On Tuesday, Fox News Channel’s The Five tackled the problems facing the Republican Party as it evolves in the effort to again become competitive in a post-Barack Obama America. Host Eric Bolling said that the party can only remain viable so long as it remains a big tent, but he took issue with some of his counterparts in the GOP’s conservative wing. On a day when New Jersey’s Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced he will embrace the Medicaid expansion funding in the Affordable Care Act, Bolling advised his fellow Republicans that they must embrace Christie as the future leader of their party.
The Five hosts noted that Bill O’Reilly told Fox’s audience on Monday that the GOP needs a leader who can articulate a conservative message and “fight back” against the press in order to move the country to the right.
Andrea Tantaros warned that the GOP has a big challenge in the effort to “fight back dependency.” She said that the future political battles Republicans will have to wage will become harder as the populace becomes more comfortable with government-backed programs that ensure financial security.
“I hate all this,” Bolling said of infighting within the GOP about the future direction of the party. “They need to get together and form one party that has a big tent for everyone; whether you’re gay, straight, black, white, male, female.”
“Bill O’Reilly’s right,” added Bolling . “You need someone who’s charismatic. He’s got to be a leader. And, this one: the way O’Reilly puts it, ‘fight back the media jackals.’ That’s Christie.”
Bolling continued to make the case for Christie as the natural leader of the Republican Party moving into the next election cycle. However, he anticipated that the party’s conservative wing will have problems embracing Christie due to the unorthodox positions on issues like global warming and gun control.
“If you want to win in 2016, you better start looking at Chris Christie and embracing what he’s all about,” Bolling concluded after noting that his friends on the “far-right” will be displeased with his endorsement.
Bob Beckel highlighted what he saw as hypocrisy in Bolling’s statement, noting that Bolling was one of the most vocal opponents of Republican candidates for office in past election cycles who he deemed insufficiently conservative.
Watch the clip below via Fox News Channel:
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