May 18th, 2008
02:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Sunday Roundup: GOP in trouble?


(CNN) - On Tuesday, Democrat Travis Childers won a key Mississippi House seat against Republican Greg Davis. The district was thought to be a stronghold for the GOP, with the seat held by Rep. Roger Wicker since 1994.

The state’s governor appointed Wicker to the Senate seat of Trent Lott at the first of the year. Many in Republican circles are interpreting this loss, along with those of two other House seats in traditionally conservative districts, as an ominous sign for the November election.

Meanwhile, the congressional Democrats raised over $44 million for the upcoming campaign, while Republicans have only pulled in an estimated $7 million. And earlier this week, retiring Republican Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia sent out a memo calling the current political climate “the worst atmosphere we've seen since Watergate.”

On ABC’s “This Week” House Minority Leader John Boehner spoke with George Stephanopoulos about the chances for Republican gains in the fall.

(Full roundup after the jump)

“There's no question that the environment for Republicans is a difficult one,” Boehner said.

However, he was quick to deny any connection between the unpopularity of President Bush to his party’s odds of retaining their seats. “George Bush isn't on the ballot in November,” he asserted.

The Minority Leader also remained optimistic that voters will not turn against the GOP as they did in congressional elections two years ago. ”We learned our lesson after the 2006 elections,” Boehner said.


CBS’ “Face the Nation” featured Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist. When asked about the recent loss of three key House seats, Crist responded, “It's not a great trifecta.” As a way for the GOP to rebound in the fall, Crist advocated Republicans get their message back to a more positive trifecta: “lower taxes, less government and more freedom.”

Crist helped get the campaign of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain back on track with an endorsement before Florida’ primary. He is often mentioned as a possible running mate for McCain.


Karl Rove stopped by the “Fox News Sunday” studio this morning to give his take on the state of the Republican party. The former adviser to President Bush offered advice to party leaders, emphasizing the need to “treat the arguments of the Democrats as substantive and get away from labels,” citing the recent loss in Mississippi as evidence of this failed strategy. Rove also suggested that Republicans “sharpen the contrasts with the failed promises of the Democratic Congress,” citing low approval ratings for congressional Democrats.


Conservative radio talk show host and CNN contributor Bill Bennett spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about GOP mistakes on “Late Edition.” He told Blitzer that Republicans like Rep. Tom Davis are making a mistake by publicly admitting that the party is in trouble. “A lot of Republicans say we're in serious trouble, we're doing the wrong thing,” Bennett said. “They've got to stop behaving this way.”


NBC’s “Meet the Press” had interviews with Democratic Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and a panel with former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

Filed under: Sunday Roundup
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. CA Independent Chris

    The GOP sense the impending destruction of the Obama-tsunami and fear being washed out to sea. Rightly so. They are abandoning ship and seeking higher ground....but they don't know where it is! Scurrying into lobbyist positions won't save them and the bell is tolling, tolling, tolling. Charges of "Treason!" may soon echo across the land and many of us hope the guillotine makes an historic comeback!

    May 18, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    GOP will eventually fall back on scare tactics about terrorism, abortion, and gay marriage to stay competitive..... same old people doing the same old dirty politics that have nothing to do with the issues....

    May 18, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. taylor richmond virginia

    This means nothing. Mississippi used to be solidly Democratic.......remember the Dixie-crats? Half the Republicans in congress are probably more forward thinking than Childress. The man won because he convinced a majority of voters that he was backward thinking like them. I don't care what party you are in, if you can attract the backward thinkers in that part of Ole Miss, you will win.

    May 18, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. Zach, Independent/California

    Everyone who says Obama has no chance in November, can just keep right on saying that for all I care, all the way up until he wins in November. You can't stop what's coming.

    May 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Skeptical

    The GOP is in some trouble, and they should be in a lot more trouble.

    The problem is that there are a lot of pundants and opinion-based news reports and anchors who are working real hard to make sure the "Reagan democtrats" vote republican.

    Case in point.... the newsie channels (you know who you are) continue to play the "race issue" that was raised in the exit polls from West Virginia. The issue was, if I remember, that 40% of the people in the exit polls said that race was an issue in how they voted... no one has ever mentioned the breakdown of the race of those who were polled. If 40 african americans were polled and they all said "yes" and 60 caucasian americans were polled and they all said "no", the math says that the answer would be 40%. It would be a hypocritical shame if the newsie channels and John Edwards fell victim to a scam... or used slight of hand to sink the chances of the first serious woman candidate in the history of the country.

    Shame on all of you !

    May 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Of course the GOP is in trouble! A Republican congress and unelected Republican president took an America with a balanced budget that was paying down its debt and at peace, and transformed it into a fiscally and militarily weakened empire-wannabe. When they were warned by their own security advisors in August of 2001 that Al Qaida was planning something BIG and possibly within our borders, Bush responded with...yet ANOTHER month long vacation on his "ranch" ! The last 7 years have made clear that the GOP cares only about "democracy" for the super-wealthy, or for foreign peoples unlucky enough to live atop a lot of oil. They would do well to simply not run for office at all this time around!

    May 18, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Joe the Troll

    The message isn't what really matters anymore, Mr. Rove. It's what is actually done that counts. That never seems to be the same as the message.

    May 18, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Noemi in Los Angeles, CA

    I just donated to the DNC.

    Democrats 08!!

    May 18, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Zack

    lol Rove says the election is about the issues

    May 18, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. anonymous white guy from arkansaw

    yes,they are in trouble.the gop has destroyed our country with their illegal occupation of iraq.they have tens of thousands of deaths in iraq,to answer for,including 4060+ american lives,sent to their death,in a foriegn country for nothing. i predict bush,cheney ,rumsfeld,and their administration,will be on trial for war crimes,within a few will it look,if our president,[theoretically john mccain],is an ardent supporter of an administration,responsible for war crimes.

    May 18, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. beverly

    the republican is in trouble every where around the country they know the trouble.People like (BILL BENNETT) need to go away. the president does the same thing everything is going well. It appears to me all of your republicans are the same , trying to pull wool over some one eyes.THE VOTER ARE NO FOOL THEY SEE PERFECTLY CLEAR (THERE ARE THE HAVES AND THE HAVE MORE). iT APPEARS IT GOING TO BE THE (DEMS) THAT ARE GOING TO HAVE MORE

    May 18, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Susan

    I see a lot of Republicans posing as Clinton supporters on these blogs. Wath it Dems. – they are out to destroy us..Democrats, unite! Democrats 08!

    May 18, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. John Smith

    The Democrats need to be aware of one and only one fact:

    If Hillary is anywhere near the democratic ticket, it will certainly re-energize the Republican base (even though they are weak). The focus will all be on Hillary and not the front-runner.

    Have the Clintons not already served this nation? Look at their record, especially the last year in office. The last year in office (recency) for any president says a lot to the voters! This is for the Dems to screw things up by sticking with Dynasty rather than "opportunity to perform."

    May 18, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Cindy in California

    Now hear this GOP, you have run our country into the ground, and we are fed up. Your dirty campaigning and fear mongering will not work this time, which is unfortunate for you because that is all you've got. There is no way any of you can compete on the issues so instead you are trying to scare people and it is not going to work!!!!!!!

    May 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Jeb,WV

    The Republicans have the Rove/Bush effect and the American people have seen what that has done to their country over the years. The Republican new slogan is " The change you deserve" the same slogan for antidepressant drug. But that's all they can offer is lip service. I will vote Democrat this time.

    May 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Dan in Iowa

    WHO were the crazy people that gave 7 million dollars to the Republicans?

    May 18, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Sharon Minesota

    Hey people, it's six Months to November. We may be looking at a whole new picture of this election by then.

    Why is it that so many people are getting off on instant news that changes from one minute to the next? Is it because we have damaged our children's brains for the last 30 years with drugs and now they've grown up to be suffering addicts on withdrawal?

    If people continue to keep hopping around like rabbits on uppers, it may be necessary to put them back on some type of meds that will settle them down so they last up to the election.

    May 18, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Paul

    While Rush Limbaugh was praising the success of Operation Chaos millions of voters were added to the Democratic ranks. Helping to keep Hillary alive stroked his ego, but the unintended results of the ongoing race between Obama and Clinton has raised interest and votes that have, and will come back to haunt the Republican Party in November. If Rush would of allowed Hillary to get knocked out of the race as she should of been months ago, the Republicans wouldn't be in the doomsday mode today.

    May 18, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. KCBob

    Congress has low approval ratings because it still contains republicans.

    May 18, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    You BET the GOP's in trouble, and they SHOULD be! After all the ballyhoo about their being the true majority party, they certainly didn't act in the interests of the majority of citizens. Their free trade policies sent millions of jobs overseas, they've all but destroyed regulatory agencies' ability to act on behalf of the common good by turning them into clearing houses for the benefit of big business, they've overwhelmingly supported the illegal war in Iraq, they've stonewalled and supported the worst president in our history repeatedly, they've repeatedly employed the use of wedge issues, name-calling, distortion, and dirty campaigning to win elections, and they've blocked national health care, among many other things. This conservative-dominated era of the GOP has ruined this country. They should be ashamed and get out of government altogether, as it's clear they have no clue how to govern!

    May 18, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. joann

    Now they're going to try to tear down the Republicans because everyone is so "hell bent" on helping Obama win. This is disgusting. It's like all of the new media and everyone else wants this guy as our president and he doesn't even have any special qualifications. We all have our "own" hope we don't need him saying it too. Hope is something we all had all along. When things get bad we hope for something good to come along – he's just a suit with words. Hillary is the action behind the suit. Vote Hillary

    May 18, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. Ted van Tol

    If Brian (above) is a stereotype Republican than you Americans
    are realy in trouble!
    It is scaring to see and read so many hatefull comments here.
    I am an European from the Netherlands and we all here verry
    hopeful about Barack Obama. Your country need realy a big
    change in politics. The whole world has seen the damage
    off the Rep. Bush politics. If you not changing your politics there
    will be more 9/11 attacs and the Americans are the only one who
    will ask for what reason. I will be verry sorry for the victims because
    they alle will be innosent but you way off politics has made a real mess off this world.

    Vote for Barack Obama and you can urn respect again.

    May 18, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. bill pike

    MORE KARL ROVE MORE KARL ROVE. this mcbush/rove/idiots are the best insurance obama has of moving to the white house. THEY EVEN DEFEND IRAQ,ECONOMY,GAS PRICES,NO HEALTH CARE, NO CARE FOR OUR VETS AND I AM ONE-they defend this and do personal attacks to get people not to think about this:

    BUSH INVADED IRAQ IN SPITE OF ALL THE INTELLEGENCE REPORTS AND WE HAVE LOST MORE LIVES IN IRAQ THAN WHAT THEY SAID CAUSED THE WAR-911. this group of idiots have be BITTER–YES - BITTER. webster says bad taste in my mouth for thise group who has taken this country back into the dark ages. BITTER BITTER BITTER. i need to wash out their mouth with reality.

    note: white,vet,businessman, church goer,owns guns–and what else, of yes i care about all our citizens.

    May 18, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Used2bedemocrat

    I tend to believe as so many other posters on this board that the Republican at the top of the ticket will win the GE. The Democrat leadership has no one to blame but themselves. The left has hijacked this primary, the way they have done it is blantant hypocrisy. After weeks of considering this, and after months of research into what each candidate stands for, I have come to the conclusion that divided government is preferred over having the SOCIALIST LEFT of the democratic party taking over all three branches of Government. This will to some degree keep this country in the center where it belongs. I have always been one to speak out for issues that were of concern to all Americans, therefore I plan to speak out to others who are moderate democrats and I will do everything that I can to see to it that the SOCIALIST LEFT led by OBAMA lose's in the GE. I feel that this will also affect some county, and state races as well. The LEFTIST WINGNUTS of the DNC has destroyed the Democratic Party!

    May 18, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Jo Ann

    Good, good, good news********************************

    May 18, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
1 2 3