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. Russ

    As soon as Obama was in the White House, the Republicans wanted to get him out. Obama couldn't talk to them, though he did try by visiting them on Capitol Hill and conducting a health care summit, which they turned a cold shoulder to.

    May 26, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. JohnRJohnson

    Dole just couldn't open his mouth without attacking the President. He doesn't know it, but he has the same disease that his political party currently suffers from. It's all about making the President look bad, even if it means damaging the country. The political contest trumps the needs of the nation. Dole knows this, but he doesn't have the courage to come out and say it. So he tip-toes around the subject, then softens it up with a few absurd comments about the President's communication skills and golf game.

    May 26, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. sbree

    i cannot begin to understand how literate adults can continue voting for the GOP. it is absolutely horrifying that there are such a large group of americans that are under the absolute delusion that the GOP is representing their interests. The group of men that control the GOP have decided that they are going to effectively destroy the government process rather then work with the president of the united states. By any definition – this isnt a disagreement with policy – this is TREASON. the GOP has become an enemy of the state with their own propaganda machine and has built an army of fools by playing on the petty identity politics that it seems that those who are less educated among us so easily fall for. They are rotten to the core – and its a national tragedy that we cant even get an inkling of leadership or diplomacy or cooperation out of this group.

    May 26, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  4. luvUamerica

    Sorry Mr. Dole, Obama has tried to communicate with the Replubicans. They just don't want to talk. They want the President to do their bidding. Furthermore, they rather spend the time trying figure ways to bring the Presdient down.

    Latest – AP wire scandal. Fox News broke the law and were subpoanaed 3 years ago. But they mislead their viewers into thinking that Obama just started spying on AP.

    Latest – IRS scandal. It is nothing but the IRS doing their job. Unfortunately, the Republican groups were trying to skirt the law and got caught.

    May 26, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. don

    nothing is going to change. the rich get richer and the working slob gets the scrap's

    May 26, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Bob Stockton

    Good old go along get along Bob. Never met a democrat he wouldn't compromise with. Go have some soup.

    May 26, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. loggie

    The one person who could do something about the gridlock in Washington is John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, but is unable or unwilling to lead and cannot even control his own caucus. The Speaker has great powers in the House but he is afraid to use them for fear that he will lose his job as Speaker. This alone makes him unfit to be Speaker.

    May 26, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Ken

    Well said Senator Dole. This is the reason that I voted Republican until George Bush's re-election. I have now voted for Obama twice and will vote for Hillary next unless the moderate Republican party returns. The extremists of both parties are frightening but the extremist republicans are dangerous.

    May 26, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Stop Believing the GOP Lies!

    Oh Lordy - now Dole is parroting the GOP LIES?? Should we be surprised?? As far as the (proven again and again to be a lie) claim that Obama plays more golf than any other President –is isn't even close to being true. Now, there's no question that he plays on a regular basis: 104 rounds from January 2009 through Aug. 2012, the last time he played, according to Mark Knoller, the longtime White House correspondent for CBS Radio. That puts him about in the middle when compared with other duffers-in-chief. It's less than Bill Clinton, and a lot less than Dwight Eisenhower, who played more than 800 rounds over eight years — four times as often as Obama plays.

    And why is it an outrage if the president, who heads one of three branches of government, golfs 104 times in three-and-a-half-years, but the head of another branch of government, the Speaker of the House, plays four times as much? You heard correctly: John Boehner once told Golf Digest that he plays upwards of 100 rounds a year. Seems like a double standard, no?

    And the LIE that Obama goofs off and takes more vacations that previous Presidents - again this isn't CLOSE to being accurate or true, but first, some context from Nancy Reagan: "Presidents don't get vacations — they just get a change of scenery. The job goes with you." The responsibilities, the pressure, the officer with the "nuclear football" — it's all with a commander-in-chief at all times. No exceptions. Time off doesn't mean goofing off. President Bush, for example, met with a variety of foreign leaders at his ranch. President Obama held a G-8 summit at Camp David. Just like you might check your email while sitting on the beach (you fool, you), presidents never really unplug. But if anyone deserves a vacation, it is the person who serves in the world's most stressful and demanding job.

    But how much time away from the White House has President Obama spent, and how does this compare with predecessors?

    POTUS Tracker, compiled by The Washington Post, shows that from January 2009 to October 31, 2012, Obama spent all or part of 72 vacation days in a variety of places, mostly Hawaii in the winter and Martha's Vineyard in the summer. That's about 10 weeks away in three-and-a-half years, hardly extravagant. Through May 18, according to data from CBS's Knoller, he also visited Camp David 22 times, spending all of part of 54 days there.

    What about his predecessors?

    · In 1798, President John Adams left the capital for seven months to care for his ailing wife Abigail; his enemies said he practically relinquished his office.

    · Thomas Jefferson and James Madison routinely went away for three- and four-month stretches.

    · Abraham Lincoln, during the Civil War, was blasted for spending about 25 percent of his time away from the White House.

    · Dwight Eisenhower took long summer breaks in Denver and spent almost every single weekend at Camp David.

    · John F. Kennedy rarely spent a weekend in the White House, staying at family homes in Palm Beach, Hyannis Port, and the Virginia countryside.

    · Lyndon Johnson spent 484 days in five and a half years at his Texas ranch.

    · Ronald Reagan was away for 436 days, usually at Rancho del Cielo (his mountaintop retreat in California) or Camp David.

    · Bill Clinton, who didn't own a vacation home, loved to party with his elite friends in Martha's Vineyard and the Hamptons.

    · George W. Bush spent 32 months at his ranch (490 days) or Camp David (487 days) — an average of four months away every year.

    THE GOP HAS DESTROYED THEIR IMAGE BY LETTING THESE RIGHT WING LYING LUNATICS TAKE THEM OVER!

    May 26, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. ketsui7

    as long as they keep growing stupid in the south there will continue to be poor people helping rich get richer

    May 26, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Greg Faith

    Until you can gather more blacks and Hispanics into the fold, you are basically a dead political party.

    May 26, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. ratherbboating

    I find it amusing all these liberals/socialist making/posting all these false and misleading remarks.

    May 26, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Mayfray

    Amusing that Bob Dole would overlay Reagan on today's politics when it was the democrats going back to Reagan that pledged war against him (and Nancy) in every conceivable way. Tip O'Neil had an actual war room where "we plot against him". They never worked with Reagan, never! The democrats fought him on everything in the most vile mouth manner and and unlike Obama, the press was on board! But Reagan never complained, unlike the winey golfer currently occupying 1600.

    May 26, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. RINO Bil

    I do not need the Republican Party, nor any political party for that matter.

    The Republican Party does, however, need me ... or more correctly they need my dollars and votes for their various candidates.

    If they continue on their present course, they will get neither.

    May 26, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. blakenaustin

    There is only one significant repair needed with the GOP. Purge all the RINOs.

    May 26, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    You got that right Mr. Dole ,or out of business would be better!!!!!!!!

    May 26, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. Jonquil

    Maybe President Obama meeting more with Republicans, could work with guys like you, Mr. Dole or guys like John McCain. But this new Tea Party guard is wacky. They're so extreme, that the very word "compromise" is a dirty word to them. Their new idea of compromise? Exactly what Ted Cruz said, when John McCain tried to lecture the newbies into understanding what their jobs are; we'll agree to negotiate with Democrats, if they agree to our terms and demands, before we negotiate (?!)

    It would be comedic if it weren't also reality.

    May 26, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  18. choice

    We need a choice... a viable choice. And the GOP isn't it. What happened to the value on intellectualism... the idea that you could actually study a problem and learn more? It is replaced in the GOP by high-toned moralism with no factual backing. Nope. I'd vote for anything other than that.

    May 26, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. bam

    the gop god hath no place in todays christian taliban party

    May 26, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  20. DougOz

    I have to agree with Bob Dole, though there are some omissions that I believe are necessary to even be heard by today's GOP.

    I voted for Dole in '96, but could never vote for GW.

    It would be great if a party could be formed that:
    Defended the second amendment, but was not wholly owned by the NRA.
    That was actually fiscally conservative. That would include opposing farm and olil subsidizes.
    That supported building the middle class even if it meant the top 2% needed to pay more in taxes.
    That reigned in entitlement spending.

    The omission? While Obama bares blame for not building a productive relationship with the US Congress, it is a two way street. Today's GOP policies of destroying the economy in hopes of making Obama look so bad he would not get re-elected have done much to hinder these relationships as well. It is the transparency if these efforts that has destroyed the GOP.

    May 26, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Pale Horseman

    I am all for the GOP healing itself and turning itself around to be better. In order to help people heal and turn their life around you have to point out what is wrong with them (with love).

    If I tell someone from the GOP what they are doing wrong, so that they can improve and be better than they were before...
    What is the pattern of behavior in how a GOP supporter responds to you telling them they are doing something wrong?

    May 26, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. sbird

    The Republican Party has ceased to be effective. They mired themselves so completely in aggressive lies and their skill in turning faith into a weapon that they have worn their welcome out, as far as most Americans (and the rest of the world) are concerned. They have no idea what moderate means any more, nor do they know what true republicanism is about. They are lost.
    It's time to end it and start fresh with common sense and a true separation of church and state. It's the only sane way to move forward.

    May 26, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. liberal disease

    And the Dems are better? everyday they have another scandal or a dumb idea to grow the gov and make us miserable

    May 26, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  24. lawless4u

    Just when you're gonna give the guy the benefit of the doubt and give what he has to say an honest listen and some consideration he comes back and shows his true colors.

    At first he attributes the nations problems and their own failures to the GOP. But he still finds a way to push the GOP's crp agenda and blame Obama for their failures. It has nothing to do with the fact that the GOP is so far right that even Reagan couldn't hande it ot how about Dole himself saying the party is too extreme? Doesn't matter, when it comes right down to it, he STILL blames the President.

    Typical republican.

    May 26, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  25. PK

    Sorry, but the only thing the Gestapo Republican Party wants is the President's removal from office. That is their only stated goal the day after he was elected to office.

    May 26, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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