Bob Dole: GOP, Senate both in trouble

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) on Sunday sharply criticized both his own party and the Senate he served in for close to three decades.


Asked on “Fox News Sunday” if the Senate was broken, Dole responded that “it is bent pretty badly.”

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“It seems almost unreal that we can’t get together on a budget, or legislation,” said Dole, who served in the Senate from 1969 to 1996. “We weren’t perfect by a long shot, but at least we got our work done.”

Dole came back to the Senate last December to support a United Nations treaty to bar discrimination against people with disabilities, which failed after a vast majority of Republicans declined to support it.

Dole said in his Fox News interview that he isn’t sure there would be a place for him and other big-time Republicans of his generation, like Presidents Reagan and Nixon, in the current GOP.

“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,” said Dole, who called himself a “mainstream conservative Republican.”

“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,” Dole said about the current state of his party.

The former majority leader also said that President Obama had squandered an opportunity to govern better by not reaching out more to lawmakers during his first term.