During a discussion on the perceived demise of the Republican Party, first Terry Moran complimented the efforts of former president George W. Bush during his time in the White House to be inclusive as he hosted events. Moran pointed out an event, for example, that the Bush White House hosted with, as Moran characterized it, "both sides of Thomas Jefferson's family". Then Moran qualified the remark by saying,"that could not happen in today's GOP. Immediate sounds of disapproval from Karl Rove and Peggy Noonan silenced him but the race card had been played. Again.
When I was covering the White House and Karl was in it with George W. Bush, it was a Republican Party that was looking to that tomorrow and reaching out, winning 40 plus percent of the Hispanic vote. I remember there was an event in the East Room where President George W. Bush, said on Thomas Jefferson's birthday, I'm happy and proud to welcome both sides of the Jefferson family, the descendants of Sally Hemings.
A Republican couldn't get away with that today. It's...
NOONAN: I disagree. But it was a gracious moment.
ROVE: Let's be clear. Before we assign the Republican Party to the dust pin of history, 30 out of 50 governors of the United States are Republicans. Republicans have -- elected in 2010 the largest number of state legislators since 1920, a majority of state legislators are Republicans.
The U.S. House is Republican. The Senate would have been Republican had it -- were it not for bad candidates. I suspect we have a lot of agreement that were it not for the Sharron Angles and Todd Aiken and Richard Mourdocks of the world there might even actually be a Republican Senate majority. And this president got reelected with a smaller percentage of the vote than he got elected four years ago. And nobody believes that he got reelected because of compelling, positive, forward-looking agenda for America. He irradiated Mitt Romney and made him a plutocrat with a wife who is an open practicing equestrian, as my friend Haley Barbour says.
So let's not kid ourselves. We have two robust parties, each have got their own problems. The Republican Party has got its problems, the Democratic Party has got its problems. And we're likely to see a competitive political environment for decades to come.
Liberals are all about dividing and conquering. Republicans try to appeal to the general population while Democrats target this group and that group to build coalitions. Yes, it is true that black voters have been solidly in the camp of the Democrats since the days of LBJ and his big social entitlement programs came into play. Democrats buy voters. Democrats thrive when more are dependent on them. No other group of voters votes over 90% for one party.
Republicans have to get better at the communication game along with the efforts to be made in broadening the tent. As Rove pointed out, 30 of the 50 states have Republican governors, a large percentage of state legislatures are majority Republican, and the House of Representatives is majority Republican. Barack Obama, once a Democratic icon, was re-elected with less votes not more votes, than in 2008. His approval rate now is only at the 50% mark. His legacy legislation, Obamacare, is still deeply unpopular with a majority of Americans.
The Republican message - that of smaller, efficient government, strong national defense, and individual freedom - is a winning message. Even with the unprecedented amount of people on government assistance in one form or another, we are still a center-right country. We have to be better in getting out there and delivering the Republican message to all communities.