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. svann

    That should work.
    "Tell people we are like Apple. People love Apple and all that tech stuff".

    April 19, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. svann

    Right. Give people the tools to join together in a legal committed relationship and see what they do with it?

    April 19, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Al M.

    Should I stop laughing now or later? They want to empower us? Who are they kidding? Certainly not me nor anyone else with a functioning mind.

    They lie, they take away our rights, they take away our money and give it to the rich. There is no end to their greed and evil.

    April 19, 2014 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. ted

    i read the title to the story as GOP wants to be the IPHONY party. NEWS FLASH – this just in. Lamar Alexander just wakes up from 2012 when all the GOP phonies were on display during the primaries.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    April 19, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. Kevin

    Well, already being the "I'm phony" party, so not a big change for the GOP.

    April 19, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. John

    "To create a happier, safer, more prosperous life"

    Wouldn't that entail allowing gay marriage so people are happier? Wouldn't safer be better gun control measures so crazy people don't get a hold of the weapon and kill a bunch of innocent civilians? And wouldn't more prosperous mean chaning minimum wage, fixing the standard of living of the poor, and giving everyone healthcare (though not via Obamacare... this system sucks)? Doesn't seem like the vision of the Republican party.

    Also... Apple is DEFINITELY none of those things. They're restrictive and manipulative. Terrible way to try to connect the two ideas

    April 19, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  7. FEO

    Hmmm, maybe someone should tell Sen. Alexander that Apple supports gay marriage. :)

    April 19, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. mike_nnh

    I have been a republican for 36 years. Both parties want to be in control and neither party is interested in free markets. This country was founded on compromise and win / win solutions. Government is not the problem, it is the people we elect that are the problem. I can't wait for the next true revolution, it can't come soon enough.

    April 19, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. Sierra

    Who was the first one screaming to bail out the banks and big money investors Mr. Alexander? I can be all for deregulating the stock markets, investment banks, and the whole financial industry if that is what they want. But since the GOP firmly believes these entities are the best experts to police the financial industry, then these entities are the best to bail them out when the cow-flops hit the fan.

    I will also take Mr. Alexander at his word that the GOP wants government to be like Apple – a dictatorship. There was no mistake in choosing iPhone. iPhone is the perfect example for the GOP dream. Old technology that is easy to buy on the cheap, grand marketing schemes to make it look like the coolest thing ever, and near zero freedom for people wanting to offer goods or service for the iPhone and no freedom for consumers.

    I saw this one coming from a decade away.

    April 19, 2014 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. SayNoToPolitician

    Apple creates new product and markets it just like Obama created new health care.I though Republican are opposed to this form of government.

    April 19, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Libery

    We have seen the last of freedom in the US, and it's going to get worse.

    April 19, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. john

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

    Assume he means the 1%ers.

    April 19, 2014 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. GIUK

    LOL What will the GOP come up with next!? LOL

    April 19, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  14. Mark

    It comes down to two different philosophy's. If you believe in 'every man for himself' vote Republican. If you believe in 'we are all in this together' vote Democratic.

    April 19, 2014 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. Orygun Duck

    Well, that makes sense as we all know that Apple makes all of its products in China.

    April 19, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  16. norm

    oh by god i was just thinking an hour ago the Dems are like android.. open.. and the GOP is like Apple.. walled off.. and then this article!

    April 19, 2014 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. TheSadTruth

    Somebody must have just told the GOP leadership that IPhones are "Hip and Groovy".

    23 skidoo, conservatives!

    April 19, 2014 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. jcs6

    Does that mean congress should consist of underpaid poor Chinese workers? We might get things done.

    April 19, 2014 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Jack

    Funny- while I admire apple products, they are NOT a model for good government. They are highly secretive, dictatorial and arrogant. Hmm come to think of it.... Who does that sound like?

    April 19, 2014 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Sam Barber

    Close! They already are the iPhony party!

    April 19, 2014 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  21. Liz the First

    The repugs see everything thru the prism of the Almighty Dollar. they see government as business. this is deeply flawed thinking. government exists partly to protect Americans from the excesses of business. if the repugs had their way, there would be no protections from shoddy workmanship or downright dangerous products. And how is taking away people's rights and denying some their basic rights 'empowering' people? this is laughable.

    April 19, 2014 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  22. Jackson

    The GOP wants to enable and empower you...unless it's about abortion, or same sex marriage.

    They aren't an iPhone. They are two tin cans and some string.

    April 19, 2014 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Billy Joe Jim Bob

    So they should be like Apple. Which has strict control of the market. Absolute say. No freedom for developers at all. Locks out everything not directly approved by them. IT IS NOT OPEN AT ALL. Idiot is thinking of Android. This just goes to show how out of touch Repubs are with the younger generation.

    April 19, 2014 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. jake

    yo – t money,

    you haven't got a clue. (or you are a bad shopper.) did you actually shop for a policy or did you just accept whatever you got at work?

    April 19, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. Bobpitt

    Sad to see the GOP send these type of individuals to Washington, this guy didn't take the time to investigate before commenting, does he do that with other important issues?

    April 19, 2014 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
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