GOP as the "iPhone party"
April 19th, 2014
11:43 AM ET
4 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. Patriot

    Alexander meant to say I Plod party.

    April 19, 2014 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. Steve

    And like an iPhone when you get old, you will not be supported. Here have a voucher!

    April 19, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Lucas

    "republicans don't even believe in evolution" Funny, I thought you didn't have to "believe" in evolution...

    Bad attempt at relevance with your grandchildren's generation, Senator. iPhones aren't empowering. They are restrictive and impotent. Which is which I am glad I ditched mine. Open source platforms are the way to go, Senator, and the GOP should follow suit with it's platform.

    April 19, 2014 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. david dee

    I don't think that will happen, the members of the GOP haven't been able to get past Touch-Tone dialing;)

    April 19, 2014 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. Lucas

    Something tells me the Senator just got his first smartphone and it's lilkely an iPhone 5s. Like most first time iPhone users, he thinks life should mirror the iPhone.

    April 19, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  6. barb'sbarb

    First the GOP would need to leave their dark ages mentality and worldview behind to even get close to the modern era.

    April 19, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. Bill

    As if....

    April 19, 2014 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. bmckay

    Why not!! They're a;ready the I. diot party

    April 19, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. Tom

    Once again, Republicans don't have any solutions to the people's problems – they just whine, obstruct, and throw out false propaganda. They have so few solutions, that they're now asking the public, because they don't know what to do. So out of touch, it's sad. I've hoped for years now that they'd put together something I could cross over for, but they continue to disappoint.

    April 19, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. HenryMiller

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

    It would be cool if the Republicans actually meant that. And, who knows?, maybe they do.

    April 19, 2014 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. Synthetically Thought...

    At least he is being honest in comparing the GOP agneda to the most restrictive OS platform on the market...total control over the User.

    April 19, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  12. Steve

    More likely the "iPhony party." Republican "solutions" to problems have been abject failures for the past 30 years. The miracle of the GOP is that anyone – ANYONE – believes that the party is out for anything but to perpetuate its power. And fundraising ability.

    April 19, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. eSara K

    This is a good start for trying to get younger people behind the Republican party. Not specifically iPhone or 'e-government', but the idea of the party, like the device, "simplifying" policies, laws, life, and "empowering" people. Run with it! (From a mid-40s female who a) can't believe how many people voted for Obama for a 2nd term; b) has seen some of the hassle the Dodd-Frank implementation has caused)

    April 19, 2014 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  14. cpebbles

    So they're going to sue the Democrats when they lose elections?

    April 19, 2014 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  15. Saboth

    If Republicans had their way, this country would be a combination of Iran and China. We'd have national law based on Christian religion, while people lived in corporate housing at their place of employment, where they worked 12 hours days for a dollar an hour, then died early due to cancer because we'd have nothing but toxic water and air to breath and drink. They keep crying about how the rich and corporations have it so rough, yet the wealth gap in this country is almost on par with 3rd world countries, the rich are richer than they've ever been in our nation's history, and corporations are posting record-breaking profits,while the number of poor in the country grows, and the middle class has actually seen their wage decrease over the past 10 years. The reason there are more people depending on the government today isn't because they are lazy, it's because the "free market" and "trickle down" has failed completely.

    April 19, 2014 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  16. Marie Crowe

    What a riot. I'm a 69-year-old woman and even I know how dreadful the iPhone analogy is. Lamar is as much a fuddy duddy as others in the GOP. Their attempts to reach out to the younger crowd are laughable.

    April 19, 2014 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. Hmm....

    More of an Android/Linux guy myself...love open source...he should do more research before sticking his foot in his mouth....

    April 19, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. PM

    The GOP is exactly like Apple. They need their followers to have little brains and be told how to live their lives.

    April 19, 2014 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  19. UpsetVoter

    So the GOP wants to be 3 times more expensive than needed. They want to copy Apple's extreme overcharging.

    April 19, 2014 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. opinion8it

    Hey GOP, if you want government to be run by private companies, then why are you fighting so hard to keep your government seats?.... The fact is GOP only wants "smaller government" when they are not in power.

    April 19, 2014 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. Lynn

    If the free market is so innovative at providing solutions, why was/is health care reform even necessary. For decades our health care system has been rising in cost and restrictive. Too many without adequate access, etc. The free market did NOTHING to solve that. The fact that our health care system is beholden to share holders and not for the sake of keeping our citizens well, its immoral.

    April 19, 2014 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  22. Robert

    Well, it makes sense. Apple was created by Jobs, who was a liar and a thief.

    April 19, 2014 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. jkflipflop

    Wow how stupid are the republicans? You can clearly hear how this meeting of stuffy old imbeciles went :

    "The young demographic doesn't think we're hip enough"
    "Lets associate ourselves with something the kids today like"
    "My daughter loves that damned iPhone thing of hers"
    "That's it! We'll say we're like an iPhone! Problem solved. We'll be cool cats in no time."

    April 19, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  24. Billy Bob

    Are these people for real? Who do they possibly think buys into their lame routine, other then trailer trash, bible thumpers, and people that can drop $100,000.00 on a vegas weekend?

    April 19, 2014 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  25. Mark Yelka

    The problem is that I don't trust government to be honest without regulation. Who is going to protect the little guy? Certainly not big business whose goal it is to suck as much money as possible from customers and give it to the shareholders. The GOP still feels like the party that doesn't protect 99% of us. But, they've got a lot of money to buy air time to say just the opposite and, by stealth, pretend to be something they're not.

    Mind you, the Democrats are too eager to spend, spend, spend without considering the health of the economy. They are all too willing to bleed money to this cause and that without being fiscally responsible.

    What is needed is a well-regulated middle ground. A place where quality of life for the average citizen can be measured and improved through jobs encouragement while not sacrificing our planet to do so. A bit of socialism is needed... eliminating the profit motive and transfer to a small number of people for things that are essentials: clean water, electricity, and basic utilities, not to mention insurance. These basics should not be subject to capitalism.

    April 19, 2014 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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