October 19th, 2007
01:56 PM ET
11 years ago

Top GOP boss to quit

Sen. Martinez with President Bush.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Sen. Mel Martinez plans to step down as general chairman of the Republican National Committee, after serving just nine months on the job, CNN has learned.

Two GOP sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, tell CNN an announcement is planned for later Friday.
The sources say Martinez feels he has accomplished his goal of helping the RNC improve its financial standing after the 2006 midterm drubbing. But they also acknowledged that he believes serving in the national post has contributed to a decline in his political standing back home in Florida, and the senator is convinced he needs to focus more on his personal politics. The senator, who is the GOP’s most prominent Latino spokesman, is not on the ballot in 2008, but is up for re-election in 2010.

Martinez officially became general chairman in January, when his selection by President Bush was endorsed by the national committee. Bush extended that offer last November, just after Republicans lost control of the House and Senate. Martinez initially declined when then-White House political adviser Karl Rove called to ask him to take the post. But he accepted when the president followed up with a personal appeal.

At the same time Martinez became the general chairman, longtime national party operative Mike Duncan of Kentucky was chosen to be the RNC chairman. Duncan runs the day-to-day affairs of the committee, while Martinez served more in a fundraising and spokesman's role.

Duncan will stay on as chairman.

- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Steve, Lyons, CO

    Ah, the rats – literally – are deserting the sinking ship of fascism.

    October 19, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. deroy

    living is florida, i can tell you that martinez is a bush apologist.

    he is a disgraceful RINO who advocates (as BUSH) more spending and amnesty for illegal aliens.

    he should resign from the senate today.

    October 19, 2007 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. b

    The GOP is a grand bunch of maggots!!!

    Just imagine how "evil" they'd be if they ever got their knobs polished in the West Wing!!!

    October 19, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Zeus Racine, WI

    Maybe Mel will eventually make the full retreat from the now dead Republican Party and return to Mexico?

    October 19, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. Greg

    former maryland lt. gov. mike steele as new chairman please!!!

    October 19, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Robert Cadalso NYC, NY

    Mel Martinez was elected to serve the people, but he is first, a Bushie-Puppet. The people ought to throw him out!

    And Ileana Ros-Lethenien, Diaz-Balart TIMES 2 should follow.

    Those Cubans have not become Americans!!!

    October 19, 2007 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Ivan, Chicago, Iliinois

    Not up for re-election until 2010 getting an early start. Out of the blue can't do two jobs at the same time. I sense someone openning a closet door.

    October 19, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. laurinda,ny

    Well, I guess they don't want to be around when the wall come crumbling down. The whole truth will be coming out soon. Bush and Cheney will be left holding the bag.

    October 19, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. Don Longmont, CO

    None of the rats want to stay on board, they have heard about the scurvy that is on the boat.

    They are all looking for a mooring line to run down.

    October 19, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Tom, Anaheim, CA

    Remember Ashcroft – Gonzales? One big loser goes away and a bigger loser comes to stay.

    I'm certain the RNC will have a bigger loser to replace Martinez. Maybe Rove will get the nod. It wouldn't surprise me one bit.

    October 19, 2007 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. M Pasadena, California

    It isn't just the GOP that are maggots, they all are. You are a fool to believe that "Blue Bush" will be any different than Red Bush. Right now inflammatory rhetoric against the Republicans creates the Blue Bush, look at how the money changes hands, there is the plan of the maggots.

    October 19, 2007 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  12. Paul- Ohio

    The NRSC chairman has to be a Senator, so at least Rove is out. I am guessing Brownback....

    October 19, 2007 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. DoubleHEyeTE

    Good ridance. They Republicans are resigning quietly from left to right. Look how many prominent Republicans are announcing that they are not running for election. People are catching up to their game and they are toast!!!

    October 20, 2007 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  14. Ron

    I cant wait until they all go home,come 2008

    October 20, 2007 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  15. Lou Dobbs, Plano TX

    Well, well, well! Martinez is using his newfound time to go to the GOP meeting place (the bathroom where Larry Craig got busted, for the uninformed)

    October 20, 2007 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  16. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Latino's won't forget that Martinez jumped ship in the mist of the battle over immigration. I don't think he wants any part of it, but will come back in 2010 with a message of support for Latino's.

    October 20, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  17. Doc,R, NC

    Wow, jump ship on the republican party lead post!!!

    Maybe Tom DeLay needs a job, he's another despot weasle who will sell our souls for Bu$h and the fascist agenda.
    Perhaps Bu$h has a plan. To rotate his cronies so fast that no one can unearth their foul deeds in time to be relevant.
    This government has me alternating belly laughs and sobs,,, God help us all.

    October 20, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Aclel Boston MA

    I think the next Presidential debate shouile be a Cackle Contest, have both the republicans and democrats have a Cackle off.

    October 20, 2007 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  19. Ricardo, Fredericksburg, VA

    Getting close to election time and, as expected, most comments getting more nasty, extreme, and unloving. Do you all think you will not respond to your words and actions one day? We did not come to be created by chance, that is statistically impossible. Respect others as you would like others to respect you.

    October 20, 2007 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |