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Crist: Republicans must embrace 'roots'

May 18, 2008 at 6:01 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 18 (UPI) -- The Republican Party must embrace the "optimism" of its foremost historical leaders to win the upcoming election, Florida Gov. Charles Christ said Sunday.

Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation," Crist said his fellow Republicans must embrace the "roots" of their party to find their way out of a popularity downturn that has GOP politicians and consultants concerned that voters will hand them a severe setback in November.

"We need to, as a party, go back to our roots, if you will," Crist said, "make sure we understand we're the party of Abraham Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, the party of Ronald Reagan, who had that wonderful optimism that people looked toward and were excited about and understood that there was greater hope, greater opportunity for the future."

Longtime Republican strategist Ed Rollins said on the same program that President George W. Bush should no longer openly place himself in the middle of this year's campaign.

"This president has to realize that he is no longer on the ballot," Rollins said.

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