Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) recaps what happened during a GOP dinner at the White House.
On Monday, the Republican Party released details of an internal review that was launched after losing the 2012 presidential election. In an unprecedented move, the GOP has decided to make the results of the review public, which includes 219 specific recommendations. This morning, CNN contributor Ari Fleischer joins “Starting Point” from The National Press Club in Washington where the RNC will be presenting its report.
"The problem the party has is we've lost five of the last six presidential election popular votes,” Fleischer says. “America demographically is changing and Republicans very much remains a party that is ideologically moored in the 1980’s without figuring out what comes next."
The former press secretary for President George W. Bush says the land of reform lies within the gubernatorial level where the GOP has 30 governors and 315 electoral votes throughout the United States. He adds that these states are “where the nation’s innovators live” and “where people with Republican core conservative principles are connecting with people’s lives and making them better winning large shares of minority votes.”
“We blow a whistle on ourselves,” says Fleischer of the report. He adds that the report details “how the party needs to be more inclusive, more welcoming, more inviting conservatism.”
Overall, Fleischer says the party has lost the “ability to be persuasive with people who don’t agree with us on every issue.” He says the remedy for this particular issue is doing “what the Governors have done.” He adds, “If somebody doesn't agree with us on every issue we can still work with them and get things done. That’s part of what republicans historically have done. We need to get back to doing that again.”
This morning in Maryland, one of the first previews of the 2016 election, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), is in full swing.
Many of the GOP’s rising stars will be giving speeches throughout the conference, but a few big name conservatives like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell are notably absent from the event’s roster.
On Starting Point this morning, former speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich comments on CPAC’s decision not to extend an invitation to the high-profile Republican governors.
“It was a mistake… I think they should have invited both governors to speak,” Gingrich says. “They're both remarkable reformers. They both have great records.”
Gingrich also responds to the statement made by Rand Paul during his CPAC speech yesterday, when he said that the GOP has “grown stale and moss-covered.”
“I think we're going to be fine in the long run, but I do think the old guard of the party, sometimes, gets a little too crusty and a little too anti-ideas, and I think that's unfortunate,” Gingrich explains.
The Republican National Committee is currently holding it's winter meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina and Chairman Reince Priebus is set to lay out his vision for the direction of the party today.
Former RNC Chairman Mel Martinez joins Starting Point this morning to discuss the GOP's re-branding efforts, noting that "there's a great reassessment taking place in the party."
"We’ve lost the ability to communicate well," Martinez says. "I think there’s a communication gap and I think that our party has done a poor job reaching out to particular groups."
Martinez also weighs in on the party's concern with preventing tax increases, saying, "we shouldn't be talking about protecting the wealthy from raising taxes."
"We should be talking about a tax code that promotes economic growth," Martinez argues. "A tax code that is fair for everyone and that promotes economic growth is going to create more jobs, is going to create better jobs, and is going to allow people to move into the middle class."
President Barack Obama and the Senate are returning to Washington today after taking a Christmas Break. They now have only five days to act to avoid the fiscal cliff as they wait to see if the House will come into session. The House left town after Republicans failed to bring a vote on their own Plan B last week. Ohio Republican Congressman Steve Latourette seemed exasperated about that. Rep. LaTourette is a member of the Appropriations Committee. He joins “Starting Point” live from D.C.
Rep. LaTourette says "everything needs to be on the table" to reach a deal averting the fisacl cliff or "this is gonna be a huge problem."
After running for Senate as an Independent, former Florida Governor and staunch Republican Charlie Crist officially changed parties last Friday and became a Democrat.
Crist spoke at this summer's Democratic National Convention about his change of heart and he joins Soledad this morning to elaborate on his decision.
"It's where I feel a lot more comfortable to be perfectly honest with you," Crist says. "It it seems to me today that the leadership of the Republican Party has become a lot more rigid, a lot more challenging. When you look at issues like immigration, they talk about deportation. When you talk about education, they defund it. When you talk about voter suppression, they deny voting to people, and I just can't embrace that anymore and be true to myself.
Ty Pennington is known for building homes for deserving people. We've been following his work as he brought both political parties together for one goal, to build a home for a military family. It's a plan both parties could agree on.
The plan called for half of the home to be built, you'll remember, at the Republican National Convention, the other half of the home was constructed at the Democratic National Convention. Today the home comes together. It's donated, it's finished and it goes to John Jones II and his wife, Tanisha. They're going to get that home at 12:00 noon today.
This morning on "Starting Point," Pennington talks to Soledad about the journey to getting the house produced, and the Jones family explain how thrilled they are to received the house.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) argues that voter disillusionment of the Obama campaign shows they are looking for a turnaround.
It's not just Democrats descending on Charlotte, NC this week for the Democratic National Convention. Republicans are setting up an aggressive response operation, and they'll be focusing on the key question: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus talks with Soledad about the GOP 'response team' this morning on "Starting Point and says they'll be ready with facts to counter Democrat claims. The party will be setting up shop at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, with between 50-75 representatives who will be 'ready to respond to everything that the Democrats say," Priebus says.
"The facts are that fewer people are employed today, the debt is more out of control than it ever was in the history of this country, the President didn't cut the deficit in half like he promised," Priebus says. "We're worse off."
Soledad asks him of former President Bill Clinton's presence at the Democratic National Convention will do damage to the GOP message if he argues that he handed off to President Bush a surplus, and the person who took us through wars was Bush.
"The problem that Obama has with Bill Clinton is that Obama is not your daddy's Democrat. He's not a mainstream Democrat like Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton worked with both sides of the aisle. Bill Clinton was able to get things done," Priebus says. "I think Bill Clinton is actually going to help us because he's going to illustrate to the American people that Barack Obama is not Bill Clinton. Barack Obama made everything worse. He wasn't able to work with anybody on the other side of the aisle, he didn't show leadership and he didn't fulfill the fundamental promises he made in '08."
Priebus also adds that he thought Clint Eastwood's speech to the Republican National Convention where he pretended to talk to President Obama in an empty chair was "great." "At the end of the day, it was Clint Eastwood telling the American people Barack Obama didn't fulfill his promises and Barack Obama has to go," he says.
Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) on how voters will view the Medicare debate ahead of the Republican National Convention.
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