Former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole has a stark warning for today's GOP. Ronald Reagan, the most beloved conservative president of modern times, would not have made the cut in the modern Republican party because his views were too mainstream for the party as it now stands, Dole said.
The party has moved so far to the right that nowadays even Ronald Reagan wouldn't make the cut, Dole explained.
According to the Daily Mail Dole said that the Republicans needed to hang a 'closed for business’ sign on their front door and embark on a period of introspection to find out who they really are and what they stand for now.
Described as a damning indictment of the GOP, the ferocity of Dole's criticism underlines that the schism that is taking place within the party after its dramatic loss to President Obama is a genuine thing.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Dole doubted if he himself could become a candidate now: 'I doubt it. And I - Reagan wouldn't have made it.
'Certainly Nixon couldn't have made it, because he had ideas and, we might have made it, but I doubt it.'
Asked if he meant it was because they were both too moderate and willing to compromise, Dole said: ‘I just consider myself a Republican, not all this hyphenated stuff. I was a mainstream conservative Republican, most people are in that category.'
As president Reagan bailed out social security to the tune of $165 billion and as governor of California he passed pro-choice legislation, something which would completely rule him out as a candidate nowadays with the GOP's Tea Party faction.
Dole, 89, lost to Bill Clinton in the 1996 U.S. election and also served in the House and the Senate representing Kansas for some 40 years.
One of the GOP's most enduring party elders, during that time he was Senate Majority Leader and chairman of the Republican National Convention.