On MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Tuesday, the veteran anchor sat down with former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole to talk, ostensibly, about the current state of his party and the rise of Donald Trump. But the Kansas Republican had something else on his mind. And that something else was how much he dislikes Texas Sen. Ted Cruz….
Dole doesn’t like people — especially Republicans — poking fun at his 1996 loss at the hands of Bill Clinton.
Yeah, well, I’m sure a lot of Republicans don’t like milquetoast also-rans from 20 years ago bashing the candidates that are running now, but them’s the breaks. Bill Clinton had three strikes against him — HillaryCare, the massively unpopular assault weapons ban that the Democrats lost both houses of Congress over, and his reneging on his campaign promise of tax cuts — and Bob Dole STILL couldn’t beat him. And, of course, Dole endorsed John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. Losers, one and all.
Harsh? Sure it is. But that’s just the way it is. I respect and applaud Bob Dole’s service as a member of the Greatest Generation, but his go-along-to-get-along mentality as a politician is exactly what’s gotten the country in the shape it’s in. Whether Ted Cruz will be the one to change things is debatable, but here’s something that isn’t: The Republican establishment has run their so-called “sensible, pragmatic moderates” for two elections in a row and they have lost both times. They had the same results with Dole back in 1996. Had it not been for the 2000 Florida debacle, we may well have had ourselves a President Al Gore, and it was most likely George W. Bush’s popularity as a wartime president that swung the election for him in 2004.
So with all of that in mind, why, exactly, should anyone care about what Bob Dole thinks?