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. H.R. Shovenstuff

    This is hilarious considering Apple is known for draconian policies against open platforms. Techies have debates on whether Apple's iOS is a fortress or a prison. Oh, the lolz.

    April 19, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. yerkiddinright

    It's hard to believe that the GOP can get any more pathetic, and yet they keep trying.

    April 19, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Johnjon

    the GOP is pure rotary dial.

    April 19, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. ha ha

    If we needed any more evidence that the iphone was no longer cool . . .

    April 19, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. radar8

    Oh, right. We want to remove regulations from Wall Street because they proved how well they regulate themselves when they created the most recent depression. Yeah. Leat's go back to that.

    April 19, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Jim Jimson

    It's hard to imagine a party that is more anti-science, anti-technology, and anti twenty first century than the GOP.

    They are not the "iPhone Party", they're the party that wants lead America back in time.

    April 19, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. none of your business

    "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.

    They believe Obamacare restricts choice and freedom-well I believe Obamacare gives Americans more choice and freedom, people that get ins. thru their employees now don't get much choice of plans to choose from, basically it's either sign up for the one and only plan offered or choose to not have ins., also now people aren't tied to their job just to keep themselves or family insured, one more thing I have YET to hear about what the republicans plan to replace Obamacare with-only about how many times they have voted to repeal Obamacare

    April 19, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. TheTick

    The funny thing is that the iPhone is not even the free/open market. It is a closed garden eco system controlled by apple.

    April 19, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. Nick

    lol what a painful and cringeworthy way to try to attract the younger demo.

    April 19, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. ultima09

    The Apple store isn't an "open marketplace" anyways... The logic behind this shows just how completely out of touch the GOP is with modern America.

    April 19, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. Ed

    This is a perfect analogy for the GOP because the "market" is controlled by a moneyed interest who enforces "pay to play" and gets final say on who participates and who doesn't. You can't even run software that you write on the device you own without paying a fee to Apple.

    April 19, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. cbp

    If the two parties would stop trying to sell themselves to the people and would actually sit down and work together that might just be the answer. The constant posturing and the refusal to compromise or work together has not helped us at all.

    The Republicans will try to stop Obamacare even though it is being enacted every day. Just think of the mess they would create they actually could do it. The Democrats need to push for agreements by working with those in the Republican Party who will work to bring about compromise and movement forward. Those who cannot work together should think about moving on and giving those who can work together a chance to run for office.

    April 19, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. Tom

    Free markets and open platforms? And he picks Apple as an example? What a moron. There is no more closed infrastructure than Apple's.

    April 19, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    iPhones are not free, open platforms! They have barred many apps and prevented basic things to operate like adobe flash, google maps with street view etc etc.

    April 19, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Quentin Eichenauer

    The iPhone is controlled by iOS, where you have to prove to the central Apple organization that you are worthy, thrifty, moral, and brave. You have no freedom to publish, sell, or distribute without thier mandate. All controlled by a company that has a long history of telling you what to think, say, and do.

    Sounds right.

    April 19, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Nodack

    Really? Pfft.

    April 19, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. Larry38363

    This guy is hilarious. He's against unemployment insurance; equal pay; gay rights; pro-gun; pro-gerrymandering; anti-Jesus; and, anti-American. Give me a break about bringing happiness to anyone buy himself and his party.

    April 19, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. JohnRJohnson

    Really funny and ignorant comment by Alexander. iPhones are made by captive workers in China who have been literally jumping off the roof of their corporate city to get away from the oppressive work and lack of freedom. It has been a huge embarrassment for APPLE, which has since brought more manufacturing back to the US. But not all of it.

    April 19, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. desertbro

    Apple tightly restricts and blocks what can be used on their devices. If you want something else they dictate to you why you ain't getting it. Sounds like the GOP all right.

    April 19, 2014 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. Mike

    Such a great analogy. Apple is much more of a close, bureaucratic system than a truly open on like Android. Apple makes developers jump through hoops to get an app listed. The majority of them are never profitable.

    Dems should jump on this silly analogy and make the most of it.

    April 19, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Tony

    Republicans want you to IMAGINE them as the iPhone party. The problem is, you will have to use your imagination. Republicans will not lift a finger to help you. What have they done to give private citizens the means "to create a happier, safer, more prosperous life"? Nothing. Oh yeah, Republicans want you to have the freedom not to have health insurance. Even when you are sick. Other than that, you are on your own.

    April 19, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. CSD

    Jeez louise – how about putting forth an alternative health reform idea? How about explaining how your budget cuts everything while shifting the cash toward the military? These fools are as pathetic joke. One more national election and stick them in the same drawer with the Whigs.

    April 19, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Tech Ignorant

    IPhones are the least open, least "enabling" phones out there.

    April 19, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Quixote

    Apple stinks on ice. None of their components work with any other system, and they charge an astronomical fee to get basic connectors that should be included with the product. So alexander is, as always, speaking from his nether regions. And i do not want government run like ANY company because it is not a company. I do not want my kids school run like a business any more than i want business run like a school.

    April 19, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  25. hoeech

    They want to be compared to a product that's overpriced, that keeps trying to repackage itself and is so exclusionary that it only allows a tiny minority of apps to join it?

    Sounds about right.

    April 19, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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