msnbc | January 27, 2013
>> joining me is former pennsylvania governor etd rendell and ohio secretary of state ken blackwell who is a senior fellow. start with you, mr. blarks what does this sound like to you, a good start to doing this reassessment some of the things we are hearing from paul ryan .
>> we ought to understand that we don't have one foot in the grave as a party. we had 30 governors out of 50. we have republican control of both houses of the legislature in 25 states. we are a party in full blossom at the state level. the issue for us is how do we start to collect a message at the national level that is attractive to blocks of voters we are using in too great of a number in national elections. yes, we have to start with the old jack kemp assumption. people don't care how much you know until they know about how much you care. if we can take our message of growth and opportunity and individual freedom , we can, in fact, pin a national message that relates to more and more people.
>> let me bring in governor rendell . let me let you respond to his -- what is in his estimation a full blossom, if i wrote that down correctly. full blos of the republican party in the state.
>> he is right. the republicans control a significant amount of the states as well. do i think they need radical change ? not necessarily. i think it is more than message. if you listen, t.j., to all of the speakers who have spoken at the republican convention , they have to change their principles. the ohio legislature puts in a personhood amendment, rejected by the voters of mississippi they are not listening and hearing what americans are saying at every level. when a progressive guy like chris christie refuses to put attack on millionaires in new jersey to help them with their budget they are not listening. they are not listening. the american people want fairness. they want freedom. they want everyone to be allowed to do what they want to do with their personal lives and it's not the message it is the substantive principles that need examination.
>> let me let you answer that quickly. that brings up a good point. you hear republicans say we need to change the packaging, how we put the message out there. are you with that, mr. blackwell, you need change how you are reaching out to people or what you stand for as a party in a major way?
>> look, we need to understand what thomas jefferson said when he said a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything that you have. we are the party of limited government and optimum individual freedom . we should not depart from those principles. we don't need democratic party full blossom and democratic party light. we need an alternative party , an alternative world view and we need to market it in a way in a way that is attractive to freedom-loving people who want to do for themselves. they want jobs and growth as paul rye yn indicated so they can support and depend on their families not the government.
>> governor rendell , let's listen to what paul ryan had to say about budget on "meet the press" this morning.
>> my concern is the president may be more focused on political ends in 2014 versus moving to the middle. when you saw his speech at the inauguration, it leads us to conclude he's not looking to moderate, not to move to the middle but go to the left and he wants to fight us every step of the way politically.
>> what do you think of that claim? he even said if we had a different president. if we had president clinton we wouldn't have a debt and budget crisis because bill clinton liked to govern a different way. he is saying we have a combative president in president obama and that's why we can't get something sglong i thought the speech was a good embodiment of the hopes and dreams of the american people . but president obama has reached out to the republicans . he said he would consider changing cpi. but the republicans didn't want to go down that road, at least in the senate. he said he would consider raising the age on medicare, a gradual increase in the age. nobody jumped atta chance. the republicans didn't come out and embrace it. he was going to do a $5 trillion deal with speaker boehner, but they couldn't control their caucus. put aside the rhetoric and i will agree that sometimes the president's rhetoric isn't conciliatory. it is visionary and i think he wanted to strike a visionary speech in his inaugural. look at what the president has put on the table. that's the real proof in the pudding. look at the way the republicans responded. they chickened out.
>> mr. blackwell.
>> or wussed out.
>> let me bring in another republican voice.
>> i'm curious to know what you think of the voice, sarah palin is who i am talking about. she said we can't just preach to the choir. i encourage others to step out in faith, jump out of the comfort zone and broaden our reach as beliefers in the american -- not an assessment of sarah palin , but her as a voice on a national level. do you want to see and hear her out there and how does that help if the mission you are talking about as having a different message.
>> let me put it in a popular context. what the republican party needs is the temptations, not al green . we need a blend of lead voices, not folks singing a solo. within the context of the temptations, sarah palin would be just fine. she is not the al green of the republican party where she is singing a solo. i think she represents a broad area of americans and we need her in the tent.
>> t.j., can i be bold enough to say in the music genre and suggest the republicans need to listen to the rolling stones "you can't always get what you want sglts i should have stopped when i heard sarah palin and the temptations in the same sentence. good to see you both.