Here he is being interviewed by Chris Wallace on Fox News this past Sunday:
Thanks to Think Progress for a transcript:
WALLACE: You describe the GOP of your generation as Eisenhower Republicans, moderate Republicans. Could people like you, even Ronald Reagan — could you make it in today’s Republican Party.Understandably, while this story's made its way onto much of the left leaning news sources (talkingpointsmemo, americablog, and so on), I was wondering if there was any (ANY) echo on any conservative blogs.
DOLE: I doubt it. Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon couldn’t have made it, 'cause he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.
Well, my friends, take a look at this from the American Conservative. After quoting Dole's interview with Wallace about how Reagan "couldn't have made it" in the contemporary GOP, W. James Antell III writes:
This has become a common refrain among a certain kind of Republican. Jeb Bush said much the same thing, throwing his father into the mix of party elders who would be out of step with today’s GOP.Um thanks, Newt?
Dole’s legislative accomplishments ranged from being part of the bipartisan majorities that passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to playing a key role in the passage of the Reagan economic program. The Republicans of his era were more temperamentally conservative, even if less ideologically so. They believed in balanced budgets and would have been horrified to hear a party leader say “deficits don’t matter.”
Newt Gingrich, who became Dole’s partner in crime during the GOP Congress of 1995-96, is a good example of the party’s evolved brand. He led Republicans to their first House majority in 40 years, displaying a creativity that past Republican leaders conspicuously lacked. But he was undone by his excesses, cultivating an image of partisanship, over-the-top statements, and a penchant for unpopular crusades.
Today’s GOP is as much Gingrich’s party as Reagan’s or Nixon’s. Chest-beating often replaces prudence, the party frequently makes use of both libertarian and traditionalist themes without taking either of them very seriously.
But at least that's rational - check this out from breitbart.com. Guess what? Instead of countering Dole's argument (and positing some evidence that Reagan WOULD be welcome in the contemporary GOP, they just BASH DOLE INSTEAD:
Dole complained that he would not make it in today's Republican Party. However, Dole could not make it in 1976 on the bottom of the GOP presidential ticket against when the Party ran against Jimmy Carter or the top of the ticket 20 years later when he ran against Bill Clinton.And that's hardly surprising considering the state of the contemporary GOP.