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. David

    Well, Senator Dole was partly right. The GOP is a party drifting further and further toward the fringe. However, he was dead wrong about the gridlock in Washington. As one commenter has already noted, the GOP stated at the very start of the Obama Administration that their PRIMARY AGENDA was to INSURE that the President was a "one-term" President. and HOW DID THEY WORK TO ACHIEVE THAT? Obstructionism at EVERY legislative turn. The Party of NO is the Party of Gridlock.

    May 27, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. John

    As I reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day and the sacrifices made for freedom and democracy there seems something anti american when one party obstructs the process of government to the detriment of the entire country.

    May 27, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. Clarke

    They have been closed for repairs, however, it didn't help, They are beyond being repaired, they need to rebuild from the bottom up with a very strong foundation.

    May 27, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Thinkergal

    "Lacks communication skills"?! Obama?! The rest of Dole's message is right on target.

    May 27, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. David Farrar

    At present, this country is being lead by a revolutionary communist, striving to create a socialist state. What Dole, JEB, and the rest of the RINO class, doesn't understand is that if Ronald Reagan were alive today and standing for the Presidency, he would not only be a Tea Party member, but its leader.

    We are opposed to such policies, as is our right and duty.

    ex animo

    May 27, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  6. Jim

    obama has been a abject failure as a President. From trying to make war wounded vets pay for their own healthcare, to shredding the Constitution with violations of freedom of speech – he has been an unending embarrassment. The American people need to be much more focused on the abilities and character of who they elect, and not on superficial attraction and empty slogans.

    May 27, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. M.A.P.

    The Republicans biggest mistake is assuming that their voter base are all low IQ idiots who can't reasd a newspaper. They managed to get their base angrier, and polarized the nation, but they failed to produce any reasonable alternative. All they can do now is sit in opposition and try to hinder as many policies as they can so that they can always catergorize Obama as 'the worst president ever'. They make me so mad and I'm no rusted on Democrat.

    May 27, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. grantcv1

    I voted for the first time in 1984 – and I voted Republican. That is how I voted in every election until Sarah Palin appeared. I have since deregistered as a Republican. In my view, they now represent nothing by evil – bigotry, ignorance, paranoia, and greed. I will never ever cast another vote in favor of the Republicans.

    May 27, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  9. Ben

    The GOP doesn't even represent the vast majority of it's members. It's amazing how they get so many people to vote against their own interests. Tax breaks for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class is their only agenda.

    May 27, 2013 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. OnTheRoad

    He is wrong! It is all of Washington that should be closed! It is due to people like him that Washington is the way that it is! He and most (99.9%) of the senators that stay in office for 30 or more years are there for one and only one thing, 'Make as much as you can off the little people'.

    May 27, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Beabea

    why is it so difficult for both parties to see they need to come together for the same goal.?They both supposedly want the best for our country, but they keep us all in debt and poor for their own gain. It's wrong. These tea party people are irrational to say the least. They would be more effective if they left emotions of out their cause. The Republicans and Democrats are the same. They'd be more effective if they actually did care about the middle class and worked together, but they don't and they won't. It's really sad that money runs their agendas instead of their passion to do the right thing for the common citizens. the middle class, the people who work in the factories, restaurants etc who make this country go around. Think about it.

    May 27, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Anthony

    You know when the new Congress came in for the 2010 Mid-Term election, they said they wanted to make Obama a one term President. When a Congress says that, you know they won't do anything to help this country.

    May 27, 2013 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. aaron

    He trashes Repubs then engages in their main activity....blame Obama for everything. Never mind they lie to the guy's face, then renege on every deal they make with him.

    May 27, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. zappo15

    The present day Republican motto. "Whats mine is mine, whats yours is mine. Let em eat cake. No idea past the 17th century goes un attacked. Best to produce products in another countries. Germany's support of private industry is socialism. We don't need success we only need principles of hard bitten selfishness. Thde only real American is a Republican.

    May 27, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. normand

    i agree with sen.dole about the rep pty. but, the rep representatives should realize they are there for the country's best interest and forget about their racist attitude towards obama. they said at the onset they would not work with (mitch miller) so how can anything get done with the majority having such an attitude seems the repubs are po'd because a black man beat their "best candidate(s)". get off the horse and start wworking for the people not just for the fortune 500 group(s) and the NRA. you demos need a little restructuring too!

    May 27, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. M.A.P.

    The Republicans have moved so far to the right that most of their supporters (as you see from the comments here) have resorted to immature name calling of the POTUS. That really does say something about their base – very quick to say communist, but ask them to provide evidence of that and they have (as predicted every time) NOTHING! Until you rebulicans learn that- just because someone told you on Fox news, doesn't make it true.

    May 27, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Clouds9

    the gop with positive agendas! Now, that's comedy!

    May 27, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. Donkey Party

    David Farrar – Quite possibly the most delusional comment on the Ticker. You have no clue what you're ranting about. Reagan RAISED taxes, he was for the rich paying their fair share (he even coined that very same phrase), he was for protecting the enviornment, he was for nuclear arms reduction, and he was even a Democrat before he was lured to the dark side by money. Reagan would be called a "Leftist", or "Socialist", or "Communist", "Marxist", or at best, a "RINO" by your ilk were he alive today, and he'd be nowhere near any Teabagger outings.

    May 27, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. Fladabosco

    The sad thing is that most Americans, even us liberals believe in many of the things the GOP wants, such as less government waste and spending, reducing taxes, etc. but the GOP's message has been so strident and polarizing that we could never vote for these people.

    It's so obvious that the GOP is simply the mouthpiece for the largest corporations and most powerful people in the US that most of us see they no longer represent our interests at all. Why do all the GOP candidates want to increase the defense budget even thought it is so out of whack? We have 5% of the world's population but 50% of the world's military budget. It's craziness.

    To much of America, the GOP candidates and their mouthpieces (Fox, WSJ, etc.) come off as stupid, selfish, misogynistic, violent and racist.

    May 27, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. Jewels

    So, I think most people want to see both sides try to work together. When you have McConnell's, Paul Ryan's, Eric Cantor's and Boehner– I think it is nearly impossible to expect synergy. I don't even think these men care for the majority. I hope that people recognize that certain folks in Senate need to be replaced for their obstruction and lack of integrity. Maybe then there might just be hope after all...

    May 27, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. us_1776

    Bob Dole, I couldn't agree with you more today.

    I left the GOP more than 20 years ago when it started going completely off the rails.

    Creating massive huge govts and spending like drunken sailors, adopting more and more fringe groups that had nothing to do with fiscal conservatism. And more to do with wacky extremist social conservative malarkey.

    And now the GOP has lost the centrists and completely lost control of everything it once stood for. It has no moral ground on which to stand because of its behaviors over the past 40 years.


    May 27, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Republicans should hang heir heads in SHAME

    Congratulations Republicans, you've thrown a 5 year hissy fit because you lost the presidency. But why let it end there, why not put all the people through as much pain and sequesters and shootings and never let any progress be made until YOU have YOUR man in the office. Truly selfish and gross politics. I don't even understand how they are still the main competitor for the Dems, they've proven they are mostly not mature or worthy enough for high office.

    May 27, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. RT Colorado

    Bob Dole, for all of his contributions to the nation, is no longer a relevant judge of the political landscape of the United States. With all due respect for his military service and his time in the Senate, Bob Dole is qualified to comment on history, not the future. In his day he was unable to win against a savvy but vulnerable Democratic opponent and then was part of a Senate that was clumsy and misguided. The uptick in the economy during his tenure had nothing to do with leadership, in the Senate, the House or the White House. If you have to give credit, give it to cyclic economics.
    Bob Dole deserves to honored for his services of the past, but it is unseemly to drag the poor man out and troop him and his opinion around as if it were pertinent.

    May 27, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Well, Mr. Dole, there is this: President Bill Clinton appeased the GOP every which way. What did he get in return? Impeachment. President Barack Obama didn't stand a chance with the GOP. The GOP was on record the first day after his inauguration of having no other goal than to make him a one term president when the GOP immediately signaled their willingness to not work with this man. The obstruction soon followed along with the paid trolls trying to boost the GOPs willingness to tear down this great country of ours by tearing down our President. The media co-opted that message and here we are in President Obama's second term and already there is talk of impeachment. Using anything they can to work against him. Including saluting and handshaking.

    May 27, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Dr Matrix

    David Farrar

    Obama is not a revolutionary communist. I somehow doubr you even know what that means, you 're probably parroting something you heard on some tlk radio show. Obama is a left of center moderate. Neo-cons have pushed the line so far right since Reagan that most conservatives are considered too moderate, centrists are socialists and progressives ore commies. If extreme right wingers like you get into power you will shut down the country, the inferstructure will fail and you will impose some sortr of Christian based Sharia law. That may work in Missisippi or Alabama, maybe even Texas, but the rest of the United States doesn't want that.

    May 27, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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