By Teresa Welsh |
Is the problem the Republican Party suffers from bad ideas or bad messaging? The answer is both.
When was the last time the GOP nominated a really conservative candidate for president? The answer is Ronald Reagan. The GOP for the last 24 years has nominated a string of moderates. Is it any surprise that Republicans havelost the popular vote in five of the last six elections and even when the GOP won—2004—it was not by much. Moderates run the Senate and John Boehner in the House is certainly no conservative.
The first problem the Republicans have is they are little more than Democrat-lite. When all they want to do is surrender to President Obama, it is hard for conservatives or anyone else to get excited about them. Americans want a choice, not two political parties that have almost no difference.
The other problem is messaging. Perhaps the two go hand in hand. The GOP cannot message to save its life.
Allegedly the GOP stands for liberty and opposes gun control. A few days ago, I tweeted, "I don't have to register my 1st Amendment rights, why the hell do I have to register my 2nd Amendment rights?" That tweet was retweeted for three days. You would think the Republican Party could afford someone who knows something about messaging.
In order to succeed, the Republicans need a candidate and a message that will speak to average Americans. Tax cuts are hugely important but most Americans don't understand them. Obama messages that idea as breaks for millionaires.
Republicans should be talking about the economy. We are not in a recession; we are in the Great Obama Depression. Every time I turn around, I hear Republicans talking about the "recession" or the "economic downturn" as if it were an unpredictable event like a winter storm. Republicans will not make Obama own the Great Obama Depression. This is what Americans are talking about. Americans are worried about losing their jobs and losing their homes. They are watching many of their jobs being downsized to part time because their employers must avoid the Obamacare costs.
Are the Republicans messaging on any of this? No. Instead they are wandering around like newly castrated cattle, trying to figure out what they lost and why it was important.
The GOP has two problems: ideas and messaging. Until it returns to its conservative roots, neither will be solved.
About Judson Phillips Founder of Tea Party Nation
Ford O'Connell Republican Strategist and Political Analyst
Jamie Chandler Political Scientist at Hunter College
Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research
Mercedes Schlapp Cofounder of Cove Strategies