Republicans? or Democrats?

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Republicans? or Democrats?

Over the weekend in Philadelphia, about 180 republican members of Congress gathered to consider policy and politics and the upcoming election. One of them talked to me about what he heard.

Many were stunned when President Bush’s chief adviser, Karl Rove, announced the price tag for the new Medicare prescription drug benefit had been upped from the promised $400 billion to $540 billion over ten years.

Rove also told them that the president’s re-election platform would center of four themes – the war on terrorism, tax cuts, education and the prescription drug benefit, even though the last one has not polled well with conservatives.

This is a bad strategy. The president signed off on a huge new spending program for education with Ted Kennedy smiling alongside. The drug benefit will not win over senior voters who are predisposed to vote for democrats because they will always give them more.

What about wasteful spending? Republicans are behaving like democrats and they will find it hard to win with such a strategy.

I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.