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. TJ Martin

    Marie MD, there are intelligent men and women who want what's best for the country. They're called Democrats.

    May 26, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Paul

    He's right, but (ssshhhh!) don't tell them that. As a Progressive Democrat, I want to le the Republicans take the role that they seem happiest at: the angry, yet impotent opposition party. Today's Republicans seem to hate the actual work of governing, and seem to love screeching and braying at Democrats. So let them... from the sidelines.

    May 26, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. tommariner

    Dole forgot to mention that JFK would not recognize the Democrat party either. 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.

    May 26, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  4. Tony Antin

    If Republicans, during Obama's first term, were not so angrily following Mitchell: "Our only goal is to get rid of Obama,"
    with absolutely no regard for "the good of the country," perhaps Obama WOULD have "visited more" with Republican congresspeople.

    May 26, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Norma jean.

    I KNEW I ALWAYS LIKED THIS MAN!!!.... A least someone in the party can see what has happened and is still happening.!!

    May 26, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Trevor Bryant of Flagstaff, AZ

    GOP left sanity behind a long time ago. Now, all they have are gimmicks and tricks that make them look disproportionately large, such as redistricting (gerrymandering), filibuster (since they refuse to have any input on bills), right wing media conspiracy (since there really is no "liberal bias" in any media except MSNBC which was a response to faux news), disenfranchising voters (rather than reaching out to minorities and latinos), and anti-abortionists (cleverly called "pro-life" even though no one is "pro-death"). They have lost all credibility and worst still, they refuse to create the jobs we STILL demand after 5 years of their obstructionism. The Tea Party is Libertarianism at heart, and they wonder why they can't get along with them, why they hated and kept libertarians at arms length? They thought they had it made when in 2010 the Tea party helped them take back one of the houses of congress so Obama couldn't just steam roll them, now they realize that was a mistake, but the cat is now out of the bag, and they can't put it back. The GOP is done as a party, until they either become tea party or democrat. They are better off becoming democrats than tea party. Ultimately, Tea Party doesn't get ANYTHING done. American people are only going to put up with that for so long.

    May 26, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. 111Dave111

    I have got to laugh at 'tea party' republicans calling Dole a 'RINO' (Republican In Name Only),
    when it is the 'tp', who have moved right of the 75% of America,
    Renaming the GOP Greed, Obstruction & Paranoia.

    May 26, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. JD

    Dole needs to go sit by Palin and dream for awhile! The republican party will soon be a party in the past. You can owe it all to people like Dole, Palin, Gingrich, Tea Party, Romney, Eastwood, the list goes on and on. Number one that put the icing on the cake to destroy their party is the NRA! That's right, I said it! Anytime you go agains what the majority of America wants when election time comes, it's going to bite you in the butt! Piss off voters and you pay. Those of you that don't believe it ask Romney how the 47% are doing!

    May 26, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  9. fedupwithla

    Where did they find Bob Dole? I thought he wasn't allowed to speak anymore. That is, someone who makes some sense about it all . . .

    May 26, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  10. Leo

    Amazing. The writings on the wall, but the current crop of republican nut jobs fail to listen. God! I look forward to 2014, when the purge can become reality. If the idiots get reelected to office, it means the people voting need a check up from the neck up.

    May 26, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. paddylol

    The GOP needs a purge, of RINOs, statists and so called moderates (progressives). Dole, Mc Cain, Graham and Rubio are at the top of my list of "to be flushed."

    May 26, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Mike Constitution

    The ignorance and hatred expressed in these comments about the Tea Party is inexcusable.

    Bob Dole was never a conservative and that is why he lost as a Presidential candidate.

    The leftist fascists, as embodied by Obama, will stop at nothing to impose their will on the rest of us with government power; Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, etc.

    That any of you would equate those multi-trillion dollar monstrosities with the debate over whether or not the life of an innocent child should be protected show how crazy you leftists have become.

    In Obama world, everything the government does is somehow good, no matter the actual results, while the people that actually pay for the messes, your hated "rich" and "corporations" are always somehow evil.

    The future of this country depends on Constitutional Conservatives fighting back against your lies and smears and educating you Obama voting morons that the false compassion of government dependence is no way to live.

    May 26, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  13. strangerq

    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....
    __________________________________________

    Agreed. The GOP made their deal with the devil on day one, when they realized they could instigate 'red-state-resentment' of President Obama (and we all know what they really entails).

    They cling to their obstruction strategy because it is easier than developing a positive agenda – given that they failed so miserably in the 1st decade of this century.

    I'll prove it – GOP members, even know – tell us what your health care reform plan is?

    You don't have one.

    You simply hate Obama Care because well.....you been told that you're supposed to. But you have no real alternative of your own, and as long as you can substitute hate for a positive alternative.....why even bother?

    Prove me wrong.....

    May 26, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Deej59

    "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."

    Isn't it a shock that all the republicans point at Obama for this, as if the GOP hasn't made a concerted effort to block every single thing he's attempted to do.

    May 26, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  15. strangerq

    The GOP needs a purge, of RINOs.....

    ^ Kamikaze republicans. Gotta luv him. We'll take the house back by 2016 at the latest. And then, when the Democraats control all branches of government, we can have another round of Obama style – comprehensive reform of *everything*, like we had in 2009. :)

    May 26, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Safejourney

    When the GOP/republicans purge the party of the Tea Party people, then and only then will the republicans start to recover. The tea party people have destroyed the republican party and the majority of Americans know it.

    May 26, 2013 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. Stephen Harris

    The Republicans have only one goal and that is to make government smaller and themselves richer. Government does
    much that is beneficial to the people. Things they can not do for themselves. Now, while interest rates are low, spend money on infrastructure, Our bridges and electric grid are desperately in need of repair ! These would be real investments in our future. Jobs would be created,too.

    May 26, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. gager

    Leave the religion at home. That would greatly improve the GOP.

    May 26, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  19. Ron

    I agree with Leo, If we American voters fail to get rid of the Repubs in 2014 we should keep our mouths shut.

    May 26, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  20. Meta

    The Republicans vowed to make Obama fail at whatever cost, and the cost has been huge. These elected officials are employees of the people, but instead of working for the people of this country, they care only to have their "jobs" and percs in place tomorrow. If they were in the private sector, they would be in a long line for food stamps and unemployment benefits. I only wish they could be stripped of their benefits as dismissed employees and suffer the embarrassment of picking up a bag of groceries at the food bank where I work.

    May 26, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Steve

    I am hopeful that we have an alternative arise. I do not trust Democrats or Republicans. Both have proven to be unethical and both parties share in the failure of Washington.

    May 26, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. july4ther

    Dole is old man saying how good the old days (and ways) were. Fortunately, the clock does not turn back.

    Both GOP and Dems are doing what is best for them. Only when the voters (or suckers as these parties like to think of us) think of what is best for them in the long run and not just the issues of the day, will the message get through to the political system.

    May 26, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Benji a 24 year old tea partier.

    Did any of you hear? The Tea Party is Surging again? Bob Dole Be GONE!!! RINO!!!

    May 26, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. Dan

    You think the GOP has gone nuts? You guys are all crazy! We're 17 TRILLION dollars in debt. The Fed is printing so much money that Treebeard's going to storms the Reserve to save his trees. (LOTR)
    The GOP turned liberal 20 years ago. They were national security conservatives but Fiscal liberals. The GOP needed alot more Ron Paul like folks 30 years ago. Just now are people waking up but it may be too late. The government is attacking every Bill of Rights amendment we have, and if their going to spend us to oblivion and use the obviously predictable problems that results from said STUPID policies as the EXCUSE needed to further rob us of our rights. Bob Dole needs to stay out on the pasture. He had his chance to lead, and it lead to 17 Trillion dollars in debt.

    May 26, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. Joe

    He got it half right. The gridlock isn't Obamas fault. He spent the first two years trying to cooperate with congress. So much though that he didnt push enough of his agenda through while Democrats had the house that they lost the midterm because too many disappointed voters stayed home. The Republican Party today has only one agenda and that is to block any initiative that could push the country forward. Their goal is to make Obama a failure at all cost even if it means to destroy the country.

    May 26, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
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