Entries in Bob Dole (4)


Bob Dole: Romney Must Answer for Health Care Mandates

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney’s campaign sent out a short statement of support Thursday morning from 1996 Republican nominee Bob Dole, boosting Romney in Saturday’s Kansas caucuses.

ABC News reached out to Dole and asked for some elaboration.

Dole thinks Romney is in a tough spot over his role in crafting the Massachusetts health plan that the White House says was a blueprint for ObamaCare. He called it a liability for Romney but said it wasn’t “fatal.”

“In the first place, you’re dealing with the state level rather than the national level,” Dole said. “And I haven’t gone over the Massachusetts plan, but there are mandates in it. That’s the one thing that Romney has to answer to, about mandates.”

Dole added: “But I think he’s, you know, when he stands up and says, ‘One of the first things I’m going to do is repeal ObamaCare’ -- of course the president can’t repeal it. He’s going to start the ball rolling.”

A former senator, Dole predicted that Romney will surprise observers and do well in the upcoming primaries in Alabama and Mississippi. “I’m not sure about my home state of Kansas,” Dole said, referring to Saturday’s caucuses.

“We have a pretty conservative state, probably moderate to conservative, but I hope Romney’s going to win Kansas,” he said. “But that’s just a hope.”

Newt Gingrich has abandoned plans to campaign in Kansas, essentially making the contest a two-man race between Romney and Rick Santorum, who on Super Tuesday won over conservatives to win primaries in Oklahoma and Tennessee.

“I don’t know what the appeal is to Rick,” Dole continued. “I mean, he’s a great family man, and he’s certainly a good person, but I don’t see him as a leader. I don’t believe he’s had any real private experience and no position of leadership, well, high leadership in politics. So when you’ve got a person like Romney who’s had it all -- private sector, public sector -- you know, he’s done it all. And he’s said he was in a state, Massachusetts, where it was about, I don’t know, eight-to-one or seven-to-one or something like that Democrat, and he did a lot of things even though he had that big hill to overcome.”

Dole said Santorum’s surge is “near the end, or maybe it’s already reached the end,” and that “it’s going to be almost mathematically impossible for Romney to lose.” Noting that Gingrich isn’t competing in Kansas, Dole said, “Maybe I helped a little.”

He was referring to a statement he made in January about Gingrich in which he said, “Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty bucket in his hand -- that was a symbol of some sort for him -- and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it, and I’m not certain he knew either.”

Asked to elaborate on that weird scene, Dole said: “Beats me. He shows up one day and has an empty bucket, and somebody says, ‘Well, it has to do with spending.’ I said, ‘What does the empty bucket have to do with spending?’ But I’m not sure that’s what it was all about. Newt had a lot of ideas, and now and then, he might stumble into a good one.”

Dole, 88, had trouble with his hearing aid at one point during the interview and jokingly asked that a disclaimer be included at the end of this story. So here it is verbatim, per his request:

“The interviewee didn’t know what the questions were.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bob Dole Has Dagger Out For Newt Gingrich Run

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Bob Dole, the 1996 GOP Republican presidential nominee, unleashed an attack on Newt Gingrich on Thursday, saying not only is the former House Speaker unsuited to be president, he’ll crush the party’s candidates at the state and local levels.

“Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall,” Dole said in a statement published by National Review.

Dole was a senator from 1969 to 1996, overlapping with some of Gingrich’s time as speaker of the House. In his statement, Dole said he’s decided to speak out against Gingrich “before it is too late” and Republicans nominate someone who, “will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates” running for local office.

“Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty bucket in his hand -- that was a symbol of some sort for him -- and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it, and I’m not certain he knew either,” Dole said.

Here’s his whole statement:

I have not been critical of Newt Gingrich but it is now time to take a stand before it is too late. If Gingrich is the nominee it will have an adverse impact on Republican candidates running for county, state, and federal offices. Hardly anyone who served with Newt in Congress has endorsed him and that fact speaks for itself. He was a one-man-band who rarely took advice. It was his way or the highway.

Gingrich served as Speaker from 1995 to 1999 and had trouble within his own party. By 1997 a number of House Republican members wanted to throw him out as Speaker. But he hung on until after the 1998 elections when Newt could read the writing on the wall. His mounting ethics problems caused him to resign in early 1999. I know whereof I speak as I helped establish a line of credit of $150,000 to help Newt pay off the fine for his ethics violations. In the end, he paid the fine with money from other sources.

Gingrich had a new idea every minute and most of them were off the wall. He loved picking a fight with President Clinton because he knew this would get the attention of the press. This and a myriad of other specifics like shutting down the government helped to topple Gingrich in 1998.

In my run for the presidency in 1996 the Democrats greeted me with a number of negative TV ads and in every one of them Newt was in the ad. He was very unpopular and I am not only certain that this did not help me, but that it also cost House seats that year. Newt would show up at the campaign headquarters with an empty bucket in his hand — that was a symbol of some sort for him — and I never did know what he was doing or why he was doing it, and I’m not certain he knew either.

The Democrats are spending millions of dollars running negative ads against Romney as they are hoping that Gingrich will be the nominee which could result in a landslide victory for Obama and a crushing defeat for Republicans from the courthouse to the White House. Democrats are not running ads against Gingrich which is further proof they want to derail Governor Romney.

In my opinion if we want to avoid a sweeping victory by Obama in November, Republicans should nominate Governor Romney as our standard bearer. He could win because he has the requisite experience in the public and private sectors. He would be a president in whom we could have confidence and he would make us proud.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bob Dole Endorses Mitt Romney

ABC News(DES MOINES, Iowa) -- Former Kansas Senator and 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole endorsed Mitt Romney Sunday in an advertisement in Iowa’s largest newspaper.

In a half-page ad in the Des Moines Register, Dole wrote an “Open Letter to Iowa Voters” urging voters to lend their support to Romney ahead of the state’s caucuses in just over two weeks.

“A number of my friends are currently candidates seeking the GOP nomination.  But the time has now come for us to decide who among them can defeat Barack Obama in 2012.  I’ve made my decision, and I believe our best hope lies in Governor Mitt Romney,” Dole wrote in the letter.  “I’ve run for president myself and twice I had the deep honor of finishing first in the Iowa caucuses.  I have many friends in the state.  Some of them even call me the president of Iowa.  When I say that Mitt Romney is the kind of man that Iowans should support, I know whereof I speak.”

Dole also praised Romney’s work at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 and his time as the governor of Massachusetts.

He ended the letter with this note to caucus-goers: “And one last point: When it comes to agricultural policy, you can trust Mitt-I do.”

During the last cycle, Dole backed Romney’s competitor John McCain, who went on to be the party’s nominee.  Romney came under criticism when he said that Dole -- who had written a letter to Rush Limbaugh in support of McCain -- was “probably the last person I would have wanted to write a letter for me.”

“I think there are a lot of folks that tend to think that maybe John McCain’s race is a bit like Bob Dole’s race; that it’s the guy who’s the next in line, he’s the inevitable choice, we’ll give it to him -- and that it won’t work,” Romney said on Fox News at the time.

He soon after tried to explain his earlier remarks to reporters, calling Dole an “American hero” and explaining that he wouldn’t have wanted Dole’s support if he was John McCain because it “reminds the American public that our selection at that time was seen by most as being one that went to the person who waited in line the longest, who deserved the nomination, who’d been in the Senate the longest, and that I don’t believe will be a successful strategy in this process.”

The Democratic National Committee was quick to respond, sending out an email with the 2008 video and this statement: “Sometimes, it’s just too easy.  Mitt Romney will do anything to be president, including knock a respected member of his party when he doesn’t get an endorsement and then, three years later, accept an endorsement from the same person.  It’s tough keeping up with 'Which Mitt' is running for President on any given day.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Bob Dole Hospitalized Again

Photo Courtesy - BobDole(dot)org(WASHINGTON) -- Former Senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole was admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center Tuesday evening with a fever, discharged Friday morning then went back to the hospital for treatment because his fever had recurred.  He was admitted and remained there Saturday evening.

The Kansas Republican issued a statement Saturday saying he was grateful for the tremendous care he received and "continue to receive" at Walter Reed.  He said, "Overall I feel good today."

The 87-year-old World War II vetran who served with distinction with the 10th Mountain Division, entered Walter Reed back in February and spent most of the next ten months there, undergoing two knee surgeries and three bouts of pneumonia.  In his statement he said he has been receiving physical therapy for his knee and working at his law firm, Alston and Bird.

Dole served in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1996, when he resigned to run for president.  He was defeated by Bill Clinton.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio