GOP as the "iPhone party"
April 19th, 2014
11:43 AM ET
5 months ago

GOP as the "iPhone party"

(CNN) - "Imagine your government as your iPhone."

That was the message from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, in the GOP's weekly address Saturday.

In a call for free markets and open platforms, Alexander argued that government should be more like Apple, Inc. - working to give private citizens the means "to create a happier, safer, more prosperous life."

It's an idea that "Republican enablers" have fought for for years and that "Democrat mandators" have prevented, he said.

"Republicans want to enable and empower you. We want to be the iPhone party."

Specifically, he cited House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's JOBS Act, which passed in 2012 with bipartisan support and was signed by President Obama. It eases the rules that the Securities and Exchange Commission enforces on small companies going through the process of becoming a publicly traded company, opening up access to new sources of revenue and lifting some regulatory burdens.

Alexander referenced the Dodd-Frank law as a Democrat counter-example, saying it makes "community bankers spend more time filling out forms than... making loans." The sweeping financial reform bill was signed into law in 2010 and meant to strengthen consumer protection, rein in complex financial products, and head off future bank bailouts; critics call it more harmful red tape.

He also pointed to legislation proposed by Republicans as examples of the "iPhone government," including pushing for more school vouchers and giving states more control of their Medicaid programs. Democrats, on the other hand, want "fixed wages and more lawsuits," he said.

Alexander chided other government organizations, too.

"Just imagine the Internal Revenue code, the Food and Drug Administration or the Labor Department enabling you rather than ordering you around," Alexander said.

Healthcare is the biggest divergence, according to Alexander, who slammed Obamacare for "mandating" too much.

"Too often, Obamacare cancels the policy you want to keep and tells you what policy to buy, even if it costs more and restricts your choices of doctors and hospitals. Republicans believe that freedom and more choices will empower you to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget," he said.

To drive home the point of an e-government, Alexander finished his address by calling on constituents to submit their own ideas.

"We'll learn from you," he said, closing out with Easter wishes.


Filed under: GOP weekly address • Lamar Alexander
soundoff (480 Responses)
  1. Right

    He probably just bought some apple stocks.....

    April 19, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Ctrygrl

    I agree that Dodd-Frank is absurd just reinstating Glass-Stegelman would have been much better but that of course would have cost the mega rich way to much money and republicans would not support that. Yes wouldn't it be wonderful to get rid of all those pesky FDA food safety regulations they hurt our good honest food producers and raise prices, all those limits on insecticides and lead and that sort of thing, not to mention all the food inspections. Really freeing our food producers could enable all of us to get food poisoning and feed our children unlimited amounts of lead and mercury. All those stringent rules on health insurance companies, insure pre-existing conditions, spend at least 80% on the insured, offer policies without hidden no pay clauses and caps. How dare they we should be enabled to spend our money for useless insurance just like we used to. Bless you republicans

    April 19, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. jack

    He knows as much about technology as he does about government. The IPhone is by far the most restricted and regulated phone on the market.

    April 19, 2014 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. javier

    That's really funny! I just read the first few words and started laughing... open market and open platform...? That describes Android and its architecture. Apple's architecture is a closed platform.

    April 19, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  5. revbro

    He wants more jobs created in China.. and believes this helps the USA?

    April 19, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. boston1c

    yeah the iphone 3 – backwards and outdated

    April 19, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. grumpy0ldman

    Calling for a free market and open platform and citing Apple, which keeps an iron grip on it's developers and customers, as an example? The GOP is a landline phone with a dial.

    April 19, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Jim

    Hilariously bad analogy. Apple's app market can hardly be called "free" and it wasn't created to enable any particular ideal. It's just good business sense to let other people's work make your own products more desirable.

    I'm also getting sick of the peanut gallery attacks at Obamacare. Republicans believe in 'more freedom and more choices". Great. How? Free market rhetoric and pixie dust?

    April 19, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. E1 jones

    Just the fact that a GOP representative would compare "free markets and open platforms" to the iphones, shows me that they have no concept of the iphone or how Apple controls it.

    April 19, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  10. disqcoduck

    These guys are clueless about technology. iPhone IS NOT an open platform. Rather is provides a very nice, seemless experience with limited choice. Android is the open platform with many variation, tons of choices, and a wide range of inconsistent experiences across different models.

    I won't opine on which is better, since that a personal choice. But I will say that Mr. Alexander won't be my choice to make critical IT decisions. LOL

    April 19, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  11. chris dacula

    That is funny... If the GOP understood anything about the technical restrictions on those I-products, they would think again.

    April 19, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  12. Lamar is an idiot.

    And what makes the iPhone and Apple App Store work is a highly regulated marketplace subject entirely to the standards of Apple. Does the GOP encourage that kind of oversight, too. Man this guy is an idiot to use that kind of analogy. He just took a popular item and says he wants his party to be popular, you know, like that popular item.

    April 19, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. AppleVAndroid

    They do get it. Apple is a closed and restrictive system under control of a single manufacturer. A monarchy is way better than socialism. It is loosing market share, like the GOP, and must turn to litigation to gets its way.

    April 19, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. Kathleen White

    The GOP is hardly innovative and leading edge. They are the last ones I would associate with the iPhone or anything smart for that matter. Go back to the drawing board GOP, you still are not fooling the masses; at least the ones with half a brain.

    April 19, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  15. jay

    kind of funny because iPhone has the more regulated phone. If they had any idea about how smartphones work they'd say they want to be like android. Make no mistake though what they really mean is they want to make it easier for their rich donors to take advantage of the working class and suck more wealth out of the economy

    April 19, 2014 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Way Out There

    Well, at least they didn't say "We want to be your Blackberry Party."

    April 19, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. kenjman

    I also find it funny because iOS is actually more restrictive and controlled than other platforms. The iPhone is a great phone, but one of the reasons for it is because of the level of strict control Apple has over it. Apple must approve anything that goes on their platform and many times makes asinine decisions as to what gets approved and what doesn't. iOS is a completely closed ecosystem that anyone who participates in it must follow. Again, in terms of a phone, this can have a lot of benefits, but if you wanted to be the party that promoted less rules and restrictions, he probably should have gone for Android.

    April 19, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Eric

    Good examples are the Republican party enabling people to stand in ever longer lines to discourage their vote, enabling white males to pass laws controlling women's bodies, and enabling mega corporations to pollute Federal lands.

    April 19, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  19. Donny

    They might as well be something since they sure aren't the party for women and minorities and the poor.

    April 19, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. Yeah Right

    What in the world is this guy talking about? I think he is misguided as to what Obamacare is. It IS the free market..aka private insurance companies, deciding who the doctor should b. The president is not the one cancelling policies, is it PRIVATE insurance companies doing away with old policies in favor of new policies. Obamacare is not tailoring these insurance policies it IS the FREE MARKET he claims he is for...again Obamacare gives the power to the people to buy the policy on the FREE MARKET that meets their financial and medical needs. Unreal.

    "Too often, Obamacare cancels the policy you want to keep and tells you what policy to buy, even if it costs more and restricts your choices of doctors and hospitals. Republicans believe that freedom and more choices will empower you to find a policy that fits your needs and your budget," he said.

    April 19, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Kris

    "We want to be the iPhone party."

    The GOP will try anything "hip sounding" after their last two defeats by a hip president. Biggest fail ever.

    April 19, 2014 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. reality

    um they need to believe in science and technology first

    April 19, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Richard

    I always thought the GOP was the lemon party.

    April 19, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  24. New Joisey Guy

    This guy is a JOKE. He wants us to get "enabled." hahaha

    April 19, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. polly

    And.... the iPhone just became uncool.

    April 19, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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