GOP needs to get with the program [UPDATED]Published 10:03am Monday, November 26, 2012 Updated 12:06pm Monday, November 26, 2012
Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, 41, is urging his party to rethink its pitch to voters. He is the son of Amar and Raj Jindal who came to the United States as immigrants from Punjab, India, six months before their son was born.
“We Republicans need to go after every voter, not just those who are white,” said Jindal.
The GOP governor, seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, is positioning himself as a pragmatic candidate in a party that lacks a standard-bearer.
Jindal, in the wake of Mitt Romney’s losing presidential campaign, is urging his party to work for middle-class voters and to shed the label of a party for “big business and big banks.”
He said the GOP needs to retool its entire messaging.
Many Republicans in Fergus Falls and throughout Otter Tail County wholeheartedly agree.
Also urging the GOP to restructure itself, and get with the program, is Florida’s Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. At 41, he is the same age as Jindal and represents a new generation of the Republican Party. Rubio is a Cuban American native of Miami.
Rubio has criticized his party, at times, about immigration policy. He’s seen as a respected leader who could help Republicans make inroads with the growing demographic group of Hispanics.
“People understand that we need to do something to address those (immigration) issues and they want to do that in a reasonable and responsible way,” said Rubio.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the next GOP leader must do a better job explaining why the party’s policies will help ordinary Americans. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, appearing Nov. 18 on the Sunday morning talk shows, accused Romney of insulting Hispanic voters.
Romney had earlier suggested that he lost his bid for the White House because President Barack Obama bribed Hispanics, African-Americans, women and youth voters with “gifts such as free health care and amnesty for children of illegals.”
Graham said that self deportation being pushed by Romney hurt the Republican Party.
“Most people getting public assistance are not deadbeats,” said Graham. “They want jobs. Most of the people on public assistance don’t have a character flaw. They have a tough life and only want public assistance on a temporary basis.”
Factcheck dot org points out that food assistance, as an example of public assistance, is given out to many military families, senior citizens, disabled people and the working poor.
On Election Day Tea Party-backed candidates lost to Democrats in Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin, among other states. Here in Minnesota, Tea Party member and former presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann barely retained her House seat.
Voters, however, did not entirely turn back the Tea Party movement. Republicans will retain their solid majority in the House of Representatives. Eric Cantor, the House Majority
Leader who heads the party’s fiscal-conservative wing, easily won reelection in Virginia.
Another way the GOP is changing is by coming on board with the word compromise.
Look no further than House Republican Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. He pledges to work with Democrats for a compromise to prevent the country from falling off the fiscal cliff.
I’m among those who feel that Americans do not support extremism on either side.
Republicans have moved too far to the right and need to move to the middle if they want to win presidential elections. The late presidential candidate George McGovern showed that
Democrats moving too far to the left also has adverse effects.
Romney, with a middle of the road background, had to move too far to the right during the Republican primaries. Many political analysts said that shift hurt his chances during the
“Extremists on both sides of the political spectrum are unable to maintain national positions for long,” said author Christopher Weiss. “Extremists excite people.
However, most people live somewhere near the middle. Once an extremist group’s momentum has been stopped, reality sets in.”