Jeb Bush: GOP Must Be More Than The "Old White Guy Party," "Party Of No"

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Elyse Siegel Fmr. Deputy Managing Editor, The Huffington Post

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush had some critical words for Republicans in a recent speech, saying the GOP needed to become more than the "old white guy party" and the "party of no."

The GW Hatchet reported on the speech, given to a group of College Republicans:

Bush said he believes the Republican Party needs to cater its message to include everyone in America, and become more than the "old white guy party."

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that in order for a political party to be successful it has to reach out to everyone," Bush said. "In politics, you never win when you say 'us and them.' We need a more welcoming message."

"I sense that our party is kind of in a nostalgic mode where we look back to the good old days," Bush said. "However good they were, and there were some good days, is completely irrelevant in 2009."

He added, "We just can't be the party of no."

A spokesman for the GW College Republicans confirmed:

Andrew Clark, a spokesman for the GW College Republicans, who hosted the speech, confirmed the accuracy of the account to our reporter, Beth Marlowe, though he qualified that Bush also said the "party of No" label was not accurate, which doesn't materially alter his assessment of the party's political travails. "

The former governor's comments resonate with growing GOP concern over the party's chances to gain congressional seats in the upcoming midterm elections.

It's not the first time Bush has critiqued his party's direction. In May, he said Republicans need to look to the future and "beyond the heyday of the Reagan era."

"You can't beat something with nothing, and the other side has something. I don't like it, but they have it, and we have to be respectful and mindful of that," he said at the time.

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