Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bernard: "The Republican Party Needs To Find Its Soul"

Michelle Bernard, head of the Independent Women's Forum,

On the Republican Party: "I think the Republican Party needs to find its soul again. There are many Republicans who still look at the era of Ronald Reagan as nirvana. But this isn’t 1980 anymore. One of the things that the Democrats have done that Republicans have not is to look at how our nation has changed politically and culturally, and keeping up with those changes. That doesn’t mean Republicans should give up their belief in limited government or free markets. I don’t think that’s the case at all. But the Republican Party needs to find a way to reach out to many, many people, not just the religious right. That’s not enough people to win elections. If the Republican Party is going to have a future, you’ve got to find a way to reach out to women, to African Americans and Hispanics. And there’s a way to craft messages so that they are appealing to those groups."

On whether Michael Steele, the Republican Party head, is doing a good job: "I don’t know yet. I think Michael Steele needs to really stay away from the media for a little while. The cameras will always be there. He needs to really hunker down, learn his job, do some listening tours, go to different states around the country and come up with a prescription to fix what is ailing the Republican Party. And then he can go back to the media. It will always be there.

On the Wall Street meltdown: "I think it’s a mistake when people blame what has happened on Wall Street on the free market, rather than on greed. There are people who are greedy, there are people who are criminals and there are people who engage in all kinds of acts of fraud at the white-collar level. That’s the problem. It’s not the free market. It’s greedy, unethical people."

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