|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tells Newsmax that the GOP must broaden its appeal to avoid becoming "the old white-guy party," and recommends that Republicans create a "shadow government" to engage Democrats on important issues as the incoming Obama administration seeks to enact its agenda.
In a wide-ranging interview with Newsmax, the popular former governor and younger brother of President George W. Bush said the 2008 election was neither "transformational" nor a landslide. For example, he noted that Barack Obama's significant fundraising advantage over John McCain played a key role in Democratic success this year.
Bush urged Republicans not to abandon their core conservative principles in favor of a "Democratic-lite" agenda. Still, the GOP does need to do some real soul-searching, he said.
"If you take the [last] two election cycles, there's real cause for concern, no question about it," he said.
There is good news for Republicans, Bush said: The United States remains "basically a center-right country." He cited President-elect Barack Obama's stance on taxes as an example.
The party should establish a loyal opposition and "organize ourselves in the form of a shadow government" that would address key issues, providing the public with "a loftier debate about policy" rather than mere partisanship.