January 12th, 2009
10:09 AM ET
14 years ago

Bush gives prescription to GOP

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/12/art.bush1.cnn.jpg caption="Bush said Monday Republicans must broaden their appeal."](CNN) - Reflecting on a brutal election cycle that saw his party lose the White House and several seats in Congress, President Bush warned the GOP to avoid instituting an ideological “litmus test.”

"I am concerned that in the wake of the defeat, that the temptation will be to look inward, and to say, 'Well, here is a litmus test you must adhere to," Bush said in his last press conference as president. "This party will come back. But the party's message has got to be that different points of view are included in the party."

The president specifically cited the at-times heated debate over illegal immigration, and said Republicans appeared as if they "don't like immigrants."

"If the image is we don't like immigrants, then there is probably somebody else out there saying, 'Well, if they don't like immigrants, they probably don't like me as well,'" Bush said. "Our party has got to be compassionate and broad-minded."

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. bob

    I hate you. Please go away!!

    January 12, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. Humored in Texas


    Originally called the Whig Party and created to combat Jacksonian (Andrew) Democracy.

    1856 presidential election, Buchanan is the first modern Republican candidate as the party changed its name from the Whigs to the Republicans.

    GOP term created after the Civil War.

    On the subject of immigrants, Republicans like immigrants, as long as they are "white, like me!"

    January 12, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Matt S

    @RealityKing: Remind me how many Democratic Presidents over the last 40 years or so have spent us into a multi-trillion dollar deficit? Oh yeah, that's right..... zero. How many Republican Presidents have? All of them.

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Paul

    to TomD.
    Careful with your generalities. We are not all sons and daughters of immigrants. I am a native born American and I am not the son or daughter of an immigrant.

    January 12, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Revising revision

    I'm sure that's what you meant Maggie.

    January 12, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. bsmith171

    bush giving advice. i have some for congress DEPORT bush.

    January 12, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. CG

    If you live in the South this would not come as a surprise to anyone. All the comments and emails that put down anyone not like thenselves is very alive and well.Since I am white and Christian this has come with much sadness that I have friends and neighbors who feel it is okay to put down anyone not white and not republican leaning . They use the word liberal as if it is a slur and evokes horror and someone well beneath themselves. If you ask them directly about blacks they would see themselves as inclusive of all people but then continue to put down "the Mexicans" , the "non Christains" and worse of all those 'liberals" who want to give our country to people who do not belong here. Most grew up singing the childrens song , God loves the little children , all the chrildren of the world , red and yellow , black and white they are precious in his sight , but somehow it does not mean if they are here in the USA. . I have become an outcast with many of my fellow southerners after I supported Obama,
    Yes the Republican party needsa to change but what I see it has become more judgmental and more white . Unless they become more inclusive and realize that regardless of your color , your back ground and even if you are liberal in your views , you still have values , you still are patriotic and love your country and God still answers your prayers. I know mine were answered with our new President elect!

    January 12, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  8. Jon A

    Bush supporters say that "in fifty years we'll be thankful for what he did in the Middle East."...ok, tell you what: If I manage to live to see the day that the end result of the Middle East fiasco is positive, I'll throw a post-humous "I'm Sorry, You Were Right, And I Was Wrong" party for him. In the meantime, the reality of a wrecked economy, a tarnished world view of our country, and countless other blunders is the reality I have to live with NOW. So for NOW, Bush is a terrible bumbling idiot of a "president" until proven otherwise.

    January 12, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  9. Troyman

    Why does the Right always call the Dems tax and spend? Go back and look at the record Bill balanced the budget. Reagan used voodoo economics and the first Bush ran up the deficit. Bush #2 ran up the deficit. Realityking, you do not know your history. That tax and spend in what Conservs use to when elections. Did not work this time. HA

    January 12, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. April fools day early?

    Joe the Plunger is getting more posts than this loser?

    January 12, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. HouseDiva

    LOL chuck

    it's funny because it's true.

    January 12, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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