Having grown up in a family where the term “progressive” was not used by Republicans as a pejorative to describe their political opponents, Theodore Roosevelt IV tells Newsmax TV that he does not necessarily see today’s GOP spinning off a third party any time soon.
“Our family’s been sort of kind of like a third party for a long time,” Roosevelt acknowledged in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. “Goes back to 1912. We’ve been waiting a long time. I’m not sure I see a third party emerging in the near future.”
Roosevelt, the great grandson of President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, said that today’s Republican Party may, however, want to take a pragmatic look at itself.
“What’s very interesting is that some of the more experienced people in the Republican Party are recognizing, ‘gee, we can win primaries, but we’re putting candidates that can’t win general elections,” said Roosevelt, who describes himself as a moderate Republican. “The cardinal rule of politics is you want to win general elections.”
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That was a lesson then former President Roosevelt learned the hard way, forming his short-lived Progressive “Bull Moose” Party in 1912 to prevent President William Howard Taft from winning a second term in the White House based on a split over issues of progressivism.
“The number one issue for us is how do we get our economy going so it grows on a strong basis and we do so in such a way that the middle class begins to increase and prosper,” he asserted. “If you look back in history where countries lose the middle class because of bad tax policies or whatever reason, they often become dysfunctional.”
Roosevelt, who is managing director at Barclays Capital Corporation, believes the GOP must focus on policies that will help the middle class — even if it means increased government revenues.
“We need to address a situation in this country where the middle class is going to prosper,” he said. “We create good jobs, and that means we have to invest in the future. It’s probably going to mean the government’s going to need a little bit more revenues so public-private partnerships can be created.”
He believes that government should invest for the long term.
“We invest in long term R&D. We can invest in the infrastructure that needs investment — again, public-private partnerships — and maybe we invest in community colleges,” he said.
“I don’t want to see American blue collar workers competing with blue collar workers in Vietnam or China,” he explained. “That’s a sucker’s game. We want our workforce to be the best educated and have the most capital behind them so they can be the most competitive.”
Roosevelt, who also serves as chairman for the Center of Climate and Energy Solutions, describes the Keystone XL Pipeline project as a “red herring” for environmentalists.
“That asset — the oil sands — is going to get developed,” he asserted. “So whether it comes down through us or not, that’s sort of a red herring. We want to make sure that however it’s built, it’s built for the very best standards so it doesn’t leak.”
With respect to the debate over climate change, Roosevelt acknowledges that there is still uncertainty in the scientific community.
“I don’t have a problem with somebody who says it doesn’t exist if they really read into the science and have come up with an alternative theory that accounts for things that we can observe,” he said. “We can observe very clearly the globe is getting warmer.”
He calls the debate “unfortunate” and acknowledges that scientists are having difficulty predicting where warming should be taking place.
“The basic science hasn’t been challenged, however, the scientific community today doesn’t want to talk about hypotheses that they’re advancing because they’re hypotheses,” he said. “You won’t really know until after the fact when it’s probably going to be too late whether the hypothesis is right or not. You have to observe it over time.”
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