PBS 'Conservative' Contributor Brooks: If GOP's 'Whole Story' Is 'Economic Liberty, You’re Really Not Offering Much'

Supposedly conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks exposed more of his liberal stripes on Tuesday, telling the Republican Party it needs to rethink its core message. Appearing on PBS’s post-State of the Union coverage, Brooks said he was disappointed with the response delivered by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) because it delivered the typical message of traditional conservative principles.

He continued:


"The Republican party has lost, as Mark [Shields] said earlier tonight, five out of the last six popular votes and five out of the last six elections. Really got thumped. Probably should have a new message."

It’s a bit of an exaggeration to say Republicans "really got thumped" in five of the last six presidential elections. At any rate, according to Brooks, those electoral losses are reason for the Republican party to move away from one of the core principles that has traditionally defined it: economic liberty. Brooks invoked the example of a struggling single mother as a potential voter:

 

"What are you offering her? You don't have to believe in big government to think there must be some positive thing that could help that young woman help her kid achieve some social mobility. If your whole story is economic liberty, you're really not offering much."

 

Apparently, liberty isn’t enough anymore. Some human beings are incapable of improving their own lives, so they need government to do it for them. In the liberal mind, if you’re not offering a government solution to a problem, then you’re not offering much. Brooks is suggesting that Republicans need to change their message by embracing bigger government – in other words, by becoming more like Democrats. 

Brooks might want to consider this: maybe it’s not the message of economic liberty that is responsible for recent Republican losses in presidential elections. Maybe it’s the fact that the liberal media influence voters by constantly trashing Republicans while cheering on Democrats who advocate a greater role for government.

Below is a transcript of the segment:

JUDY WOODRUFF: David Brooks – Marco Rubio, rising star in the Republican party? Did he live up to his billing tonight?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, he is the rising star. He's the only hope, some people say. He is, I’d say, the most impressive of the young people who will be running for the nomination and I think already is running from what we just saw in the last ten minutes. I thought he delivered it effectively as you can these things. I thought he was energetic. I liked his line that if you're for keeping Medicare the way it is you're in favor of bankrupting. Nonetheless I have to say on substance, I was disappointed by the speech. The Republican party has lost, as Mark said earlier tonight, five out of the last six popular votes and five out of the last six elections. Really got thumped. Probably should have a new message. And they're doing a lot of rethinking, but none of it was evident in this speech. He ended with the [?] on the mother, maybe the single mom looking into her child's eyes. What are you offering her? You don't have to believe in big government to think there must be some positive thing that could help that young woman help her kid achieve some social mobility. If your whole story is economic liberty, you're really not offering much. And I didn't see much rethinking in this speech. It could have been given by any Republican in the last 20 years.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.