Hardball with Chris Matthews, 1/28/13, 7:00 PM ET

Matthews: The GOP needs a ‘Ronald Reagan for the 21st century’

Chris Matthews says the Republican Party must have gotten the message after losing the 2012 election, and the GOP now needs a new candidate to represent...

The GOP needs a Ronald Reagan for the 21st century

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

I think the Republican party got the message. Not all Republicans, but a decent number of them.

They ran a candidate who didn’t believe in what he was saying. They have elements in the party that are doing it in, people who don’t want to agree with the middle of this country, people who would rather be right - even far right - that have a hand in picking a president.

Someone has to come along and offer themselves as a true center-right candidate, someone who’s solid on fiscal matters, strong on defense but plays down the social issues; someone with charisma who can win the support of people on the other side of the 50 yard line.

I’m talking about a Ronald Reagan for the 21st century.

I know that the party is unlucky to find such a candidate - male or female - but unless they do they’re stuck in second place nationally. They can’t beat Hillary Clinton; that’s for sure, not with the rogue elements they’ve got joining them in their huddle, not with a candidate who only reads the words - like Romney did - well enough to get the nomination but not well enough to be actually picked as a president.

Explore:

The GOP needs a Ronald Reagan for the 21st century

Updated