Dole on Paul, Cruz, Rubio: They're not ready
April 22nd, 2014
10:43 AM ET
6 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. Malory Archer

    With all due respect, Sir: nor will they ever be.

    April 22, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. rs

    It's kinda sad. I didn't think much of Mr. Dole when he ran for President (I thought he was a bit of an elitist), and sure he is way too old now, but if the GOP could clone up a few Bob Doles, they might win back some voters given their current rabble. they might also actually do stuff for a change.

    April 22, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Gunderson

    Humm,
    Ditto for current occupant of white House. But don't let inexperience stop you from running for Emperor.

    April 22, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  4. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Agreed Mallory.

    April 22, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Bill from GA

    I saw the documentary on Mitt Romney on Netflix recently. He clearly wasn't ready, and he isn't among the younger generation. Same for Ol Man McCain; he wouldn't be ready if he lived to be a hundred.

    April 22, 2014 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Anonymous

    How can we have an non-american running for the highest office in the United State?

    April 22, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. knight4444

    Bob Dole is a SANE republican! and watching the GOP running towards disaster! is inevitable! the koch brothers have infiltrated the GOP with their daddy's john birch society rants! the republican party isn't the party of Lincoln anymore, they aren't even the party of reagan!! the GOP i have become fascist! and Bob Dole knows it.

    April 22, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  8. Bill from GA

    I just hope I'm still around to vote then." "If not ... I plan to vote absentee,"

    Funny Man. But that is the easiest form of voter fraud: voting the dead, absentee. I often vote absentee these days; never show an ID. That doesn't seem to bother the repubs, since most who do vote absentee are repubs.

    No reason for Dems to pass on this easy voting method, rather than spend their effort crying about those mean repubs suppressing their vote.

    April 22, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Malory Archer

    Anonymous

    How can we have an non-american running for the highest office in the United State?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Didn't you get the memo? IOKIYAR.

    April 22, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Malory Archer

    knight4444

    Bob Dole is a SANE republican! and watching the GOP running towards disaster! is inevitable! the koch brothers have infiltrated the GOP with their daddy's john birch society rants! the republican party isn't the party of Lincoln anymore, they aren't even the party of reagan!! the GOP i have become fascist! and Bob Dole knows it.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Right on knight4444! They're pushing America toward oligarchy, and unless they're stopped at the ballot box, all but the top 1% will be serfs in their feudal Utopia.

    April 22, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. ada ada

    what Dole is sayin is they aint ready " to LSOE" yet like Bob Dole was...RINO alert...LOL

    April 22, 2014 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  12. ada ada

    in my prior...LSOE= LOSE...

    Hey CNN Include an EDIT Function will YA...LOL

    April 22, 2014 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. O'drama ya Mama

    Republicans have been crying for 5 years about how Democrats voted in an inexperienced candidate. They cant do that for 5 years and then present us with 3 inexperienced candidates and expect us to vote for them. They have effectively backed themselves into a corner with that one.

    April 22, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. sonny chapman

    Gunderson- As a History Major & lifelong student on the subject; unless something really crazy/tragic happens, Barrack Obama will be remembered as a Mini-FDR by History. The "Principled" fellows mentioned by Dole would be unmitigated disasters. Obama's Predecessor will be ranked way down there. He had Character Flaws (Recovered Alcoholic, Daddy Issues) which manifested themselves from 9-11-01 til he stepped down.

    April 22, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    Not in my lifetime, to be sure.

    April 22, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. Gunderson

    Holy Serfdom,
    Malory,
    What make you think we not at serfdom now? Peasants invent 29 Hour Work Week. That is except those on Food Stamps. Old Gunderson say Congratulations. You have arrived at your Utopia! Next stop, re-visit 1930's. 100 years of "Progress" smashed. Well done.

    April 22, 2014 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    I come on O'drama. Yes they can and yes they will. It wasn't Obama's inexperience they were upset about. Take the birthers for example, they now support a candidate that was definitely born on Foreign soil.... Yet not a peep from em. 😷

    April 22, 2014 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Oops it was supposed to be Oh come on....😡

    April 22, 2014 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. george

    I am a wee bit right of center in my political thinking....for 50 years. However, with the shrill rantings of current young republicans, Cruz, Paul, Rubio, I find I am gradually moving further and further leftwards. I am not a democrat, but I am frightened by these guys, especially by their sense that they have a monopoly on the truth and their refusal to have dialogue with different points of view.

    April 22, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  20. twophad

    He's right, as far as he goes. But guys who lean on the kind of fake issues they're leaning on don't give themselves room to develop. So they will never be ready.

    April 22, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. James

    Rubio would never be ready. He like every other hispanic politician suffers from the tribe mentality where their hispanic loyality trumps any rule of law of this nation. That is why you will see so called Conservatives like Rubio and Anna Navarro or Carlos Amezua calling NOT for border enforcement but for amnesty for millions and millions of illegal aliens who have turned Los Angeles into a 3rd world slum. I would never ever vote for anyone advocating giving away citizenships to thugs who demand everything be given to them.

    April 22, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Randy Sandberg

    I can think of one young senator elected President with no foreign policy experience or business experience. How did that turn out?

    April 22, 2014 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  23. Dave

    Rand is the Man! He is ready!

    April 22, 2014 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  24. Gurgyl

    Entire USA knows.

    April 22, 2014 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  25. The Griot

    It might be a cold day in Hell before the Republicans ever see the inside of the White House again, and I don't see Ole Scratch shopping for long johns.

    April 22, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
1 2