Republican congressman: GOP can seem like 'knuckle-dragging Neanderthals'
December 17th, 2013
04:37 PM ET
10 months ago

Republican congressman: GOP can seem like 'knuckle-dragging Neanderthals'

(CNN) - Republican Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin indicated his party could adopt a more delicate tone to better communicate its message.

"From my perspective, and I come from a very 50-50 district in central and northern Wisconsin, you have people on our side of the aisle that have a really abrasive tone. We can come across as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals on occasion," Duffy said Tuesday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Duffy also said 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's infamous 47% comments - indicating nearly half of the U.S. population is dependent on government service and would therefore automatically vote for a Democrat - alienated a significant portion of voters and made GOP's candidate "unrelatable."

Duffy is far from the first Republican to indicate that certain members of the party should temper their message.

After Romney failed to grab the White House for the GOP, the Republican National Committee has actively worked to change its tone and message to appeal to more women and minorities who helped deliver the election to Obama.

House Speaker John Boehner said earlier this month that some House Republicans "...just aren't as sensitive as they ought to be," when asked about recent efforts by the House GOP campaign arm to improve how male candidates appeal to female voters.

The two-term congressman was first elected in a wave of tea party support in 2010. Prior to serving Wisconsin's 7th district, Duffy was a reality TV star on MTV's "The Real World: Boston" and "Real World/Road Rules Challenge," as well as a county district attorney.

Duffy appeared on MSNBC with his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy, also a former reality TV star, who he met while filming "Real World/Road Rules Challenge."


Filed under: House Republicans • Sean Duffy
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. jonquil123

    Voters are just very leery to trust them, again. We're sick of this country coming to a standstill from their antics and The Tea Party calling it success. And while I can give it to Conservatives that, fine, they believe abortion is wrong, they can at least acknowledge that when women become pregnant, they are faced with profound choices, responsibilities and personal health concerns. At least, acknowledge it and respect it. Show a little sensitivity and you may even to sway these women through persuasion, so they make the choices - of their own free will - that Conservatives can endorse.

    December 17, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. Hector Slagg

    When the Amendment to the Constitution was ratified by the states that allowed the congress to collect and disburse money is where the problem began. The job of the Congress, in the domestic sector is to make the laws as fair as possible within the constitution. The Congress has no business in collecting and disbursing taxes for the most part. And further more we on't need the congress in session 365 days a year. Just when some requirement an accordance iwith the constitution.is needed.Our Liar-in-Chief is supposed to know the constitution. He doesn't.

    December 17, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Seems like? What more proof do any of you need than what you've witnessed in the past twelve years, when these knuckle dragging nose pickers screwed up everything and involved the nation in not one but two wars, both placed on the cuff. When in Gods name are you idiots going to awaken to the fact that you've been played like cheap band instruments by these so called family values paragons of virtue and truth. To them the truth is negotiable. Wake Up.

    December 17, 2013 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  4. jerry

    would love to see CNN treat the leftist with articles like this....

    December 17, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Peppykins- It must be difficult to be on the wrong side of everything important to Americans.

    December 17, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. Jack

    I am former Republican and it will stay that way!

    December 17, 2013 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  7. TheLeftWing

    Sometimes it is ideas and not just words that is the problem.

    December 17, 2013 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  8. Steven C

    It is interesting how so many Republicans are convinced the reason their message doesn't resonate with voters is the 'tone' with which it is delivered, not the actual message. Maybe if they just speak louder, we'll hear then...

    December 17, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  9. A Person

    It makes me sad that this guy can say that and he's a hero. If a Republican were to say this about a Democrat, the media would crucify him. Regardless, saying that wasn't even funny – just rude.

    Before someone (eventually) brings it up, both parties have an equal share of dummies.

    December 17, 2013 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  10. Vence

    The real term is Australopithecus!

    December 18, 2013 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  11. Larry B.

    But they are neanderthals.

    December 18, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    The GOP base which has proven again and again and again that they are incapable of critical thinking (and having a memory longer than that of a gnat) may buy this stinking pile from Duffy and Boehner and all the other GOPers wetting themselves when contemplating the 2014 mid-terms. But the rest of us?

    Not a chance – none, nada ,zip.

    December 18, 2013 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  13. Marie MD

    Well yes, but I think Neanderthals knew better than the teaklans that working together as a group was for survival.
    I know of at least two repugs, including my husband, who are now Democrats because they cannot stand for nor believe what their party has turned into in the last few years.

    December 18, 2013 06:25 am at 6:25 am |
  14. A True Conservative

    But then we have the Dems who seem to be unable to speak the truth ever. The Dems also seem to be incapable of self-reflection.....they just ALWAYS know how completely right they are at all times so why would they need to reflect on themselves?

    December 18, 2013 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  15. TONE

    After 5 years of paying a salary to Republicans for no work, i find it hard to trust this guy because he is part of the gop do nothing congress. The gop are not very nice people,so i will vote Democrat all the way come 2014

    December 18, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  16. current state of the union

    Real world goes to Washington, just what we need, and as f* kid up as it sounds, he's the voice of reason in his party, enough said!

    December 18, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  17. NameCharles Hawkins

    To the knuckle dragging neanderthals it doesn't matter that they scare away moderate voters. Purity of thought as dictated by the likes of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh is the litmus test republican candidates must pass at the expense of the American voter.

    December 18, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
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