The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

February 10, 2013

GOP seeks more ideas, less noise to stem setbacks

By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item

— SUNBURY — A leading Valley Republican said on the eve of the GOP’s winter Pennsylvania meeting that in order to be competitive in future presidential races, the party’s national candidates must change the tone of their discourse and be more solution-oriented.

“Democrats in the last presidential election did a good job of appealing to the common man,” said Billy Allred, of Winfield, a member of the Union County Republican Committee. “We have an identity problem when it comes to presidential candidates lately. Both (2008 candidate John) McCain and (2012 candidate Mitt) Romney did not excite people. Ronald Reagan did.”

Reagan, by exciting people — even Democrats — was able to win over moderates, as well as far-right Republicans, Allred said.

“We don’t need to change our core beliefs of lower taxes and less government,” Allred said. “But we need candidates who’ll live up to that. We’ve had Republican presidents over the past 20 years and they’ve run up debt as much as any Democrat. We need to relate to a wider range of people again, not just a disenfranchised segment of people.”