Meet the Press   |  November 10, 2013

Bigger agenda needed for GOP to progress

A Meet the Press roundtable discusses the Republican Party's ideological template and what lies ahead for the group.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> again with the host of "morning j joe" joe scarborough . he wrote a book called "the right path." i'm thrilled to be a first preview of this, joe, because the book is compelling and it's so on topic.

>> i cover it all. government shutdown , the election.

>> but you have a big idea in this book. and it is a path to winning that's based on pragmatism over idealogy . here's something you wrote in the book. you write, we have to stop electing amateurs in primaries who serve as little more than idealogical indulgences, who exploit resent mts that play well enough among the base but whose positions make them nonviable in general elections . you heard chris christie say this morning, it has to be a strategy that's about winning.

>> it has to be about winning.

>> more than the argument.

>> more than the argument and it can't just be about idealogical indulgences. we can go through so many senate races in the past two elections and we time and time again have elected people that were amateurs, that weren't ready for prime time , that everybody knew were going to lose the general elections . it can't be about petty resentments anymore, we have to think bigger, we have to come up with a bigger agenda like reagan did, like i did, like we did in '94 when we got elected and took back the majority for the first time in the generation. but there also has to be an understanding that americans are conservative with a small c. they want someone who is idealogically conservative but also moderate temperamentally. ike was that way, reagan was that way. there was a reason we used to win 48 state landslides.

>> is the argument just about compromise, is it just about moderation or is it about seeing the political reality that americans at some level want government to play a large enough role to solve big problems?

>> right, and it's not about compromise. it's not even about idealogical moderation. it is, though, about political moderation. understanding that you've got to be relevant to the center of america . republicans -- people forget this. we used to be the party to beat. every four years, democrats would pull their hair out because they knew we were going to figure out how to reach the middle of america . now, during the cold war , we did that because people thought we were the strongest party to do that. during george w. bush 's reelection in 2004 when democrats were sure they had him defeated. americans trusted george bush more. they thought he was at the middle of america more. we lost that. we lost that in 2008 , we lost it in 2012 , and i say this to my very conservative friends . we've got to figure out a way to move forward together or else we're going to have hillary clinton for two terms, and you're going to have barack obama and hillary clinton picking supreme court justices for six years and shaping the way that our federal government is run. that will transform government for 50 years. we've got to unite.

>> the nominating wing of the party, which is the tea party phase right now, it is ted cruz right now, he gets huge --

>> that's not the nominating wing of the party. those are people that -- those sort of candidates we had in 2012 , you see it all the time. they come out early on. the media loves to talk about them for a year and a half. they go out and do pretty well in iowa, they do pretty well in new hampshire, ask thnd then when the snow starts to fade away in iowa, the candidates start to fade away . they turn south and go back to the midwest and they never win. we've been battered for the last year and a half. forget their idealogy , they're political amateurs. i have some good friends that were at the center of this shutdown strategy. i disagreed with it not because of idealogy , just because it was dumb tactics. as i said to a good friend from texas, i said, that's like running up the middle in 4th and 31 because you think it makes you look like more of a man. no, you're going to lose. punt the ball.

>> the book is "the right path" by joe scarborough . thank you so much for speakering with us.