Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) told Fox News Sunday this week that the Senate Republicans are abusing the filibuster and that he doubts he, Richard Nixon, or Ronald Reagan could make it in today’s Republican Party.
Asked his thoughts on the modern GOP, Dole — a former Republican national chairman, the 1976 GOP vice presidential pick, and the 1996 Republican presidential nominee — suggested, to host Chris Wallace, that the party lacks any positive ideas and is no longer a place for even conservative Republicans like himself:
WALLACE: What do you think of your party, the Republicans today?
DOLE: 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 — and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas.
WALLACE: You describe the GOP of your generation as Eisenhower Republicans, moderate Republicans. Could people like you, even Ronald Reagan — could you make it in today’s Republican Party.
DOLE: I doubt it. Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon couldn’t have made it, cause he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.
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Dole, now 89, also took his own party to task for abuse of the Senate’s cloture rules. Wallace noted that “In your first two years as a Senator, there were 7 motions filed — cloture motions to end debate. In the last two years, there were 115 cloture motions,” and asked the five-term Senator whether it is inappropriate that due to minority obstruction it now takes a 60-vote super-majority to pass any legislation or confirm any nominees.
“No doubt about it,” Dole told him, “There are some cases where you could probably justify if, but not many.”