GOP should be ‘Closed for repairs,’ says Dole
May 26th, 2013
11:49 AM ET
8 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. nothing new here

    The GOP has been highjacked by religious extremists. Religious extremism is never a good thing, and I don't care what religion it is.

    May 26, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    @Rick McDaniel "That's not the real problem. The real problem is a Democratic Party that has literally, become subversive to America, and is leading this country into the abyss of socialist dictatorship."
    I would call the tea trolls and hard right wing rethugs the true socialist dictators. We need to get the word out of what these so called politicians are doing on the state level that would never be as easy on the federal level.
    Red states telling women how to live. Same goes for gays. We are concentrating on the feds while the country is being eaten alive from the inside out by these bible thumpers (unless it happens to them then it's okay)

    May 26, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. wastewater1

    The partisan ways and divisiveness and blatant lies of this administration has weakened our beloved Republic so and the ignorance and indifference to values, well, just wait and see for your failure to repent will thrust this nation further into disharmony and poverty....

    May 26, 2013 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. wastewater1

    As a nation now so divided by the divisive ways promoted by this White House where the doors have also been closed to our kids who deserve far better, the blatant lies, breach of faith, treason in empty political rhetoric and intentional and divisive ways to divide this nation will not bode well for our beloved Republic's future....God Bless America!

    May 26, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Mara Tam

    And Bush didn't travel enough – out of the office almost all the time?

    May 26, 2013 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  6. Sue G

    If we could just take religion out of politics we could move this country forward like we used to. The current crop of GOP'ers remind me of the zealots of the Iranian Revolution." By god- you're going to do it MY WAY whether you like it or not". Especially the way the Republican party has been relating to women and women's issues. This has been settled law for decades; why can't they keep their fricking religious opinions in their CHURCHES, instead for cramming their 'values' down the throats of every American? It really is NO different then the Pro- Khomeini people pushing Shari-a and Islam on everyone. Makes me ill.

    May 26, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  7. Sickoftards

    Look at all the pretentious democrats posting on here pretending to be politically in the know about the republican party and concerned for it's political ideals.

    May 26, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  8. Ida Lula

    Forget about Republican and Democrat: these established parties are two sides of the same coin: heads, you get right-wing nutter butters, tails, you get weak centrists posing as liberals. There is no real organized progressive movement in this land, and until we can figure out how to educate, organize, and promote real legitimate alternatives, Rome (aka: the USA) will continue to lumber towards its own downfall for the same lame historic reasons: over-reach, imperialism, the price of war, and the unequal distribution of resources and wealth to the few at the expense of the many. We need a real change: we need peace, infrastructure investment, and a government that works toward the future. Good luck, America.

    May 26, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  9. Norma Vessels

    All those 'new' Republicans that were put into office in 2010 "so something will get done" .. where are they now? Why, they're standing on the feet of the old Republicans. What else are they doing when they're not standing on other's feet? They're building walls .. higher, higher. What are they holding back with their walls? Progress. Hope.

    May 26, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. webvisor2013

    Bob, you're right. And as a Democrat I'm tired of the GOP negativity, their reliance on Racism/Wall St/NRA/Koch/Fox/etc – RE-INVENT yourselves into something POSITIVE! Stop the hate and fear mongering! Or this country will flick you off its shoulders like a flake of dandruff...Lincoln, Ike and Reagan agree with you Sen Dole – I can hear them spinning in their graves...

    May 26, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. fredf

    this ancient piece of garbage is asked his opinion??? oh, oh Faux news, I see...

    May 26, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  12. Freedom Storm

    I'm 67, and basically a life-long Republican. But I've come to believe that I am no longer represented. After Reagan, the GOP has screwed up so frequently, so big-time, for so long, that America put a Marxist tyrant in the Oval Office. I'm in the sunset of my life and must watch the sun set on my country. That's on you, GOP.

    May 26, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Jo black

    You can't "close the divide" between a train wreck and...anything else. Dole illustrates the problem personally perfectly well. Instead of focusing his interview on some or even any positive element the GOP could focus on, he takes an irresistible pot shot of the President. Well done Bob, another nail in the coffin. When the GOP stopped being the worthy party of business (many many years ago) and became instead a collection of increasingly desperate and bizzare extremists, they ceased to have anything valid to say or do. Since then, they only obfuscate and stall any other right thinking action. Even when they do get it right, it is an accident, a statistical inevitability and do not recognize it themselves.

    The Grand Old Party is dead.

    May 26, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  14. James

    I firmly believe that anyone who has unwavering allegiance to either party is a moron. If you think any of these politicians, Republican or Democrat, have your best interests at heart, then you're a fool.

    May 26, 2013 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Adam

    I agree. Both the Democratic and Republican Party have shifted too far away from the center, but the GOP has gone much further right than Democrats have gone left.

    May 26, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. Adam

    The Democratic Party needs to change too, but we are reaching out to more people who previously felt alienated, while the GOP is alienating more and more people. The GOP needs to change otherwise it will never win an election again.

    May 26, 2013 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. 2012liberal

    2 bad that while all this keeps going on our country suffers and great construction jobs lay idel!

    May 26, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. ratickle

    Bob Dole just needs to go away. If he could take John McCain with him it would be a bonus.

    May 26, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. whuuut

    OK wait what?

    He says that Ronald Reagan would not stand a chance with the current batch of lunatics, but somehow Obama has failed at building a bridge to them?

    If Reagan stands no logical chance how the heck is Obama supposed to do it?

    You can't build a bridge to set in stone extremism. This is proven time and again. If someone wants to meet you in the middle they will meet you there. The Repubs have completely been our way or the highway, the party of the filibuster and obstruction. The only way to break the gridlock would be to give them everything they want since they will not compromise any of their so called "principles."

    May 26, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  20. George

    Instead of actually listening to what Mr. Dole had to say, today's GOP will simply disregard his wise observations as the comments of a senile old man past his prime. If anyone disagrees with the prevailing GOP attitudes, then they get shunned aside or tossed under the bus.

    May 26, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  21. Cambridge Ray

    I am a newcomer to America, but the one thing I learned years ago, is about those who call themselves "Conservatives".

    Conservatism (the Extreme Kind) is based on 5 principles:

    (1) Hate and Fear
    (2) Hate and Fear
    (3) Hate and Fear
    (4) Hate and Fear
    (5) Hate and Fear

    Then there is a distant 6th. and 7th.

    (6) The implicit belief that Time Travel will address their needs
    (7) Lack of Compassion

    May 26, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  22. SanDiegoWatch

    Republicans...Democrats...they've both equally destroyed this country.
    What we really need...

    1. No amnesty for illegals. If someone breaks in to your home, do you let them live there? No. You call police to have them removed. The Federal Government has only one responsibility regarding illegal immigration, that is to deport all 12-13 million of them.

    2. No new taxes, we need to investigate where the money is really going then cut spending. Only then can we raise taxes.

    3. Require all homes (subsidize if needed) to utilize solar panels.

    4. We need to invest heavily on building a mass transportation system to accomodate travel between states, cities, etc.
    Automobiles and roads are literally destroying the environment. Most of the time a vehicle, with the power of transporting several people, is being used by one person.

    Our goal as a nation should be space travel, colonizing other planets, and the sharing of ideas with other species. Imagine having the knowledge to cure all diseases, where no one has to suffer medical conditions not currently curable.

    May 26, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  23. flowerplough

    Dole may not think Reagan would succeed in today's Republican party, but I bet Nixon would be right at home in Obama's Whitehouse. IRS stalling and intimidation, illegal wiretaps and lies about the approval of the taps, framing and imprisoning a Coptic Christian video-making weirdo in order to deflect from the way we let an al Qaeda splinter murder our ambassador, and secret courts giving permission to use missiles from drones to occasionally kill Americans (and lotsa bystanders) they don't approve of.

    May 26, 2013 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Cambridge Ray

    "Leo: Amazing. The writings on the wall, but the current crop of republican nut jobs fail to listen. God! I look forward to 2014, when the purge can become reality. If the idiots get reelected to office, it means the people voting need a check up from the neck up."

    I am sad to tell you that you are wrong, Leo. The GOP can still get LOTS of votes in non-presidential elections: 2010, 2014, 2018, etc. There is a lot of hatred in the Slave States, which that supply most of their votes.

    Their chances of winning a presidential election, as you said, are nil.

    The Republican Party is well on their way of becoming a non-national party, and we Latinos are glad to help make that a reality.

    May 26, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. Tigrr

    GOPs – Entire Bush WH gang – and Silverstein and mossad buds – should be in jail for what they did to NYC and the World. Yeah, they did it. Planned everything – even the deniability. Former CIA confirms. All of Congress knew/ knows and does nothing. See Veterans Today site for reports.
    National Republican Commitee ( even Democtatic buds) should be removed from offices for foisting these criminals onto the US.

    May 26, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
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