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. Joe The Plumber

    The GOP needs a purge – i would start with Cruz and Bachmann.

    May 26, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  2. steve

    "Just a visit" is just another way of saying make back room deals. Does Dole think everyone is dumb?

    May 26, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. skytag

    Anyone who knows anything about Republican positions 15 or more years ago knows their party has moved significantly to the right. They, of course, claim Democrats have moved left, but it only looks that way to people have moved to the right. I haven't heard a single example of a current Democratic position that's left of anything they advocated 20 or 30 years ago.

    May 26, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  4. Loki

    their minds are already closed–what more do you want?

    May 26, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  5. Drew

    As if today's group of loud, obnoxious Republicans care about anything a guy like Bob Dole might have to say. They're way too far gone.

    May 26, 2013 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  6. BlueAlliance

    Dole got it right this time – the GOP is just a party of obstructionists and want to bring Obama down, regardless of how much damage is done to the American public.
    How could Obama befriend a group of people who seeth with hatred for him because he won the presidency and think he is illegitimate. He offered his hand many times and got their fist every time! The truth be told.... they cannot accept a black president in the whitehouse.....period! Shame of all of them!

    May 26, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  7. ManWithThe1000PoundBrain

    paddylol said "The GOP needs a purge, of RINOs, statists and so called moderates (progressives). Dole, Mc Cain, Graham and Rubio are at the top of my list of "to be flushed.""

    Keep it up paddylol. What is ironic is that Dole is a REAL republican and the tea party nuts like you are the RINOs. Dole is talking about people like you and as long as people like you control the GOP, the GOP will never win of the office of President of the United States ever again.

    May 26, 2013 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  8. Terry

    'Closed for repairs.', they should be closed for treason.

    May 26, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. navaJohn

    In the end the GOP ALWAYS has to blame someone other than themselves. So their problems are because Obama didn't have enough dinners with them. Funny, but lame. Grow up GOP. You aren't my fathers party which is why you lost me as a supporter. I switched sides and didn't look back.

    May 26, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  10. Observer

    He is right. I am a Democrat after being an independent for all my life. Reasons? The Republican party has going to much to the right, yielding to corporations and rich people. Our country is great not because of millionaires,but because of workers and middle class. The Republican party is holding a war against the middle class and the working class. It is trying to destroy Unions so the rich can get the best while the middle class and the workers get the shaft. The Republican party today is the party fighting to turn our country in a banana Republic where the rich are very rich and the poor are very poor. Kind of what happen in Latin America and that is why those countries are always in turmoil and disarray.Today that Republican party is obstructionist. try to run the government using their majority in the Congress and disregard the will of the American people that ELECTED a democratic president. The Republican party is in contempt of the will of the American People. It will cost them next year in the Congressional election. They need to learn a lesson of what is to yield to the rich against the will of the majority of our country. Hope the People wont forget how stupid is the Republican party politicians today, how they have been attacking our working and middle class. Hope the American people will put them to rest for a while.

    May 26, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. Hugh_Mann

    The GOP dug in their heels from the very start of the Obamas Administration. They NEVER even gave him a chance.
    Reversing the blame is standard practice and using it now does not re-write history

    May 26, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. NateFromIndiana

    So Mr Dole concedes that he himself as a Republican would have a hard time being accepted by the present GOP and yet he holds Obama accountable for his failure to magically draw them into compromises?

    May 26, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. Jason B

    Obama could put out a proposal banning the kicking of puppies and kittens and the ultra-right in the GOP would STILL vote against it.

    May 26, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. Dont matter

    I totally agree with Dole on the problems with the GOP, but I strongly disagree with Obama. While Obama is far from flawless, he spent WAAAY to much time trying to bridge gaps with the GOP. He spent over a year trying to form a bipartisan healthcare plan with them that was an incredible waste. The GOP refuse to work with Obama and have since day one. Remember the day after election when Rush was hoping and praying for Obama to fail, that became the GOPs sole agenda.

    May 26, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. navaJohn

    Start by NOT letting these people represent you GOP and you might have a chance.

    John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Michele Bachman, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Sara Palin, Bill O'Reilly.

    May 26, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. dick Delson

    Ah yes...bumbling Bob Dole.
    We Democrats loved him.

    May 26, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. moonraker

    Wow, Dole is still alive? What an unpleasant reminder of why I detest the GOP.

    May 26, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. OldJoe

    Is Sen. Dole still alive?

    May 26, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  19. bill davis

    Obama has done an excellent job of buying votes,
    Only thing left to do is pay for all the Votes,
    Maybe we could just print some more money,..

    May 26, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  20. Raj47

    GOP needs serious repairs, I fully agree with Sen. Dole. The very reason GOP needs repairs is the reason Prez. Obama is unable to bridge the gap. GOPers are so far out right and they are so uncompromising that no matter who the president was, they want their way or no way. That is the reason GOPers are termed as party of NO. As long as they continue to not compromise they will continue to lose and no president will be able to get anything done. In the end, sure GOP looses but more important country looses out. But then we know GOP does not care. They only care for what they want to do or else nothing gets done. And that is the main repair job they need..........

    May 26, 2013 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  21. truthteller

    You can't fix Stupid

    May 26, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. Ross

    p.s. I forgot the another major leader of the GOP...Wayne LaPierre, sorry about that...

    May 26, 2013 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  23. Mike Texoma

    The Republican Party is gearing up to nominate Rand Paul, the libertarian, or Ted Cruz, the tea party guy, for president in 2016. The Democrats are gearing up to nominate a mainstreamer like Clinton or Biden. The Republicans will carry white Anglo-Saxon men over the age of 50 and some of their wives and children. Period. The Republican strategy is boring and backward looking, and will not carry the election. Maybe then Bob Dole will be heard.

    May 26, 2013 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  24. Matt

    Senator Dole is wrong about Reagan.

    May 26, 2013 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  25. texasnotea

    The GOP has gone fishing! Fishing for anything it can catch Obama saying or doing wrong, period. The GOP is derelict in their duty to America to perform the task's they were elected to perform. The GOP no longer has credibility with most of America. The GOP has become the party of no way, no how not ever even if it hurts America. Quite frankly, it is sickening. Somehow the GOP believes by manufacturing Obama scandals, providing false information and testimony to the public concerning the President's activities, and concealing evidence along the way will make America love them. Really,they do.

    May 26, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
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