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. bkgrandma

    How can he assign blame for the gridlock in Washington to the President when his party stated their only goal was to make Obama a one term president.The Republicans have done NOTHING but refuse to work with Obama in order to make him look bad.
    Well foks, your plan has backfired and you are the ones that look bad. I do agree with Dole that they should "close for repairs" or better yet go "out of business" completely.

    May 27, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. Majav

    After 40 years of swelling, the GOP needs to go to the emergency room.

    May 27, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  3. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Sorry Bob... Not just closed for repairs. The Republican party really needs to be Repealed and Replaced!

    May 27, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. Arun

    Agree with him about the repubes needing to shut it down but why is he blaming Obama for their mess. The repubes are the ones who have shown over and over how racis, yes, i said racist, they are towards OUR president!!

    May 27, 2013 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  5. iceload9

    The gop is in the same state as the dems, afraid to make a move least they bring down the rath of the corporations. Anything to help the american people would mean costs to the fortune 500.

    May 27, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  6. dave

    How is Obama suppose to visit with the GOP, when all the GOP and tea-baggers challenged any Republican that even took a picture with him? How, when they were even challenging his citizenship? I agree with Dole on closed for repair, but it will take much longer than new I years day. First they need to divorce the carzies!

    May 27, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  7. LakeRat1

    Nice of Dole to admit that the GOP is disfunctional, but it's Obama's fault. Blaming everything on Obama, and not wanting to work with him, is one of the big indicators of GOP disfunctionality anyway. He is correct about putting a sign on the door, until they realize that you can't make a "base" out of pandering to stupidity.

    May 27, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  8. Truth Today

    The GOP is not deficient because Obama does not communicate with them. It is so amazing to see the GOP blame their failures on others when they are so adamant that the poor should not blame their lack of success on anyone but themselves. And, don't mention what they say about the urban minority poor. I hope they remain alive just to create an opposing view and just to give us some fodder to laugh and get irritated about.

    May 27, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  9. DonN

    Senator Dole, the Republican Party is not worth of you. Those of you who a 'Moderate" of "Fiscal Conservative" need desperately to disengage from this lot of mavericks like Ryan, Coulter, Paul, Palin and alike going back to your real core principals while your Party is still viable and before these mean-spirited, money grubbing wretches wreck it beyond repair.

    May 27, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  10. TG

    The comments of Bob Dole provide evidence that the political situation in the so-called "United States" is fracturing. Rather than there being more cohesiveness, there are more divisions, so that even the family arrangement is being dramatically affected. What the original "founding fathers" thought as being "united" is now turning divisionary, with once "compatiable" individuals now seeing things differently.

    The Bible foretold this some 2,500 years ago. In the book of Daniel, Daniel was inspired to write that "whereas you beheld the feet and the toes (of the "immense image" seen by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, Dan 2:3) to be partly of molded clay of a potter and partly of iron, the kingdom (the Anglo-American dual world power of Britain/America) will prove to be divided, but somewhat of the hardness of iron will prove to be in it, forasmuch as you beheld the iron mixed with clay...the kingdom will partly prove to be strong and will partly prove to be fragile....they will not prove to be sticking together, this one to that one, just as iron is not mixing with molded clay."(Dan 2:41-43)

    The fragility of the United States is more apparent than ever before, with fractures in all areas of government. The spirit of independence now dominates, being like in the "air" we breathe.(Eph 2:2) The one called Satan in the Bible is the one who promotes this ideology, spewing it into the "air" so that almost everyone breathes it in.

    As a result, this self-centered idea has caused the formation of a "wild beast" (Rev 13:1) as a creation of Satan, all the political governments on the earth, with the Anglo-American dual world power now dominating as the "seventh king".(Rev 17:10)

    May 27, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  11. rhodes

    I do not vote as a party voter, but I agree the Republican party is in need of deep repair and the Democratic party needs totally rebuilt. They are like damaged horses... they should be put down, but they are the only horses around so you need to try to fix 'em.

    May 27, 2013 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  12. mike

    If Dole is saying that Reagan couldn't have made it in today's republicans, then why is he blaming Obama for not making enough effort to bridge the partisan divide or as he said "failing to bridge divides between the capital’s ideological camps?" If he is saying that Republicans are too polarize, then Obama trying to work with them seems like a tall order, especially since Obama is the one and only target of the conservative ire. This is the biggest problem with republicans: the seemingly moderate among them hates the president and blames him for not reaching out at all. What's wrong with this picture?

    May 27, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. askdavey

    we are all taught if you don;t have anything nice to say don;t say it......the gop needs a 'time out', they have fought out potus at every turn, it is a good thing if they did it for the right reasons, the country is changing like it did after the 1st and 2nd world wars, the gop is a dying breed due to not changing with times, .....the abortion battle they keep trying to change the law, the health care bill that they have tried to recall 35 times.....( it cost 1 million a day for congress to run)......thats 35 milllion tax payer dollars that was wasted due to it never going past the senate..... the gop new this but pushed threw a vote that was just because we need to block anything that the potus puts fwd, this is the failing ways of the gop......not to mention we like latinos....come on over, the gop should take a year off and then re-write the whole program.......if not they will loose more members of the party, and if you don;t believe that just look around, they are hanging on by a thread and in 2014 it will get shorter, and in 2016 we will have our 1st women for pres. and the gop will have to start thier hate campaigen all over.

    May 27, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. JR

    No fool like an old fool. The GOP does nothing for America but create divide and consternation. They're a pathetic group of hypocritical losers.

    May 27, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  15. Merlin

    The fact the Republican Party is severely in need of repair is an understatement. The Democratic Party shouldn't boast too much, either. Very little actual progress is being made to solve problems over the past five years, although we knew we were in for a long-haul / rough ride. Our grandchildren will almost certainly still be trying to resolve the effects of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In some ways the Taliban managed to achieve some of their goals (our economy), but at least not our spirit.

    May 27, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. penguin

    If the Republican Party were an automobile involved in a crash, it would be totaled- no repairs can fix it

    May 27, 2013 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  17. Bill

    You forget this interview was on Faux News. You can't get on that show unless you agree to knock Obama.

    May 27, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. John

    Bob Dole nailed it...100%.... funny how those stuffy shirts have brains too. He didn't throw mud and gave steps for improvement on both sides. There is hope... if the RNC listens.

    May 27, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  19. Justin

    I don't know that I will go so far as to "disagree" with Senator Dole, but I will throw some conditions on his statement. A political party's platform should be based upon the beliefs of its members. Now whether that means the party is flexible to its members thoughts, or its platform is relatively static and its members come and go as the party suceeds or fails to meet up to their ideas is a discussion for a party to have amongst itself. The later is how it seems to be for the GOP at the time, as they seem to be more accomodating of the fringe within their party, since it is more vocal, and they turn out their vote. I really have no issue if that's how they want to play their hand, even if I vehemently disagree with their message most of the time.
    Truthfully, though, if they continue the way they are going, they will be the party of obsolescence in (likely) a short number of election cycles. Their stated platform has been alienating instead of accepting.
    As far as whether or not Ronald Reagan would find a home in the current Republican party, there has been much speculation over that by many prominent Republicans (Jeb Bush made statements to that effect last year, as one example) over the last decade. The truth is, Reagan was a comprimiing moderate, something scarcely seen in the current GOP.

    May 27, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. JakeF

    "Spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas”

    It's really that simple, isn't it?

    May 27, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  21. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Dole is both right and wrong. He understands that Republicans are out of touch with 2013 society and politics, but he does not understand that President Obama is in touch with reality, and that the President's timely awareness is why he lives in the White House.

    May 27, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. ncMike

    The moderates in the GOP would do best if they broke off and formed a new moderate party. The far right would disintegrate quickly and the new party would steal the entire middle, including independents and moderate dems. It would be an historic, bold, and brilliant move.

    May 27, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. M.A.P.

    The attacks on Obama became so personal so quickly and the way in which a republican is 'shamed' by doing anything cooperitively with him is an absolute disgrace and the republicans should really be ashamed of themselves. Theyy've gone from reasonable to Ann Coulter in 5 years and I think it's hard to turn the rhetoric down now after 4 years of screaming SOCIALIST at any little policy hey don't like.

    May 27, 2013 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. JimMF

    Bob Dole is one of the last consultants I would listen to regarding the direction of Republican Party. However, any negative publicity for the GOP is embraced by the Obama news media.

    The damage that the Obama presidency is doing to this country is going to doom Obama advocates in the news media. And, so far, everything I have predicted about the Obama presidency has come true.

    May 27, 2013 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  25. Dadster

    The real problem is the Tea Parties "My way or no way" mentality. The Republicans have been overtaken by a radical group who is not willing to work with anyone who disagrees with their ideology. Even when the American people showed them in the November elections. Rather than adjusting to what the American people voted for, they have instead decided to change the rules in which votes are counted. Here in Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett and his fellow group of Tea Partiers are trying to split the electoral votes so that his party can peel off some for Tea Party candidates. It's funny how what worked fine for Presidents Reagan and both Bush's, is no longer good enough for them.

    May 27, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
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