Dave Carney Would Like Republicans To Stop Trying to Reinvent the Party

The former advisor to Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich penned an op-ed in US News & World Reports urging the party not to abandon its values in a rush towards the center after the election.
Thu December 6, 2012 7:12 pm
AP Photo | Jim Cole

Dave Carney would like the Republican Party to stop all the handwringing now. The former Rick Perry and Bob Dole consultant, once dubbed the the Republican Party's " wizard behind the curtain ," took to the website of US News & World Report (which seems a rather odd platform) to pen a piece titled "Reports of the GOP's Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated," in which he opined that the party doesn't need to "lurch to the center" or reinvent itself, it just needs stronger candidates.

Yes, Republicans lost an election. Yes, Republicans have problems with technology, minorities, women, and younger voters. Yes, this election will potentially have terrible consequences for our nation. Yes, many Republican pollsters and political operatives thought we were going to win this election.

All of those things are true, but none of them points to the end of the Republican Party.

The GOP is not, as it is being portrayed in the media, the "Ghastly Old Party," doomed to irrelevancy, Carney writes. Rather, this election was much closer than the 2008 election. He continues:

We lost young people, we lost Hispanics, so we lost hope I guess. What tripe. One campaign loss does not call for an extreme makeover of our movement. Conservatives need to assess what went right and what went wrong in this past election. It was not that we did not have the proper app, nor was it that we did not pander to collections of potential voters or just that the ads were ineffective and in many case unintelligible, nor was it Hurricanes named Isaac or Sandy.

How did Obama get re-elected? According to Carney, "because he spoke to the economic concerns of voters in a meaningful way. He talked of tax cuts for the middle class, balancing the federal budget, and creating jobs and opportunity. The fact that during his four years in office he hasn't done any of these things ... just proves how good of a politician the president is."

Carney would like everyone to calm down, "take a step back, enjoy the holidays, and calmly evaluate where we are." And, after some reflection, Republicans will realize that they should stay true to their core values. "It is those conservative values that have helped Republicans get elected to the governor's mansions in 30 of the 50 states after all," he wrote.

"[T]he silver bullet we all seek is within our grasp. "What we need are good candidates with an effective message. The rest will fall in to place," he concludes.

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