GOP megadonor Peter Thiel hits Republicans for lacking positive message ahead of midterms

By | September 11, 2022

GOP mega-donor and technology billionaire Peter Thiel criticized Republicans on Sunday for failing to annunciate a clear-cut message on what they were in favor of ahead of November’s pivotal midterms. 

Thiel told an audience at the National Conservatism Conference that Republicans were focusing too much this cycle on opposing progressive policies, without offering a real alternative. 

“The temptation on our side is always going to be that all we have to do is say we’re not California,” said Thiel, invoking the Golden State’s increasing embrace of far-left prerogatives. “It’s so easy, so ridiculous to denounce, but … should we maybe have more of a positive agenda?” 

Thiel argued that although the national headwinds favored Republicans this cycle and potentially in 2024, the party had to offer a positive vision and program to succeed long term and be credible.

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“My scoring on the [2022] cycle is that we’re doing even less well than ‘94 with the Contract for America,” said Thiel. “We’re doing less well than 2010, the tea party stuff … we’re leaning way too far into pure nihilistic negation.” 

Thiel said Republicans needed to be more than just the party that doesn’t like “woke stuff.” He argued for Republicans to build a lasting coalition, the party needed to figure out a way to deliver broad-based economic growth that benefited all Americans. 

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The comments come as national Republicans weigh whether to release an agenda ahead of November or remain quiet and let the election be a referendum on President Biden and Democrats. Some Republicans point to 40-year inflation, stubbornly high gasoline prices, and Biden’s low job approval rating as enough of an argument to vote for the GOP. 

“They’ve failed and they failed spectacularly in the last 18 months,” Blake Masters, the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate in Arizona, told Fox News Digital. “You want to return to peace and safe streets and a secure border and a healthy economy: elect Republicans. It’s a referendum on the failure of the Democrats.” 

Others, like National Republican Senatorial Committee Chair Rick Scott, take a different view. 

“When I ran [for governor] in 2010, I had a very specific plan to turn around the Florida economy, which we did,” Scott told Fox News Digital. “I think we ought to be talking about exactly what we are going to do to turn around this country, rescue this country.”