Republican Party at a crossroad?
Battle over GOP's future
- Duration 11:49
- Date Mar 17, 2013
Battle over GOP's future
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Conservative Political Action Conference held its annual meeting this week and if you can belabor it a presidential straw poll for 26 date here are the results.
Tea Party favorite Kentucky senator Rand Paul won with 25%.
Senator Marco Rubio was a close second at 28 race and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum a distant third at 8%.
The -- pac meeting highlighted the disagreement over the best way for the party to broaden its base.
Activity as president of freedom works a leader of the Tea Party movement former congressman Steve -- to read as head of the Republican main street partnership and gentlemen.
Welcome to FOX News Sunday.
Thanks thanks -- congressman lot threat during the lame duck session in December you talked about the forty to fifty chuckle heads.
Your phrase in the house.
-- blocking senator -- Rada speaker Boehner from making a budget deal with the president.
What is it about the Tea Party freshman.
That make them -- hats.
Another guy would say that's -- -- Tea Party freshman -- since forty or fifty and 112 congress that.
Seems more interested in voting no and going home and governing and and that comment was made after -- be.
And have to recognize and plan B was to just raise taxes on people make -- over a million dollars yeah and it was the opening gambit and then would have given the speaker the opportunity to go to the White House and over the -- and -- here.
I have a package and now let's continue our negotiations.
When you take it down as the speaker said their meeting after that you send them to the White House naked he's got no -- he's -- -- -- Well looking forward mister -- what is it about.
The Tea Party and its views on spending.
That members of the Republican establishment like congressman lot to -- don't get.
Why you have to take a step back and understand the only reason we're talking about a balanced budget the only reason that we're having a serious debate about sixteen plus trillion in debt.
Is because of the Tea Party class from 2010 and and they -- the folks we -- -- in 2012.
You have to stop.
This process this this bipartisan process of just kicking the can down the road creating these in these artificial crises.
On New Year's Eve.
And say let's put some ideas on the table let's stop playing this game and that's what we have done.
And we're never gonna fix this problem just by by pretending.
That that the process of bipartisanship somehow gets to real problem because that's how we got here.
This this crisis was created by both Republicans and Democrats.
Not willing to make tough choices I think that.
That flies in the face what we did in the 1990s.
Bill Clinton was president -- case it was a budget -- and Newt Gingrich was the speaker.
And we created the balanced budget act of 1997.
And quite frankly it was during the bush years.
Of spending multiplied now by the bombing years.
That that we have this mess and at the end of the day my difficulty with the -- and freshman isn't that they that true passion that they bring to this -- important part of the Republican Party.
My difficulty is at the end of they have to -- just saying no.
He doesn't get any thing and that it creates these false crises that you you can get past the false crises.
If you can work something out it doesn't mean surrendering principal doesn't mean becoming a Democrat or rhino -- dying now it means working together.
In a way that you get 60% of what you want.
We've got to go back is that I don't think the Tea Party has created the budget crisis we came and -- our members and tried to do something about it I remember a day when.
When April 15 is when the house and senate had to pass a budget resolution I remember when they had their -- reconciled with thirteen appropriations bills.
I remember day when the president actually had to introduce his budget and today we don't do any of that stuff and that that's how we got to the sixteen trillion.
And there is something rational about but about standing on the tracks and saying you know what we can't do it this way anymore we have to do with some other way.
Listen if that was is that if that was the way these guys were operating I'd -- all all for that but for instance we couldn't even get I was -- I was an appropriate.
We couldn't get their labor health and human services -- the biggest of the bills besides defense out.
Because three of our members wouldn't support the chairman's mark now.
That's not that's not trying to solve the problem and you'll always hear sorry but I'm telling him he he can't get it done.
And just voting no and then holding your nose and say boy if it passes -- I can go home.
My local Tea Party groups and say I voted no that's ridiculous that's what makes some -- Let me switch to another subject mr.
Kennedy one of the reasons -- in the party.
And we saw in the last week has been over national security.
You back Rand Paul's filibuster of the president's drone policy in the senate.
You also -- the sequester -- across the board -- even in the Pentagon but isn't.
One of the GOP's strengths.
With the American people that it's tough on national security.
Where you can be fiscally responsible and tough on national security I think it it would will be -- has nothing to do with the with the fiscal issues that's -- that's what we're certainly.
So so there's two issues here one and one is about basic civil liberties and I think I think the new GOP reflected by it by Rand Paul's willingness to challenge the status quo.
In both Republican and democratic parties not a healthy thing.
And young people in particular there looking.
Four for leadership that that's willing to challenge the idea that the -- always right -- I think that's where we are as well.
But on defense and on any frankly any budget any program any department of the federal government.
Let's all acknowledge that there is waste and things that need to be eliminated.
And -- -- of defense would be very healthy thing.
And you -- you have to put everything on the table you can't say that this sicker cal cannot be -- I think the GOP's made a mistake.
Congressman -- to -- Rand Paul and his -- see pat talked about defense hawks like John McCain.
And Lindsey Graham as as stale and moss covered.
There is a war weariness in the country should the Republican Party and its truck at -- trying to grow the party and appeal to new voters should it be pulling back on national defense well.
You know I grew up -- there of the 800 dollar hammer in the 600 dollar toilet seats on -- -- efficiencies there.
But if you are looking for the kind to the constitution for something that the government's actually supposed to be involved and -- defending the country.
And the sequestration was most ham handed way of dealing with things.
And we only got there because of this function that exist because the Democrats won't give an inch.
And you know it's it's it's incumbent upon us to find that sweet spot Boehner tried to do with the president the president isn't willing.
But we got to find that -- but that includes -- public.
Which is a dysfunction and you kind of -- in mr.
Kennedy -- direction do you think the Tea Party.
Is as adding to the dysfunctional Washington none at all I think that Tea Party is an important part of the coalition that is the Republican Party -- my difficulty with.
Not necessarily -- -- group of other groups like his.
Is that there's summed up now some kind of litmus test that what makes a good Republican or -- bad Republican.
And the reason that we don't have a Republican president today in my opinion.
Is that we don't represent the whole country we don't have one member of congress who's a Republican from the entire eastern seacoast to get out of the the Carolinas and Virginia.
You you can't govern the country unless you look like the country.
And so I I think -- an important part of the coalition but they are not the Republican Party they're part of the Republican.
And how do you respond to that that that in a sense you've.
You may have energized the party but you've also narrowed.
I don't think so if you if you look at C -- you look at the rock stars of the GOP the next generation of people that that were excited about.
These are Tea Party freshman Rand Paul Ron Johnson from the very purple maybe Blue States pat and -- Pat Toomey from Pennsylvania and of course Marco Rubio -- -- Diversity.
We've brought energy and most important I think we brought ideas because we're color -- about all of this stuff but if you want to come.
To the senate come to the congress and offer a plan to balance -- budget.
We're gonna support you put your ideas on the table that's what's lacking in this whole debate.
Like I gotta say that that sadly what they've also brought us is Harry Reid is the majority leader continuing in the senate.
If you look at that the Nevada race Sharon angle if you look at Richard Murdoch and in -- -- if you look at that.
I always forget -- name the -- and Delaware Christine O'Donnell thank you.
You -- we could have functional control the United States senate today but for this litmus -- that exists today there were a lot of establishment candidates Republican candidates who went down in this last election to ever went down went down in from the standpoint that they lost to Democrats unlike.
Some of these mr.
Murdoch for instance I mean we're supposed to wonders of Murdoch Indiana Indiana why we don't have the women's vote in this country when we have a candidate suggesting that a child born.
As a result of of rape as a gift from god.
I I'm not wondering why we don't have more women voting for Republican.
But let me ask you about -- and that's the last thing we're gonna get into here Karl Rove and he's going to be on the -- started -- -- -- conservative victory project.
To try to get into the primaries to make sure that there are more electable Republicans people that can win the -- -- going to win the general election.
-- a lot to -- your obstruct your -- super pac to promote.
Electable candidates in Republican primaries -- have any problem -- because I well what are -- first -- -- why do you think that's wrong.
Well -- I think the definition of electable as what we're debating here and you look at who's been winning elections it's been.
Interesting exciting young energetic people like -- like Marco Rubio.
And I think if you applied this this sort of establishment litmus test which tends students had to be biased for.
People that are already in office you're not gonna get that new energy -- we have gotten Pat -- remember Karl Rove supported.
The Arlen Specter as far back as 2004 against Pat Toomey because a logic was Pat Toomey can't possibly win.
Arlen Specter later flipped parties when it was convenient for him became the sixtieth vote for Obama care.
So I think we need to be careful about what it means to be electable certainly the Tea Party -- about a thousand.
But at least.
Were winning elections were bringing new people into the party were not in a position where the Democrats can jam something through sixty votes in the senate because of the Tea Party.
Yeah I gotta tell you that there is no litmus test the vote in mainstream I'm happy to have anybody that labels him herself as a Republican.
And wants to represent the entire country.
We're not talking about electing the governor of South Carolina governor taxes the governor of Utah if we ever want to -- -- national party we have to look like America today.
We look like -- a bunch of guys white guys from below the Mason Dixon line.
So how do you look more like America.
You you have to begin to talk about issues in a way that I have to talk about issues for instance I never read anything in in my Republican playbook and have been a Republican since -- -- I was born.
That says that Republicans and trade Unionists can't get along together at the -- the operating engineers.
But it's somehow this whole war.
On prevailing wage is now become a plank of the Republican Party no it's not the same thing with the environment I live only here we don't -- To be opposed to everything.
That helps us get clean air and clean water that's not a Republican test but but if you look at the key votes that some of these groups are scoring.
An eighteen votes was scored by by mr.
QB's group out of thousand that took place last -- -- not -- you can make like a poll you can make it look anyway you want to.
All right you get the last word mister -- I think if you look at the new Republican Party the party that stands for something you look at names like Tim Scott and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and -- Labrador.
And just in a march.
Me a lot of almost got through.
-- this is the new future and it's based on ideas we don't care about the colors -- We're gonna have to leave it there but to be continued mr.
candidate congressman lot threat thank you both coming in and we'll stay on top of this debate and.