James Baker, a longtime GOP heavyweight, warned Republicans against assuming that they’ll wrest control of the Senate from Democrats on Tuesday. 

Baker, who had senior positions under both Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, noted that Democrats had done a much better job turning out the vote in 2012.

"I don’t think you can take anything for granted,” Baker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”


“The worst thing in the world you can do is assume you’re going to win.”

Still, Baker also gave President Obama suggestions for how to work with a GOP-controlled Congress, and gave Republicans their own tips on how to not overreach.

He told Obama to follow the lead of Baker's former bosses and President Clinton.

“I think if the president just studied those presidencies he’d know pretty much what he had to do,” Baker said.

As for Republicans: “They have to cooperate with the president, I think when they control both houses or they will pay a price for that,” Baker said.

The former secretary of State and White House chief of staff also pushed back on Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCongress set for chaotic year-end sprint McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls MORE’s (R-Ky.) comments that the GOP brand “sucks.”

"I don’t think the GOP brand sucks at all. I have never felt that,” Baker said, though he added that he wished Republicans would “stop the fratricide that has occurred from time to time in the past.”