GOP should be ‘Closed for repairs,’ says Dole
May 26th, 2013
11:49 AM ET
10 years ago

GOP should be ‘Closed for repairs,’ says Dole

(CNN) – National Republicans have shifted so drastically in the past decade that the party’s most vaunted figure - former President Ronald Reagan - would no longer find a home in the GOP, former Sen. Bob Dole claimed Sunday.

“Reagan couldn’t have made it,” Dole said, adding he too would also have faced challenges in today’s Republican Party.

Instead of operating day-to-day in a nonelection year, the national party should focus on broader plans to rehabilitate itself after the losses of 2012, the former Kansas lawmaker said.

“I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says ‘Closed for repairs’ until New Year’s Day next year. Spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” Dole, who was the Republican nominee for president in 1996, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

MORE: Republicans want to end perception as 'stuffy old men'

He also assigned blame for Washington’s current state of gridlock to President Barack Obama, who he argued was failing to bridge divides between the capital’s ideological camps.

“I think that the president, he lacks communication skills with his own party, let alone the Republican Party. And he’s on the road too much,” Dole said, quipping Obama was a “good golfer.”

“I think one mistake he’s made was not getting together more with Congress early on in his first administration. There's nothing like knowing the person you are talking to on the telephone, if you had an opportunity to sit down with that person and visit - not about anything, but just visit."

Filed under: Bob Dole • Republican Party
soundoff (469 Responses)
  1. Pete

    Doles delushional thinking gridlock is something Pres.Obama created in Washington,isn't that republicans who thrive on being obstructive like McConnell,Boehner..How bout McConnells statement of making sure Pres.Obamas a one termer,remember that republicans or Dole for that matter!And what about filibustering a record amount of times against jobs,infastructure bills and basicly holding our countrys populus hostage ever during times of emergencies remember again Sandy , floods and tornadoes that states have endured their destruction but republicans use their states emergency aid as a bargaining chip to get matching federal cuts at a time when people are most vunerable and in need!!Don't talk any of you sanctumonious republicans because the facts are clear and the people of this country take a back seat to the republicans agendas of trying in making this first africanamerican president a failed one but the failure,damages politically being incurred is most certainly on republicans,they're just to arrogent ,ignorent to notice that's all!!

    May 27, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Foo

    I think Dole is sitting on that pencil he carries around.

    May 27, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. bptsj

    In my early years of voting (1970–) I voted Democrat mostly because of my upbringing. As I started excelling in my career (late 70's) and started investing I switched to Republican because of their fiscal policies. In the mid 80's the GOP started to bifurcate into fiscal conservatives and wacko's. At that time I switched back and remain a Democrat. I think there should be a 3rd party formed for wacko's. It would be interesting to see how the national votes would split if there was such a 3rd party.

    May 27, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. littleourkie

    The GOP has become a disaster. They have turned into a reactionary, paranoid organization that supports little but the Christian Evangelicals and the very wealthy. Dole is quite correct: this current GOP is not interested in governing. They have no real plan or the last election they only opposed, there was no coherent plan for the country and this has not gotten better. Unless the GOP develops plans and a coherent vision, they are finished...and it may already be too late.

    May 27, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Mary1972

    Good one from Dole. LOL.

    May 27, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. rstudner

    Dole is just excited because Obama finally passed his Republican health care legislation.

    May 27, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  7. Paul

    The Republicans are doing "nothing" in Congress except go after Obama. The GOP (Get Obama Party) has done nothing to help this country. They spend all of their time trying to create a "crisis" to make Obama look bad. Problem is, they are making themselves look like the "party of do nothing but whine". Boehner can't get anything reasonable passed in the house, McConnel spends his time getting members to "filibuster" every bill in the Senate. Result: nothing gets done. They are very simply a party that has moved so far to the right that they deserve the labels of wacko's and extremists because that is exactly what a number of their members are.

    May 27, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. BRB

    The GOP should just close the door and leave town. Their agenda has so little to do with the current political and demographic climate it is not even funny anymore. The Who had it right years ago with "Won't Get Fooled Again". I suppose we could just wait for the old bastards to die off, but that probably would take too long. I get crap all the time for being 80% democratic, but at least the dems are able to "go with the flow" and stay current with realities of running a hugely overblown government nightmare. Obama will go down in history as the turning point in realistic government that puts the population first instead of themselves.

    May 27, 2013 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. littleourkie

    The GOP is a disaster. They have taken a strong and popular political party and turned it into a shrinking haven for few but paranoid evangelical Christians and the very wealthy. They are the party without a plan. The GOP knows that their core beliefs are so out of touch with the average American on the street that they go to great length to only oppose rather than offer any alternatives. They hate and fear the Democrats, but hate themselves as well. Their behavior is classic for an organization heading for collapse as they wind themselves tighter and tighter in a search for elusive conservative purity. In the end they will achieve this purity, but at a cost of any relevance. The GOP is the party that was.

    May 27, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Rosslaw

    Dole is spot on. The sole focus of republican politicians is in things like the Blount Amendment allowing employers to cross-examine female employees about their sexual lives and the sharia law-like pre-abortion invasive "examinations" of women that no doctor has or ever would recommend. Oh, and voting to repeal the Heritage Foundation drafted health care plan now known as Obamacare 37 times and counting. Do not let a republican politician babysit your kids.

    May 27, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. northerstar

    It is sad that so many Republicans say that even their "hero" Reagan would not have been accepted by the Republican Party of today. That should make all of them angry ! To think that the Tea Party has highjacked the party and put untested and virtually unknown people like Sen. Paul out front as leadership is truly disappointed. The current Congress lead by the Republicans has the lowest approval ratings in history and their leadership is terrible. Nothing is getting done in Washington and the Reps are being held accountable. It is time to realize that Obama is the President and start working in the best interests of the country & party. The Dems are going to win by DEFAULT if the Republican party continues as it is going.

    May 27, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Freedom Storm

    Common Core ~ Communist Core

    "Common Core is a new curriculum developed by a panel of so-called education experts. The administration is trying to turn Common Core into a national curriculum by offering states increased federal education funding if they impose Common Core’s curriculum on their public schools. This is yet another example of the government using money stolen from the people to bribe states into obeying federal dictates.

    Critics of Common Core say it “dumbs down” education by replacing traditional English literature with “informational texts”. So students will read such inspiring materials as studies by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the EPA’s “Recommended Levels of Insulation,” and “Invasive Plant Inventory” by California’s Invasive Plant Council. It is doubtful that reading federal reports will teach students the habits of critical thinking and skepticism of government that the Founders considered essential to maintaining a free republic.

    Like Obamacare, Common Core (now dubbed “ObamaCore” by some) has sparked a backlash in the states, leading some to propose legislation forbidding state participation in the scheme. I hope these efforts lead to states not just opting out of Common Core, but out of No Child Left Behind and all other federal education programs as well.

    Parents can also effectively “opt out” of programs like Common Core by seeking alternatives to government education. It is no coincidence that, as federal control over education increases, the quality of public education has declined and more parents have chosen to homeschool."

    May 27, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Alec

    Here is the issue i see.....

    Lets do something on Guns......NRA – if you do, we will fight you int he primary

    Lets raise the riches taxes, just a little......Grover....if you do, we will primary you!

    lets do imigration reform .... primary....

    Lets Cut Miltary Speading.....Primary for you too....

    Lets work with Obama.....Tea Part has a rally outside your house...

    Must suck to be a Normal person in the GOP right now....

    But yet its Obama holding them back from working together.....

    TeaParty.....small gov....stay out of my life... will conform to my social way of thinking or else....

    May 27, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. rosethornne

    It would be interesting to compare the flailings and mutations of the republican party with other parties that historically have either broken apart or vanished into the port-a-potty of time.

    I know for sure that my republican grandfather would be disgusted and appalled, and would be a staunch democrat by now if he were still alive.

    The republican party now bears NO RESEMBLANCE to the republican party most people think of when they hear that word: fiscally responsible, socially moderate, with a tendency to stick their noses firmly OUT of individuals' private lives.

    Indeed, now they are the exact opposite, while still using the same words to describe themselves. Talk about cognitive dissonance!

    May 27, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. RDH

    There are no democrates and republicans there is just the haves and the have nots. Long ago the powers that be realized that if you give the people the illusion of choice between two polar opposites that we will just fight and quarrel amongst ourselves and they will be able to rule with relative immunity. Divide and conquer.

    May 27, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. cm74130

    Senator Dole has a generally good idea. I think the GOP is going to have to split or have a major power struggle within the party to obtain greater influence among Independents. Doing more of the same is not going to help. The more the far right pushes and pulls, the more the GOP alienates those who are closer to "center". The party doesn't have a platform that addresses societal issues. The party's spokepersons are obnoxious. GOP: find a new direction!

    May 27, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. CR

    Bob... Who?

    May 27, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. Tom1940

    Bob Dole, a man worth listening too, has good advice all around. Sen. McCain and those whom he represent (old guard), should "reach across the aisle" to the Tea Party GOP Senators and Congressman for that matter, and mend fences, getting ready for 2014. This each his own way, stuff must go. Party Unity behind candidates, instead of staying home sulking at general election time, just because a favorite son/daughter didn't get nominated/picked for the GOP Slot in running against the Dems is ridiculous, stupid and short-sighted. The only time your party can fix anything or govern, is when you win elections. Not sitting home on your duff complaining.

    May 27, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. dj

    And Democrats in office should be jailed for lies, corruption, cover ups, murder, and high treason against the American public...

    May 27, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
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