WASHINGTON -- Former Senate Majority Leader and ex-presidential candidate Bob Dole (R-Kan.) said Sunday that he is somewhat dismayed by the current state of Congress, where gridlock has prevented many legislative pushes from getting through.
"It seems almost unreal that we can't get together on a budget or legislation," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "We weren't perfect, by a long shot, but at least we got our work done."
Dole, who served in the Senate from 1969 to 1996, wasn't fully critical of the president, but said part of the problem is that he "lacks communication with Congress" and should have gotten together with members earlier in his presidency.
Dole joked at first when asked by host Chris Wallace to quickly give his thoughts on President Barack Obama. "He's a great golfer, very articulate," Dole responded.
Still, he acknowledged it's not easy to work with the Senate, where he said "no doubt about it," cloture is being abused. He didn't spare the Republican Party his criticism, saying they need to be "closed for repairs" and come up with more plans and a vision for the future before the end of the year. Wallace asked him whether he'd even fit in with the Republican Party today.
"I doubt it," Dole replied. "Reagan wouldn't have made it, certainly Nixon wouldn't have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it."
It's tough to be a leader, he said, but his strategy was to get people together and then ask them to call him when they came to a deal. In the end, the leadership gets the blame when things go wrong, he said.
"Howard Baker said running the Senate is like herding cats, and it takes leadership," he said. "Somebody has to stand up and say, 'We're not going to do this.'"