The Daily Rundown | February 04, 2013
>>> the republican charm offensive continues today as house majority leader eric cantor is set to give a policy speech that will talk about issues that don't have to do with the budget. immigration, education, health care . cantor is joining a growing list of republicans who are trying to rebrand the party.
>> we have not explained why we take the positions that we do. and i think that's one of the lessons learned from this past election. i think that where we have a lot of room to grow as a party, as conservatives is to explain again why we're for the kind of fiscal discipline that we're for. what is the reality and how are we going to help people?
>> we had to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty. how our ideas are better at solving health care . how our ideas are better at solving the problems people are experiencing in their daily lives.
>> we have to get the republican party back on track. we do that by winning the argument of ideas.
>> let's bring in our tuesday gaggle. perry bacon jr., solinda lake and john feehery. john, i'll start with you. this is, i assume, you like hearing the words you are hearing from whether it's eric cantor , paul ryan or what we used there with bobby jindal . the question is, how does the republican party turn words into actions of trying to become persuaders?
>> i think they have to channel their inner jack kemp . they have to think about, how do we get off the fiscal discipline message, which is really a bob dole message and get into an economic growth message. how do we lift all boats? jack kennedy and jack kemp . that's important for republicans. they can't just talk about how to cut spending. talk about why their policies are going to help people get back to work and get more flexibility in their lives and how it's an impediment to their daily lives. voters understand that but our party is characterized by the fiscal stuff and the social stuff. and there ain't -- they are not able to get beyond that conversation.
>> it goes -- solinda, before we started you said, boy, this looks like the democrats -- and i say democrats in the '80s. this is what happens when parties lose. they start realizing, wait, did we become defined by what we aren't rather than what we're for.
>> and also, i think they are trying to reposition by who they lost. so if you think about this education, health care , work place --
>> so people they lost in the constituents you are saying?
>> right. this is all -- rebranding is all targeted for women. what they can't control, this is their rhetoric. but what do they pass in state legislatures ? unconstitutional bills on abortion in arkansas. so this doesn't work because their actions belie their words.
>> perriche that's the trick here. i think john would sit there and say, i wish those state legislatures weren't passing that legislation.
>> the eric cantor republican would say that as well. it's really hard when you are the house majority leader to change the whole party. this is his --
>> cantor 4.0.
>> in terms of trying to rebrand the party. it has to come from whoever the 2016 candidate is. house republicans are divided among themselves. it's hard for paul ryan or bobby jindal or a candidate to start rebranding themselves until there's a can indict who can redefine compassionate conservatism.
>> n these fights are going to take place. i just had two guys on who are going to be leading the two different wings of the party and these fights are going to break out in the open. you think this is something that has to happen?
>> you have to litigate between the tea party wing who wants no government and then the more establishment wing that says there is a role for government. we can't get rid of all of them. just have to make it work better.
>> arkansas was an embarrassment but the fact of the matter is on the state level, this is where this rebranding is going to happen because you have governors like bob mcdonnell who is a superstar. john kasich who has some tough poll ratings but he's been successful. mitch daniels and mike pence . these guys are governing. that's important. if you govern and show the voters you can govern, people like your brand better.
>> how should democrats be responding? republicans are -- they are trying to reposition themselves. there's going to be two ways. the white house , should they be reaching out and in some ways helping them saying, okay, let's see if we work together on immigration or things like this or do you go for the political kill?
>> i think what you do first of all is you take your point which is you govern you. lay it out there and you lay out mainstream policies that 80% of americans support. i mean, the immigration reform agenda, the gun control agenda. the -- if you want real family flexibility, then you talk about paid family and medical leave which just had its anniversary yesterday. so you govern you. lay out real agendas and call their bluff then. the thing amazing about the house republicans and the difficulty they have, the leadership can't even deliver the votes. the senators produce the tax vote and boehner can't produce his caucus. you call their bluff and say, okay. we agree with you. let's go pass this stuff. it won't happen.
>> in a political way, having eric cantor go out there and be out front on this. john boehner has to be thinking, i don't have to look over my shoulder and see if this guy is going to knife me as a tea party guy.
>> you have paul ryan saying a few things. that's the big challenge here is the paul ryanism is what we're talking about here and jindal and now cantor are saying this obsession with government spending about reforming these policies, probably not the best idea. we need to focus more on -- and the love of paul rye san getting in the way of that.
>> who is the leader of the republican party in when someone asks that, what do you say?
>> john boehner as the speaker.
>> technical leader.
>> he is the leader right now. he's the only guy who has power in washington.
>> all right. stick around. i want to talk about our breaking news that we have on this network having to do with those memos from the justice department . eric holder , we're going to be hearing from him. we'll talk to you guys about that in a you guys about that in a minute. trivia time. we asked, name the one cabinet nominee who was hated so nice they rejected him twice in the united states senate . the question is charles b. warren . coolidge's nominee to run the justice department . he failed the first time, coolidge nominated him again the same week, and he failed again by an even wider margin. if you have a trivia question for us, e-mail us at
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