Long-time GOP political consultant Mary Matalin says President Barack Obama should take "more responsibility" for the nation's problems and quit "demonizing" conservative Republicans opposed to new gun laws.
"One thing that's happened here [with his re-election] is the statute of limitations has run out on blame Bush," Matalin said Thursday on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," referring to Obama's past references to the "mess" he inherited from former President George W. Bush on the economy and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Matalin also advised the president to be "less self-righteous" in his dealing with Republicans if he's really interested in compromise.
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"If he wants to get along or if he wants to make some progress with Republicans he has to be . . . less self-righteous," she told Mitchell.
"He keeps presenting these false choices [on dealing with gun violence]. You're either political, you want an 'A' from the NRA, or you want to have safe schools, safe children," she added. "Well, you know, if you have an opposite view, or an opposing view, you can't get to the table if ... the president's going to set you up as the demon in every case."
Matalin, who has worked for three Republican presidents and was a counselor to former Vice President Dick Cheney until 2003, also said that Obama's intransigence on the debt limit and other issues could end up hurting Democratic chances in the 2014 midterm elections.
"The president is not starting the second term as a leader," she said. "The Republicans control one chamber. The Democrats control the Senate and the White House, and also the Cabinets, and they're all arrayed against and demonizing Republicans.
"It certainly doesn't augur well for progress in the second term."
Asked if Republicans need to be more inclusive after the loss to Obama, Matalin replied: "I think we need to do a much better job of connecting the philosophy and the policies that flow from liberty and freedom, and self responsibility and entrepreneurship, and enterprise, and connect that to the opportunity that is available to all Americans.
"I don't distinguish between women and minorities," she continued. "I think everybody should have the same access and the same opportunities , which are diminished across the board.
"Everybody goes down when the government takes more and makes more decisions for people. So somehow we didn't make that clear."
But Matalin insisted the 2012 presidential election defeat for Republicans "was not a wipe out by any stretch of the imagination."
Matalin, a co-chair of the upcoming Super Bowl in New Orleans with her husband, Democratic strategist James Carville, got in a plug for the city's comeback since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and its ability to host a "colossal event" like the biggest football game of the season.
"New Orleans is a great place to visit," she said, adding: "Come, because we're going to have lots of fun. If you can't have fun here, then you got off on the wrong plane."
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