June 29, 2010

Bob Bennett Predicts Victory for Republicans this Fall

But also warns that GOP will lose majority if it relies on ideology and slogans rather than offering ideas and solutions to the challenges Americans currently face

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Utah Senator Bob Bennett predicted this morning that the GOP will win control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections this November. But he followed up this prediction with a warning – namely, that Republicans will lose their majority as quickly as they won it if they continue to rely on ideology and slogans instead of putting forward ideas and solutions to the challenges Americans currently face.

“The concern I have is that ideology and a demand for absolute party purity endangers our ability to govern once we get into office,” Bennett stated. Bennett, who lost a bid for reelection at the Utah Republican Convention last month, made this statement in a speech to a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society. In the speech, he drew a contrast between Ronald Reagan’s approach to governing and politics and the approach of Republicans today. 

“Ronald Reagan, in addition to having slogans that could whip up the ideologues and get them working at the polls, had ideas and solutions to our problems. The reason he was one of the pivotal Presidents of American history was not because of his slogans. It was because of his ideas... As I look out at the political landscape now, I find plenty of slogans on the Republican side, but not very many ideas.

“And indeed, if you raise specific ideas and solutions, as I’ve tried to do on health care with Ron Wyden, you are attacked … as being a wimp, insufficiently pure, and unreliable.”

Despite this, Bennett said he thought political momentum was moving in the GOP’s direction, and that Republicans should be ready not just to win the election, but to govern. “The pendulum will swing, and we will take control of the House -- I think that’s going to happen… At which point, it’s ‘thank you for the slogans’ and ‘thank you for the election.’ But in the immortal words of Robert Redford in the movie, The Candidate, ‘What do we do now?’

“If we do not have an answer to that [question], the pendulum will swing away from us as rapidly as it has swung towards us. And we will by default hand the reins of government back to the Democrats.”

Chairman and CEO of The Ripon Society Jim Conzelman thanks Senator Bob Bennett



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