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Republican kick off campaign... Jeb to save the GOP

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samplegirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:03 PM
Original message
Republican kick off campaign... Jeb to save the GOP
By Rebecca Sinderbrand
CNN

ARLINGTON, Virginia (CNN) -- Three prominent GOP leaders kicked off a campaign Saturday to reshape their party's image, gathering at a restaurant in northern Virginia for the first of a series of town hall meetings.


Rep. Eric Cantor, right, listens as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush offers advice for the GOP.

1 of 3 The goal of the initiative, called the National Council for a New America, is to connect Republican leaders with voters across the country to help get the party's electoral fortunes back on track.

"Certainly our party has taken its licks the last few cycles, but that's why we're here," House Minority Whip Eric Cantor said Saturday. "The reality is, the prescriptions coming out of Washington right now are not reflective of the mainstream of this country."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said it's time for Republicans "to listen a little bit, learn a little bit." He advised Republicans to work on the party's message and "not be so nostalgic."

"I would say you can't beat something with nothing. The other side has something. I don't like it, but they have it," said Bush, who praised President Obama's tactical approach to politics and commended his 2008 campaign as "forward-looking."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney compared the GOP to Americans fighting the British during the Revolutionary War. "We are the party of the revolutionaries, they are the party of the monarchists," he told the overwhelmingly Republican crowd, saying the Republicans needed to "once again lead the American Revolution."

Romney blamed Washington for setting in motion policies that led to the collapse of the housing market, and painted his party's minority status as a boon.

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"We have an advantage," said the former Republican presidential candidate. "When a party has the White House, communication comes top down, and there's a strategy that everyone has to march behind." Instead, he said, the GOP had the option of drawing its strategy from the grassroots.

"We don't have to come up with all the answers today. Thank goodness, we have a little time," he said. "Certainly by 2010, we better."

The venue -- a packed pizzeria in an Arlington strip mall -- had the feel of a small-town campaign stop Saturday morning, with a supportive crowd tossing friendly questions at the panel. But outside the front doors of the establishment were reminders of the challenges facing the party.

The parking lot out front, even with the heavily Republican crowd inside, was dotted with Obama bumper stickers. Northern Virginia has shifted solidly Democratic in recent elections, and surrogates for John McCain's campaign made statements late in the race that acknowledged the party had all but conceded the area.

But the handful of peaceful protesters out front weren't Democrats -- they were conservatives upset over the new group's agenda and leadership. They brandished signs criticizing McCain, calling the NCNA "RINOs" -- Republicans in Name Only -- and urging them to push for stricter immigration enforcement.

McCain is prominently featured in materials for the new group.

Health care, education and small business growth were all major topics of discussion Saturday -- but immigration was one entry on a long list of potentially divisive social issues that went unmentioned.

Cantor told journalists that the group was not avoiding any topic, although the group's Web site and YouTube video released did not mention abortion, same-sex marriage, or other hot-button issues vital to the social conservatives that form a significant part of the party's base.

"Any topic will be included in the national dialogue," he said. "There are no limits."

Given Obama's command of Washington, it's a good idea for Republicans to take their case outside of the capital, said William Bennett, a CNN contributor and Republican strategist.

"Look, you have to face reality. Barack Obama owns Washington. The Democrats own Washington. So a good place to be is out in the country.

" a huge political figure. I don't agree with him, but the guy blocks the sun. He won the election. He commands everything in sight. He's got a Democratic Congress with him. The media still likes him very much," Bennett said.

The Republican Party, bruised by charges from Democrats that it's become the "party of no," has been forced to rebuild after suffering demoralizing losses in 2006 and 2008. Democrats control the White House, both chambers of Congress and also hold more gubernatorial seats.

And now that Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has switched parties, Democrats could reach a filibuster-proof Senate majority of 60 seats if courts uphold Al Franken's disputed recount victory in Minnesota.

Asked about the state of the Republican Party, Obama cautioned Wednesday that "politics in America changes very quickly."
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/05/02/gop.townhall /


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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Jeb to cement the GOP as a regional party. nt
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Arugula Latte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. They've got a problem...Their rabid base is very anti-immigrant,
while the GOP Corporate Overlords want to exploit that cheapo labor.

Quite the dilemma.
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Happyhippychick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. Typical GOOP idiocy - ask the guy with the last name of "Bush" to save the party.
Morans.
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samplegirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Amazing is it not?
:freak:
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. To a "crowd" of dozens.
:rofl:
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
6. While I oppose attainder and corruption of blood on pricipal
I think it's time for the constitutional amendment that bars any descendants of Prescott Bush from holding national office.
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samplegirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I couldn't agree more!
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C_U_L8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
8. We are the party of monarchists ???
Bwahahaha. Well they certainly have a long way to go before they get a clue
an rebranding the same old republican bullshit is going to get them nowhere..
As they say, good advertising will only make a bad product fail faster.

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LeFleur1 Donating Member (973 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Jeb Will Probably be President
Edited on Sat May-02-09 03:37 PM by LeFleur1
Here's what happens. The Republicans get in office. They completely screw things up. The Democrats get in and try to fix the damage. They get blamed for the complete mess that they haven't cleaned up in zero minutes or days. Another Republicans wins the next (or next) election.
It makes no sense whatsoever, but it happens too often. Beware of the Republican carrying "We'll fix it up" signs. They should be carrying "We'll screw it up more." signs.
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cloudbase Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:34 PM
Response to Original message
9. Bush could honestly be called the GOP's
toxic asset.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
11. I cannot believe that the crime family
would even consider putting forward another Bush. These people are crazy.
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Vickers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. "they are the party of the monarchists"
"Now, let's elect this son and brother of previous presidents!"

:crazy:

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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
13. "The venue -- a packed pizzeria in an Arlington strip mall" LOL
Nothing says power and prestige like a.....uh.... strip mall pizzeria.
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