, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  12. wgf

    And a grown-up finally enters the room and tells the children to stop behaving like children. It won't work, of course, because you rarely get adult behavior out of children.

    I miss the Republicans who really cared about their country, and who really cared for people beyond their own constituency. They have been replaced by idealogical fanatics.

    May 27, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  13. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Cue the extremist Guns Over People tea potty screaming "RINO" in 5,4,3,2,1.

    May 27, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  14. abby1

    It is a shame that the GOP got hijacked by the right wing extremist. It is also a shame that they ruined an entire political party with their obsession to ruin one man.

    May 27, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  15. CraigM

    Neville Chamberalin "a.k.a." Bob Dole...........

    May 27, 2013 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  16. Thatguy371

    Since the repubs love the sequester so much, maybe we should save a few bucks and take them off life support. They're a radical, dying, jaded, paranoid bunch of loons anyway. No great loss. The upcoming elections will tell alot about the mindset of the average American... if they get it or not. It seems like the tide is shifting within the electorate though, which is encouraging.

    May 27, 2013 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  17. rpe

    keep up the good work tea party you are running the gop into the dumpster

    May 27, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  18. snowdogg

    bob d is smarter than john m

    May 27, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  19. Average American

    The headlines should read: USA should be closed for repair under Obama and Democrat Party. This is the most corrupt and incompetent party in history.

    May 27, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  20. hateuall

    Dole was a total fail.

    May 27, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  21. Bill

    You are right they should be closed for repairs and you Bob should be in the room for them. Always admired you and thought you were going to say something profound, but in coming up with a good idea, you lowered yourself in the same gutter as the party....Check you pal Bushes vacation record and see if its any better or worse than Obama! Your petty mudslinging is going to make your party extinct..

    May 27, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  22. Observer

    @ tommariner
    There is no such thing as the Democrat party, it is the Democratic Party. And the rest of your post makes no sense whatsoever: And JFK's speeches sound more like Republican campaign talks, filled with pride for our country and firm resolve that our enemies are our enemies and not prevail? Stop watching Fox and read a book.

    May 27, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  23. Jack

    Thank you, Mr. Dole! Are you listening Rush & Sean!

    May 27, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  24. Maryellen

    I agree with Mr. Dole on most points but strongly disagree that President Obama has not done enough to bring the parties together. The GOP has done everythng possible to make our president and as a result make our nation fail. I hope they all lose their jobs in 2014/2016. I will work as actively as I can to see this happen.

    May 27, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. PrettyFingFunny

    Bod Dole, a good man and true American hero, sad that people like him have no party today. Obama on the left, nut cases on the right.

    May 27, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
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