Bob Dole: Ronald Reagan wouldn't make it in today’s Republican Party.

Bob Dole: GOP Should be “Closed for Repairs”

Bob Dole: GOP Should be “Closed for Repairs”

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May 26 2013 12:35 PM

Bob Dole: Ronald Reagan Wouldn't Make it in Today’s GOP

Former Senate majority leader Bob Dole doesn’t think he could make it in today’s Republican Party. And he doesn’t think he would be the only party icon who would have that problem. Republicans have changed so much over the past decade that even former president Ronald Reagan would no longer be welcome at the party. “I doubt it,” said Dole when Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked him whether “your generation as Eisenhower Republicans, moderate Republicans” could “make it in today’s Republican Party.” In fact, said Dole, “Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon couldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it,” reports the Hill.

Dole called on Republicans need to sit down and think carefully about the direction the party is heading, saying GOP leaders need to think of a broader plan to recover from the 2012 electoral losses. “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 said.  


Despite his harsh words, the 1996 Republican nominee for president doesn’t just blame members of his own party for the gridlock in Washington, saying that President Obama has failed to reach across the aisle, notes CNN. “I think that the president, he lacks communication skills with his own party, let alone the Republican Party,” Dole said. “I think one mistake he’s made was not getting together more with Congress early on in his first administration.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.