Don’t worry, Dick Morris isn’t going anywhere, according to Dick Morris.
The high-profile pundit, who was dropped by the Fox New Channel this week says: “I’m not gone. I’ve been all over the place and will continue to be. I’ll be back.”
Nor is he done making bold predictions. “My record of predictions is actually pretty good,” Morris says. “While I was certainly wrong this year, I haven’t been all that wrong in the past. . . . I’ll continue to call it as I see it. I’m not going to average the predictions [to arrive at a safe middle ground].”
As for Fox’s decision, “this business has ins and outs and ups and downs, and they were obviously upset because I was so wrong about the election, and wrong at the top of my lungs,” he says. In the end, his prediction was off, but he cites CNN and Gallup polls and adds, “I was not alone.”
He’ll “continue to make noise,” Morris says. He plans to do it through as many media as possible — radio, TV, speeches, and his daily videos, which he e-mails to about 550,000 people. He says maybe someday he’ll be back at Fox.
The author, with Eileen McGann, of books such as Here Come the Black Helicopters!, Screwed!, and Revolt!, Morris says that he’s now fighting to do for the Republican party what he did for the Democrats during the Clinton years — moderate it.
“I’m trying to explore ways in which the Republican party can make itself viable nationally, so it can win national elections without sacrificing its basic principles,” he says. “That’s the mission I’ve set for myself.”
Republicans lost the race, he says, because they made the same mistake he did when he made his famously wrong prediction about a Romney landslide: Both errors stem from a misunderstanding of America’s demographic changes. When Republicans won in 2010, it was easy to believe things had returned to normal. But the 2012 presidential election showed that the GOP’s electorate model “was wrong, and it was wrong for all times.” Latinos, women, and gays are “voters who would like to be Republican,” he says. “The Republican party just isn’t letting them.” Those groups are critical to the GOP’s future success, he says.
Republicans don’t want to embrace immigration reform in part because they think Hispanics will vote for Democrats, he says. And Hispanics would vote Republican, except Republican resistance to immigration reform has convinced Hispanics that they’re a reviled group. Marco Rubio’s immigration bill would be “an excellent start” to break a “vicious cycle.”
Women have been similarly driven from the GOP because of the debate on abortion, Morris says. Fumbling, offensive statements from candidates such as Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin have been particularly harmful.
“Everybody in their right mind knows that Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned,” he says. “It’s not going to happen. So instead of losing elections, let’s focus on the real issue, which is reducing abortions, making it rare.”
If Republicans ever want to win, they’ll have to adapt to America’s changing electorate and recalibrate their message to draw in these demographics, he believes, and he wants to show the way: “Now I’m kind of a man with a mission.”
“I showed Democrats how to move center,” he says of the Clinton years. “Now, I want to help do the same thing with the Republican party. . . . I’ve got a pretty good track record of getting presidents and senators and governors elected. And I think that gives me credibility to talk to my fellow Republicans.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior is a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.