In July 2010, NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) unfortunately told the truth during an interview on “Meet the Press.” Republicans had high hopes about the midterm elections, and host David Gregory pressed the Republican leader about what the GOP would do with their majority. Sessions said his party wanted to “go back to the exact same agenda.”
In context, the agenda Sessions wanted to “go back to” was that of the Bush/Cheney administration and the Republican Congress of 2006.
Nearly two years later, Pat Garofalo reports on recent comments from Alexandra Franceschi, a press secretary for the Republican National Committee, who was similarly candid in an interview last week.
For those who can’t watch or listen to clips online, Franceschi was asked how the 2012 Republican agenda differs from the policies of the Bush/Cheney era. “Is this a different program or is this that program just updated?” the host asked.
Franceschi replied, “I think it’s that program, just updated.”
This is, oddly enough, exactly what Democrats wanted to hear. For Dems, one of the principal goals of 2012 is to persuade American voters not to go backwards. Bush/Cheney left all kinds of crises for Obama/Biden to clean up, and Democrats will urge the electorate not to return to the failures of the recent past.
The challenge for Mitt Romney and the Republican Party in 2012 is to put some distance between themselves and the debacle of the Bush presidency. This would be easier, of course, if Romney hadn’t brought on so many Bush aides as his top advisors, while pushing a policy agenda that’s eerily similar to Bush’s vision, only more right-wing.
And it’d be much easier if an RNC press secretary weren’t effectively admitting that Democrats are right, conceding that the party simply intends to “update” the failed Bush agenda for another decade.
It’s likely only a matter of time before we start seeing ads that say, “If you liked George W. Bush, you’ll love Mitt Romney.”