The Republican Party has been torn in different directions and must work hard to bring women and other groups into the fold, says former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
"The party right now is, in my judgment, fairly confused. We've got a lot of different factions, and each faction thinks their issue is the most important thing in the world," Gilmore told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"And the fact is, they can win the argument inside of the Republican Party, but they've got to start thinking about people who are not in the Republican Party. And a lot of women out there in this country aren't in the Republican Party," he said Wednesday.
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Gilmore said it is one thing to talk about conservative values on issues such as abortion, "but to dictate to women and say, 'No, no, we're going to run a program where we're going to tell you what to do,' is a sure recipe for not getting women's vote."
"This is one more example where you've got to go to women and say, look, we're going to offer some opportunities. We know single women and single-family households are unemployed and finding a difficult path upwards. We're going to address those issues. But we get confused because they all say, 'Yeah, but you're going to dictate to me on what I'm going to do with my personal life,' and that's very challenging."
To achieve that, Republicans must join together on a "level playing field" of ideas, he says.
"We ought to be able to have the evangelical community be able to make their case in the strongest possible fashion without, at the same time, trying to dictate to people and lose their votes totally," Gilmore said.
"That's what I'm hearing out there among women in the United States of America."
On the growing issues with the Affordable Care Act, Gilmore called on the GOP to formulate "a good, solid, Republican, conservative approach" and take it to Americans.
"Then, if [President Barack] Obama predictably says, no, wait a minute, I've already won my battle, it's already a law and I'm not changing, then fine. Then take it back to the voters again in 2014 ... This is still a democracy we live in," he said.
"We want people to have access to good healthcare, but the Obama system is going to crash at some point and everybody's life's going to be screwed up. So, that's the point we need to make."
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