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. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Sorry! The liberal left has been running the Asylum for over 80 years. If that's what people want let them have it. The Liberal's and democrats have been running the show and today you see the results. Are jobs coming back? Food stamps have come back. Nearly 50 million on food stamps. That's the liberal track record. Obama Care is killing jobe but some can't see the forest for the trees

    May 26, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. JohnK

    This is the kind of cheap shot I would not have expected from an elder statesman but indicative of what is wrong with Congress, point a finger at anyone else except yourself; petty one liners, divisive speeches, and partisan gamesmanship. The problem lies outside of Congress from a citizenry that can't send a representative to Congress that represents them and not exclusively the interests of Corporations and lobby's with tons of cash. The Congressional campaigns for reelection are expensive endeavors and they need tons of cash from corporate and lobby efforts to sustain their hold in Washington under the guise of your vote and support for them. Congress is a pig at a cash trough! They reward those who keep it full so they can drink their fill and take a good crap on the average citizen's right to an existence from good representative legislation.

    May 26, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Klaark

    Looks to me like Obama did what he could to bridge the gap, but on the other side was a pack of pseudo-fascists screaming "Muslim!"

    But Dole's right, the GOP needs to fix itself. Tell the blacks, Mexicans, gays, and Muslims that "If you vote for us, we'll go back to pretending we don't utterly despise you."

    May 26, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  4. Scott M.

    Obama worked very hard to get together with Congress during his first term, they were just too pissed that they lost the election to sit down with him. The acted like children, and continue to do so. I bristle when I hear Repubs charging Obama with not trying to "bridge the divide"; he tried hard and the effort was completely rebuffed, so eventually he just said "fine, I'll do it without you". You can't have it both ways! So instead of them trying to bridge the divide as well, they take their ball and go home.

    May 26, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  5. P Lopez

    The Republicans should probably split into 3 parties; the right wing Tea Party wacko branch, the fundamentalist wing that wants a theocracy, and the moderate centrist wing focused on actually governing. Only then will I find it palatable to vote for a Republican again.

    May 26, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  6. chris

    I would say that this article should more accurately represent the Elite Republicans closed for repairs. Most of us woul like the old guard to leave because they are not connected to the country any longer. Grouping all of us into that small vocal and controlling group is not accurate.

    May 26, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. itengineer

    The Libs are thrilled with this but they ignore similar things being said about the Far Left wing democrat party.

    May 26, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. HoleN1

    " Obama lacks the proper Leadership skills to get things done." Ah, no. He lacks the pigment type needed to get cooperation from those on the other side. Simple as that... If he were white, with the same agenda and same leadership skills, some things would get done. You know it, I know it. Any one who is honest with themselves knows this. Period.

    May 26, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. GrogInOhio

    Wait... so McConnell's pledge to make sure Obama was a one term president is all Obama's fault? Dole must be getting Alzheimer's.

    May 26, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. sbp

    The "golfing" red herring again? About the President who has taken the least time off of the last five?

    May 26, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. joe

    Only right wing extremist listen to Fox News and talk radio republican host who spew political hatred 24 hours a day. That is why they lost the election. They think that if you throw enough sh-t on the wall that some of will stick. The majority of American people were smart enough to make up their own mind on their choice of candidates. Guess what-the majority voted Democratic by a landside. Romney was poor candidate and negative campaigning hurt him and his party in both primary and presidential election.....I have never seen such poor losers. Congress needs to get to work and quit crying...

    May 26, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  12. mike

    Tell Bob that Obama would have had some sit down time to just get to know each other had the Republican Policies over the previous decade not caused an economic collapse world wide. He was kinda busy trying to clean up the Clinton/Bush anti-regulation mess.

    May 26, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. g

    the republican america would be one hell of a scary place, a fascist ,military state,much like nazi germany 1930

    May 26, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Chuck

    Dole cannot credibly place the blame on the complete uselessness of Congress on Obama, when the main thrust of Republicans in 2008 was to make sure Obama remained a one-term president and their main trust now is to make sure none of Obama's agenda is implemented.

    May 26, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  15. Dan

    This GOP cannot compromise. They stated, publicly, that they will oppose everything this president wants, to make him a one-term president. They set a record for the number of filibusters. They changed the rules to make almost every bill require a super-majority... which was a fear of Jefferson. A simple majority on must issues is preferred.
    The GOP stated all of this BEFORE Obama even took the oath of office.

    Real government requires compromise. The TP-led GOP believes in their way or the highway.

    May 26, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  16. DJ Reality

    I respect Mr. Dole. And he is right.

    May 26, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. rker321

    The Republican Party has changed to much that is not recognizeable. It used to be a pretty decent party with some good ideas, now, is just not working anylonger.

    May 26, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  18. sgurdog

    He's right about the GOP but he's wrong about Obama. No amount of talking and eating dinner with the likes of them would have made a difference except they probably could have done more horse trading and bought off a few symbolic votes. We always talk about wanting someone outside of the beltway, which is why so many politicians run on being the "DC outsider" but what we have is someone in office who is just that.

    May 26, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. rker321

    The Republican Party has changed much too much, It is a pity that they are not able to recognize it.
    If they continue the way that they are going they will no longer be a relevant party.

    May 26, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. bill

    Thank you Bob Dole, if there were more people in my old party like him I would have stayed, but I had to leave once it got hi-jacked by the loonies.

    May 26, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. jeepguy6

    I am a registered independent. I have always said it is silly to vote for someone based on the letter that follows their name. With that said, I can at least say with the Republican Party the way it currently stands, unless they make serious changes, I will NEVER vote for someone with an (R) after their name ever again.

    May 26, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. don in albuquerque

    Thanks Mr. Dole. As usual hit the nail on the head.

    May 26, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. jeepguy6

    This independent will NEVER vote Republican again if they continue down this same path.

    May 26, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. sgurdog

    The far right continue to use the communism bs propaganda when that was put to bed before Clinton came to office. That's the problem with the extremists, even when the treat is gone they can't possibly let go of the wedge. They refuse to adapt intelligently and this is how you end up with an overreaching, diabolically scheming party that no longer resembles the party of Reagan. They're rabidly out of touch with a world that's growing beyond what their tiny brains can handle.

    May 26, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. lbdukeep

    I quite agree, closed for repairs – of their brains. So many ugly things said in public, where the media catches every word....the insults, the slander the poison , hatred, and absolute stupidity of letting corporations use them for their own personal private profiteering. They have been irresponble, hiding from accountability, and poisonous to the progress of this – their nation, their own homeland. They have all quite sold their souls to their God – Money!

    May 26, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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