Politics

A Q&A with Joe Scarborough on how the GOP can win back the White House

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Joe Scarborough — the former Republican congressman and host of MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ — argues in new his book that he knows how the GOP can win back the White House in 2016.

In a Q&A with The Daily Caller, Scarborough elaborated on his arguments, pointing to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as a rising star who fits the mold of the sort of Republican who can win again.

“It’s sunny, optimistic, constructive conservatism,” Scarborough said of Walker. “And that’s what can win the day.”

- Asked about the argument from some Republicans that New Jersey Chris Christie is not sufficiently conservative, Scarborough called that sort of thinking “absolute insanity.”

- Asked who he would support if Republicans nominated Texas Sen. Ted Cruz – someone he criticized during the government shutdown fight – to run against Democrat Hillary Clinton? “Oh, that’s easy,” Scarborough said. “Ted Cruz.”

- And asked about whether he’d run for office again, Scarborough said: “I got a 10 year old girl who has said I can’t do it until she’s out of high school” before adding, “I don’t know if I’m going to make it that long.”

Scarborough discussed “THE RIGHT PATH: From Ike to Reagan, How Republicans Once Mastered Politics — And Can Again.”

TheDC: You write in your book that the Republican Party needs saving. What’s one thing Republicans can do right now to put the party back on the right track?

Scarborough: It sounds simple but it’s not. It’s a mindset. They’ve got to focus on winning. They got to obsess on winning. They’ve got to understand that you can’t change the world and you can’t make the country a more conservative place if you don’t start electing presidents. We’ve lost five out of the last six elections in the popular vote. We keep nominating the next in the line. We keep nominating people from the Washington establishment wing of the party. And we keep losing. Time and time again.

And so the book is a history of the Republican Party. And it focuses on not only what Reagan did right in 1980 but what Reagan did right in 1966, two years after the calamitous collapse of Goldwater’s campaign. It focuses on what Eisenhower did in ’52 and ’56 and how we used to be the party — we were the ones to beat. We were the party that won 49 states two times in 12 years. We were the party that won five out of six elections. And we did it because we elected people that were able to be conservative ideologically and moderate temperamentally. And figured out a way to make lower taxes and less regulations and the celebration of free markets and free enterprise — they figured out a way to connect that not only with 65 year old hedge-fund brokers in Greenwich but also 18 year old Latino voters in Los Angeles.

Reagan did that. And we did that in the nineties. We got to figure out how to do that again.