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. papalott

    Oh.....I ran over my Iphone today. Smooched by a truck tire...R + Iphone party....give me rotary phones please....party lines??

    April 19, 2014 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  2. Robert

    Oh please, get real! I'm a conservative but they couldn't have picked a worse analogy! Look at the GOP & Fox, most are old, out-of-touch, fat, rich dudes. Also, if you're a loser then you should apply to Fox News, your odds might be good (oh, well, forgot Moon-Colony-Newt on CNN, oh well). Apple is an innovative, cutting edge co. that makes high-quality products. How the worn-out GOP got this I don't know. I can't connect the dots!

    April 19, 2014 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  3. Gamthin

    Interesting analogy. iPhone is restrictive, closed, and more expensive to operate or to add apps to. Is that what he wants for the GOP?

    April 19, 2014 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  4. ja

    The IPhone was created embraced, is continuously improved, as all products are the GOP, acronym for GridlockOperativeParty, since President Obama election, they should seek means of improving the affordable Care Act, stop calling it Obama Care,

    April 19, 2014 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. mch

    Such stupid rhetoric. GOP gets sadder by the minute.

    April 19, 2014 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. jerry

    This is awesome fail on Alexander's part. Apple isn't successful because of the freedom they offer, they're successful because they control the iphone experience as tightly as possible.

    April 19, 2014 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  7. ChicagoComments

    Wow! Lamar! Really!!? Did you really say: "Republicans want to enable and empower you. We want to be the iPhone party."

    Well, as you can see from the initial comments, Apple is not an open system-its success is because it is a well designed, heavily tested, closed system.

    Lamar, let me ask you a question. Are the people who planned to have Paul Ryan hurriedly wash dishes (one time, I might add) while on the campaign trail back in 2012, the same people who came up with this mindless analogy of the Republican Party as the iPhone Party? Pathetic and embarrassing. And you want people to believe that the Republican party can lead with this hooey?

    Why don't you strongly encourage your Republican colleagues to stop wasting time trying to connect with the electorate using immature tools. The answer is staring you in the face, just address the human condition, you know, people's needs for health care, housing, food, and education. Give people hope, not cynicism.

    April 19, 2014 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. Geoff

    I would imagine that if "Republicans want to enable and empower you... to create a happier, safer, more prosperous life.", a good place to start would be to support allowing people like Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, to marry his partner. I might then start to believe in a concept of "Republican enablers".

    April 19, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. mike33901

    so 10 years ago lol, apple has not been an innovation since Mr. Jobs Died (may he rest in peace). likewise, the GOP has not had a viable economic plan since dole-kemp.

    April 19, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  10. cptdondo

    The irony is that Apple puts its users into a walled garden where everything, every song, every movie, every app has to be approved by Apple's sensors. There is no freedom in Apple's walled garden. It's the utopia of absolute control and no freedom. Everything works as long as you accept the complete and utter control and domination of Apple's censors.

    April 19, 2014 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. picka materina

    is he joking??? Apple is like the most restrictive phone maker ever. They dont allow any custom iPhones at all. They want all to be the same and identical for reliability.

    April 19, 2014 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. Miles Borne

    Lamar Alexander is a fool, idiot, lier, fraud.

    April 19, 2014 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. Mark

    The government like an Apple product.

    Based on hype instead of substance, unjustifiably expensive, controlling what I can and can't use, ran by only a handful of people with real power, repacking the same stale promises and selling them as new and improves.

    I think we're there already.

    April 19, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  14. Mopery

    "Imagine your government as your iPhone."

    Overpriced and made in China by slave labor?

    April 19, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  15. smc

    "In a call for free markets and open platforms, Alexander argued [blah, blah, blah] ... yeah, Apple is about as closed of a platform as they come.

    Is there any evidence the JOBS Act has had any positive influence worth the deregulatory risk?

    April 19, 2014 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  16. Medicine Man

    Apple are a company of control freaks. Their products cost far more than the equivalent made by other companies. They have rigidly enforced standards – which of itself is not a bad thing in the right place, but if you're touting them as an example of freeing up the individual to pursue their dream, then it's an incredibly bizarre definition of "freeing".

    Apple's paranoia with regard to controlling everything even leads them to attempt to eradicate so-called "grey imports" in other markets.

    Apple are among those companies holding profits outside the US while they try to get their tax obligation reduced or even eliminated – and even a GOP government needs tax revenue, so that's another good reason not to hold Apple up as a shining example of...what, exactly?

    I really don't think the GOP have thought this analogy through in the slightest. In fact, I'd wager they don't even know much about Apple at all; they just know the name.

    April 19, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  17. Anonymous Coward

    I have two mobile devices on my desk. One empowers me to do anything I want with it. The other is limited to doing what its manufacturer approves and even mandates, right down to the appearance of the icons. Hint: the one that allows me to do what I want is NOT the one made by Apple.

    April 19, 2014 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  18. anAmerican1954

    The GOP is already the iPhoney party.

    April 19, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  19. dorado

    the party of the iphone still gets their news from talk radio!!

    April 19, 2014 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  20. wcoucheron

    Well, this is encouraging. The Republicans have heard of iPhones finally. I guess they're no longer using stone tablets to communicate.

    April 19, 2014 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  21. Cowabunga

    The Republicans are more like the "Marge down at the exchange" party – stuck in the past, trying to figure out where the cord is on the cell phone their grandkids bought them.

    Sadly, they've fallen and they can't get up.

    April 19, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  22. Boyd Manges

    That is, the party of tax evasion and child labor in 3rd world countries

    April 19, 2014 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  23. Cowabunga

    The Republicans are more like the "Marge down at the exchange" party – stuck in the past, trying to figure out where the cord is on the cell phone their grandkids bought them.

    Sadly, they've fallen and they can't get up.

    April 19, 2014 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  24. Dave A

    Oh dear, God. I'll never carry another iPhone again if it is forever associated with these myopic clods.

    April 19, 2014 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  25. twalk

    The GOP is the iPhony Party.

    April 19, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20