Dear Commons Community,
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) said yesterday that Republicans need to consider more carefully what they’re saying in order to avoid “stupid” and “offensive” comments that take a toll on the entire party.
“When you consider what two Senate candidates … the comments that they made were stupid comments, offensive comments, and in today’s world, when a candidate says something, the negative effect of that can spill over to lots of other candidates,” Barbour said on CBS’ “This Morning.”
Barbour was referencing controversial remarks made by GOP Senate candidates Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock of Indiana, which drew widespread condemnation last election season for being insensitive and inaccurate on the issue of rape. Both candidates lost in November, after being propped up by Republican fundraising groups.
Critical reflections about the GOP’s shortcomings have been commonplace in the wake of the 2012 elections. Barbour’s comments followed up on a speech by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) this week, in which he urged the GOP to stop being the “stupid party” and to abstain from making “offensive and bizarre comments.”
While Republican deliberations have been harshly worded at times, they have focused almost entirely the party’s unpopular tone and unsuccessful messaging, rather than the actual ideas being promoted by the GOP.
During his recent address, Jindal argued that the GOP doesn’t need to change its values, but “might need to change just about everything else we are doing.”
In other words, the Republicans have to have the courage to uncouple themselves from the extremists in the Tea Party.