ABC: GOP Must Take Risk And Confront Their Base

Appearing on ABC’s This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Mark Halperin co-host of With All Due Respect on Bloomberg, pressed the GOP to take “take some risks” after winning control of the Senate during this year’s midterm elections. 

Speaking during a panel discussion, Halperin argued that the GOP runs the risk “standing up to the Tea Party caucus and talk radio” but that they must take risks “if they want to do what's good for their politics and good for the country.” 

The segment began with moderator George Stephanopoulos hyping how on immigration “one of the difficulties for Speaker John Boehner is he has a much bigger majority right now but also brought in many more conservative Tea Party members.” 

The ABC host then turned to Buzz Feed’s Ben Smith who argued that Republican Senator-elect Cory Gardner “who had opposed comprehensive reform then, kind of muddied the issue and Udall decided that this wasn't the terrain he wanted to fight on.” 

Stephanopoulos then turned to Mark Halperin who maintained that the Republican Party needs to confront its base:

They’re going to have to take some risks. Risk of dealing with the president, risk of being the party who are for fundamental restructuring of entitlement programs, the risk of trying to pass immigration reform for the good of their 2016 nominee. The risks of standing up to the Tea Party caucus and talk radio.

John Heilemann, Halperin’s Bloomberg co-host, concluded the segment by once again playing up the so-called internal struggle within the Republican Party: 

You’ve already seen in the last five days as McConnell and Boehner have been talking about at least some degree of compromise. You hear the base and the Republican -- the right, the right most quadrants of talk radio already braying at the notion that do not do deals with Barack Obama, do not legislate. This is not what this election is about. This election is about saying no to Barack Obama and repealing and investigating and so on. That voice -- those voices are already very, very very loud right now. 

See relevant transcript below. 

ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos

November 9, 2014

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the difficulties for Speaker John Boehner is he has a much bigger majority right now but also brought in many more conservative Tea Party members.

BEN SMITH: Absolutely, and I think if you actually look at that Colorado race, it doesn't answer these questions about immigration because Udall -- Udall decided not to draw a contrast on that issue. Gardner who had opposed comprehensive reform then, kind of muddied the issue and Udall decided that this wasn't the terrain he wanted to fight on so it's really hard to tell coming out of that race and that state that has such a big Hispanic population where it's so important, it kind of remains an open question. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Mark, I know one of the ways you put it and I think it’s a good way to look at it is are Speaker Boehner and leader McConnell willing to take risks? What are they willing to risk to get these things passed? 

MARK HALPERIN: They’re going to have to take some risks. Risk of dealing with the president, risk of being the party who are for fundamental restructuring of entitlement programs, the risks of trying to pass immigration reform for the good of their 2016 nominee. The risks of standing up to the Tea Party caucus and talk radio. There’s a tons of things they can do. They are unified. These are not guys known as bold risk takers who go out in public and throw down the gauntlet. They’re going to have to if they want to do what's good for their politics and good for the country. 

JOHN HEILEMANN: And they’re really at the risk and one of those really obvious risks right now. Because you’ve already seen in the last five days as McConnell and Boehner have been talking about at least some degree of compromise. You hear the base and the Republican -- the right, the right most quadrants of talk radio already braying at the notion that do not do deals with Barack Obama, do not legislate. This is not what this election is about. This election is about saying no to Barack Obama and repealing and investigating and so on. That voice -- those voices are already very, very loud right now. 

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