Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the Republican Party must adapt rapidly changing demographics in the United States to remain politically relevant.
Rice said during a Friday morning appearance on CBS’ This Morning” show that the GOP sent “mixed messages” in the election campaign on immigration and women’s issues.
On the immigration issue, which turned out to be very important, and some issues about women too, “some mixed messages were sent,” she said. “And when you send mixed messages through the narrow funnel that is the media spotlight sometimes people hear only one side of that message.”
“Right now, for me, the most powerful argument is that the changing demographics in the country really necessitate an even bigger tent for the Republican Party,” she said.
The GOP struck out with Latino voters, as well as African-Americans, women and youth, helping President Barack Obama claim every battleground state except for North Carolina.
Said Rice, “But when you look at the composition of the electorate, clearly we are losing important segments of that electorate and what we have to do is to appeal to those people not as identity groups but understanding that if you can get the identity issue out of the way then you can appeal on the broader issues that all Americans share concerns for.”
She said that she hoped that the U.S. would act more “forcefully” in Syria now that the election is over, but didn’t mention military action.
“We wasted 18 months in the UN trying to get the Russians to go along with Assad’s overthrow, they were never going to do it…at a certain point it was a mistake.”
Rice suggested the U.S. should try to press regional powers such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia to come up with a plan for Syria “that can include all Syrians.”
On the Benghazi attack, she acknowledged that information could change as the Obama administration has argued in defending why it initially claimed that the attack was because of an anti-Islam video.
“Finally we had shifting stories,” Rice said. “Sometimes that happens, frankly, because you’re getting different sources of information. I myself have been in the situation in which I got different intelligence estimates at different times.”
Rice said she wouldn’t be interested in succeeding Hillary Rodham Clinton as Secretary of State, even if asked to do so by the president.