Armey: 'Parochial' GOP Has 'Compromised' Agenda

Dick Armey

Then Majority Leader Dick Armey talks about his retirement from the House on NBC's Meet the Press in 2001. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Alex Wong/Getty Images

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Dick Armey helped the Republicans take over the House in 1994. The former majority leader now says that the GOP risks losing control of that chamber of Congress because it has failed to seize important issues.

"They've turned in a direction that's... very parochial and very political, and I think it reflects a certain amount of insecurity on the part of the Republicans with respect to whether or not they can hold their majority," the Texas Republican tells Steve Inskeep.

"I think they've had an obsessive concern about losing their majority, and in the process, they have compromised their agenda," Armey says.

Armey says the GOP has failed to seize "the big ideas, like Social Security reform. This is the most important public-policy issue of our generation. Our Republican majority with a Republican in the White House should have taken this — as we say in Texas — this bull by the horns and fixed this thing."

He says tax reform and out-of-control spending are two other issues the Republicans have failed to address.

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