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. angeson

    The Republicans have become to scary to be a part of, based on their words and their actions. "Legitimate rape" it was "God's will", Life begins at ejaculation, Nothing gets an economy moving like a good war. Oh and just say "NO" to everything we didnt think of!! Duplicate

    May 26, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. asm_ith

    It's a little difficult to put much blame on Obama, although he does deserve some. Recall that the Republicans met even before the inauguration and agreed that they would oppose anything that Obama wanted. Given that attitude, Obama getting to know them better wouldn't have allowed for any more progress on things. The Republicans established that they are more concerned with ideology than with governing or solving any of the country's problems. They would even vote against the Ryan budget if Obama turned around and submitted it as his own.

    May 26, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. ...

    Sorry, but the Republicans can only comprehend emotion, not logic.

    May 26, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. David G

    Does Dole think the getting together more with congress would have made a difference after Mitch McConnel main objective was to make Obama a 1 term president. Does Dole really think the Republicans were going to help?

    May 26, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. Matt

    So the GOP is so messed up that Reagan wouldn't be conservative enough for it, but the gridlock is Obama's fault because he's not bridging the divide??? How far right do you expect Obama to come, Bob???

    May 26, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. MightyMoo

    Dole has some nice critique of both sides of the isle. The current GOP needs a remodeling to get back to it's real roots and not the tea roots. Obama isn't a bad president but he's not a great president either. The only reason he won in 2012 was because the GOP went to the bottom of the barrel and managed to pull out someone who was worse then Obama in the public eye.

    "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."

    That right there says some things.

    May 26, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Tim

    Hey Democrats do you even realize that America is $7 Trillion dollars more in debt today than the first day Obama stepped in office? Do you ever wonder why many channels never mention important facts that cast Obama in a negative light?

    May 26, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. BaltoPaul

    When the democrats lost to Bush after the Clinton era ended, a lot of people thought that the Democractic party was "finished" as well. They spent years doing nothing but obstructing Bush before they came up with ideas of their own. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Nothing changes. Stick around long enough, and you'll realize you've seen this movie before.

    May 26, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. SteveinLVNV

    Until the Republicans start listening to the 'middle of the road' Americans and start work FOR America instead of the extremists (Tea Party) and corporate America and the uber wealthy and religious right they might as well fold up their tent and go away. Until they nominate much better candidates for office... People who will work for the American people they can expect to lose even more elections.

    As an independent voter I'm not beholden to either party... BOTH need a makeover and turn to the middle of the road which is most of America.

    May 26, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. joshua long

    what dole said is correct. you can figure your own solution, but there's no factual basis for saying he's wrong.

    May 26, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Loathstheright

    And Republicans wonder why they have alienated most of the country...to normal people they are insane.
    A better sign would be, "Closed Permanently".

    May 26, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  12. Wait, what?

    So he admits that the GOP is a mess, but still insists on blaming Obama. This is a perfect example of what is wrong with Republicans. They have no coherent worldview and no integrity.

    May 26, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Lonewillow

    CLOSED FOR REPAIRS is long overdue....and it may be too late!
    Compromise between the two parties kept this country strong and made for progress...now we have nothing in the Republican Party, but a bunch of haters, bigots and liars!
    Their daily propaganda machine is not enough to keep America Strong!
    Folks, we need leadership and compromise from the REPUBLICANS, but we "AIN'T" getting it. |
    GREED has killed the GRAND OLD PARTY!

    May 26, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. Luigi

    Rick, you are so very wrong and seem to have an event horizon that stops at the end of your nose. The just so "no" crowd has harmed America. Their behavior is unAmerican.

    May 26, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Clear and Present Thinker

    The Whig Party was closed over 150 years ago and hasn't been repaired yet. The GOP needs to take a number and get in line with the other losers.

    May 26, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Joan

    Soon after being elected the President did invite Republicans to the White House to watch sports events, etc. to socialize and get to know each other. How was he repaid? Mitch (Franklin the Turtle) McConnell proudly said his first goal was to make him a one term President. Nice. The Republicans then started an agenda of obstructionism and filibusters not seen in past history .The Congress since 2010 has had the worst record in history. Actually Mr. Dole is quite right. Reagan is a hero to many Republicans yet he raised taxes many times, gave amnesty to many illegals and proposed a lot of legislation that modern Republicans led by the Tea Party would reject He must be rolling over in his grave. It seems as if the formation and rise of the Tea Party has been the best thing to have happened for the Democrats in a long while.

    May 26, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Lisahh

    I just listened to a right wing radio show with good ratings. He said Obama caused the Oklahoma tornado using some kind of "weather Weapon". This guy represents the far right and the GOP actually allows members of their party to be interviewed on his show. Guess how that makes the GOP look?

    May 26, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. ericpone

    he GOP has become a Nationalist Party. There is no longer a true conservative party of reasonable sized government that supports business and families. The new party is chock full of nationalists who wish to create some kind of weird skewed past. A hybrid of the old south with skewed visions of George Washington and the founding fathers. This isn't the party I ran under in the early 2000's at all. I think a new Conservative party needs to be created. I have been thinking that a Tory or Kadima USA party here in the US may be a good start. I have been toying with the idea as of late. RINO's need to roar and create another second party and let this one die on the vine.

    May 26, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Nonsensical

    In order to have a conversation each side must be willing to listen to the other side. If the American people really wanted government to work they would not send the type of people to Congress we have seen in recent years. Republicans have figured out their policies can't win national elections, but are able to win local ones which then enables them to stymie and broad national agenda.

    May 26, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Sam Watson

    Both Parties are at fault...This is The United States Of America. As a Veteran and coming from a family of Veterans we fight to defend the Constitution of the United States.
    These Political Leaders are slowly drafting the Constitution of the Divided States of America.
    I say Enough is Enough...Quit thinking that the prosperity of this country is only for the chosen few. It is for every Working Class American. That in itself is what has cost us to be split as well as other issues letting Politicians be the deciding factors instead of the majority of Americans.
    Has anyone ever ask why politicians get so wealthy?
    Has anyone ever asked why politicians get better healthcare than the American Citizens who put them in office?
    Has anyone ever asked why politicians think War makes America healthier than Plan your Work and Work you plan.
    Has anyone ever asked why the politicians don't raise the cap on the Income tax which would keep social security solvent?

    Bob Dole is Right...The Republicans have lost their way and they took a gamble with the Tea Party. We so seriously need another Ronald Wilson Reagan and not some watered down Party Partisian Political Leader. Enough is Enough. Americans will take this country back from Career Politicians...We are just slow cookers but once we come to a boil...it will happen.
    Its time to act on the social security issue and quit covering that up.. That in itself just wreaks with scared politicians not wanting to do the right thing.

    May 26, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Thomas

    Should say,
    " On Vacation " , " Gone Golfing ", Over at Rand Pauls house might be back later ,!

    May 26, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. Nodack

    “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.”

    Ideas and positive agendas? LOL

    I can see it now. "How about we attack Obama using this strategy? That's a positive agenda".

    He didn't think Obama did enough to work with Republicans early on? Republicans vowed to oust Obama as their #1 goal. There was no working with them. They were going to everything in their power not to work with him.

    May 26, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  23. martin angell

    Benghazi-gate and related lies, AP and Fox subpoenas and IIRS political operatives doing Obama's dirty work to quash dissent...I think the REAL problem is not Republicans, but a tyrannical president/administration. It is definitely time to SHUT this operation down for business.

    Thank God the Tea Party is saying NO! and HELL NO! to the out of control spending and runaway government imposing socialism at every turn!!!

    May 26, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. ally buster

    Obama is not the one causing the logjam, it is the party of NO that is doing that!

    May 26, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  25. Tchism

    The sign should read condemned! Dole is Typical GOP. States that the GOP has a problem and then says its all Obama's fault!
    What he was really saying to the GOP was hay guys, we need better lies!

    May 26, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
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