Dole on Paul, Cruz, Rubio: They're not ready
April 22nd, 2014
10:43 AM ET
5 months ago

Dole on Paul, Cruz, Rubio: They're not ready

(CNN) - Former Republican Sen. Bob Dole argued that some of the men among the younger generation of potential GOP presidential candidates aren't quite ready to take on the White House.

"A number of the younger members, first-termers like Rand Paul, (Marco) Rubio and that extreme-right-wing guy – Ted Cruz? All running for president now," he said in an interview this week with The Wichita Eagle. "I don't think they've got enough experience yet."

The former Republican senator from Kansas and 1996 GOP presidential nominee - who also served as a U.S. congressman as well as the GOP vice presidential nominee in 1976 - is returning to his roots this week for a nine-county tour around Kansas.

At meet-and-greet events and public discussions, the 90-year-old is sharing stories and taking questions from his former constituents.

Cruz made headlines last month for publicly criticizing Dole, as well as other failed GOP presidential nominees like John McCain and Mitt Romney. The Texas Republican said they were "good" and "decent men" but he suggested that they lacked principle and stood "for nothing," which was why they lost.

Dole told CNN at the time that "Senator Cruz needs to check the record before passing judgment."

As the former politician and World War II veteran travels around Kansas, he's emphasizing a message of bipartisanship.

"I always tried when I was the (Senate Republican Leader) leader for 10 years to of course work with my Republicans but also reach out to my friends on the other side. I found out you get more done if you sometimes have to compromise," he said Monday at an event in Olathe, Kansas.

In the interview with The Wichita Eagle, Dole joked that his "main concern about (the 2016) elections is that, well, I just hope I'm still around to vote then."

"If not ... I plan to vote absentee," he added, saying he has "no idea how they get the ballots back from up there…But I will check it out. And send it back special delivery."

CNN's Ashley Killough, Steve Brusk and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Bob Dole • Marco Rubio • Rand Paul • Ted Cruz
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. yerkiddinright

    The obvious fact is that there isn't a single GOP candidate worthy of the Presidency.

    April 22, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Alina1

    These people will never become Presidents... Cruz is too self-centered and lucks respect for he enemy, Paul of course it would be cool to live by his principles "no Government anywhere in you live" well, IF YOU A MILLIONAIRE.. Rubio is scared of his own shadow..

    April 22, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. mnbska

    Bob Dole was a great negotiator and that kind of moderate is DOA in 2014.... farewell to the Ciceros of the world.

    April 22, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. Thomas

    Old Dole is right on , Cruz , Rubio and Paul are not ready.

    Green Eggs and Ham , Aqua Buddha , Rubiwho ?

    You need more then a Facebook page and a Twitter account to be in the big time .

    April 22, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Yes It's Not

    You guys should have posted a warning before I opened this article. The first thing I saw was that picture of Bob Dole and it scared the he!! out of me.

    April 22, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Richard

    So Obama, who spent less than a year as a Senator, was ready for the white house? Really?
    What planet are you people on?

    April 22, 2014 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. John

    Let's see which of the 3 can debunk 2 reports that have come out this week on Obamacare....
    ....Gallup healthcare un-insured have dropped from 18% (Q# 2013) to 12.9% Q1 2014 adding 12 million insured in 6 mo.
    .....CBO yesterday, revised ACA projections...cost lower by 5 billion in 2014 than projected and lower by 104 billion for the period 2015-2025 than previous profections....
    Whichever can refute/distort/downplay this additional Obamacare Good News...Isn't that what the GOP wants?

    April 22, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  8. MirrorMirror

    NOT READY?!?!?!? You can stick a fork in them...because they're DONE!...OVER!...FINITO!!!

    April 22, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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