The gun-control debate on Capitol Hill is all about “political posturing at the extremes — and it is once again about politics and not about solving problems,” former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell tells Newsmax TV.
“The problem is the American majority in this country, the vast majority, want a common-sense solution that does something about mental health,” Caddell tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “It does something about and addresses something about video violence games and violence in our society as entertainment, that does something about school safety — as well as does something about reasonable background checks.”
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Regarding the federal budget, Caddell says President Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion plan that was unveiled on Wednesday is as logical as Paul Ryan's.
“Which says we’re going to get rid of Obamacare, which the Democrats are never going to go with at this point,” says Caddell, who was a pollster for President Jimmy Carter and is now a Fox News contributor.
“Until the Republicans can come up with a pro-growth strategy, number one, and number two, can get a consensus in this country that we must do something about the debt and how it relates to individual Americans, we’re never going to get to the heart of this debate. You have to first win the argument.”
Turning his attention to the GOP and the elections next year and in 2016, Caddell says that super PACs should not be picking candidates.
“People should be able to run. The problem with the Republicans is new blood, is fresh blood: The Ron Johnsons, the Ted Cruzes. Those are new kinds of people in politics. It’s not a question of clearing the field.”
He notes that in November, the GOP “lost 10 other races you were supposed to win with establishment Republican candidates who had no message and failed. If your job is to find people who will serve the bare agenda, the establishment’s agenda, the Republican Party will lose the Senate again. It’s that simple.”
Further, the GOP also must put forth a quality candidate should former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton choose to run for the White House four years from now.
“They need something that can get people back to considering Republicans as something other than a dead party,” Caddell tells Newsmax. “You’ve got to have a message — and you’ve got to have a cause. It cannot simply be, we have to find someone. You need something imaginative.
“The losing party, the out party, should be the anti-establishment party. Hillary Clinton’s problem is being an agent for change when she is surrounded by people who are basically hustlers and people who want contracts and goodies.
“She’s in a dilemma, but getting a candidate that’s going to get up and be a Republican version of that isn’t going to work either.”
And, before the GOP ponders such contenders, “the Republicans better worry about losing 2014 and losing the House,” Caddell warns. “This is a more serious problem. They are paralyzed. They have no message. They have no ideas.
“They need something positive. Instead of just being constantly the party or ‘no,’ the failure of 2012 — up and down the line — was not only a failure of strategy, it was a failure of tactics. It was a failure of message — and, most of all, it was a failure of imagination.”
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