December 9th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
5 years ago

Forbes takes a side in RNC race

Steve Forbes will serve as honorary chair in RNC campaign.
Steve Forbes will serve as honorary chair in RNC campaign.

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (CNN) – Former presidential candidate Steve Forbes announced Tuesday he would serve as honorary chair of Ken Blackwell’s campaign to be the next Republican National Committee chairman, describing the former Ohio secretary of state as a “reliable conservative … who can broaden the appeal of the Republican Party.”

Forbes, who sought the GOP nomination in 1996 and 2000, declared his support in an afternoon email to RNC members.

“Ken brings a winning political record to the table, having been victorious 13 of the 17 times that his name has been listed on a primary or general election ballot,” Forbes wrote in the email. “The significance of his three successful statewide elections in Ohio as a Republican should not be understated.”

Forbes is the editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine.

Blackwell jumped into the race for RNC chair late last week, joining a crowded field of contenders interested in leading the national committee. RNC members are scheduled to convene in late January to vote for their next chair.

See the full text of Forbes email after the jump.

MEMORANDUM

To: Republican National Committee Members
From: Steve Forbes
Date: December 9, 2008
Subject: Ken Blackwell for Chairman

Ken Blackwell is a courageous and extraordinary leader and longtime personal friend. I have served with Ken on the boards of a number of conservative political organizations and worked with him for many years. He is a loyal, competent, and sincere individual.

During your discussions about the future of our party and the election of a new RNC chairman, I ask you to please consider supporting Ken Blackwell.

Ken brings a winning political record to the table, having been victorious 13 of the 17 times that his name has been listed on a primary or general election ballot. The significance of his three successful statewide elections in Ohio as a Republican should not be understated.

Were we to make a list of the qualifications for a new chairman, we might agree on these five:

1) Someone who is a reliable conservative who has a record of standing up for our conservative principles;

2) Someone who can broaden the appeal of the Republican Party;

3) Someone who has a history of winning elections

4) Someone who has clearly established himself/herself as a successful fundraiser, and;

5) Someone who is an articulate and experienced spokesperson;

All five of these qualities are abundantly present in the life of Ken Blackwell.

Ken will be ready to lead our party on Day 1. He is well acquainted with Washington, but he has never become part of the system. He has ruggedly maintained his anti-establishment views and reform agenda. Simply put, Ken will affect Washington. It will not affect him. It never has.

For all of these reasons and more, I am pleased to inform you that I will serve as Honorary Chairman of the Ken Blackwell for RNC Chairman campaign.

In this capacity, and as a Republican voter from the state of New Jersey, I humbly ask you to vote for Ken Blackwell for Chairman.

Thank you for your service to our party.

Sincerely,

Steve Forbes


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soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Ryan Jones

    As a resident of Ohio I can tell you that Mr. Blackwell will certainly not "broaden the appeal of the GOP" When he was Secretary of State in Ohio he was an incredibly polarizing figure and lost badly when he recently ran for Governer – this in a state that is very moderate to conservative. If he can't win in Ohio against a liberal congresman he is certainly not going to broaden the appeal of the GOP to anyone. If the GOP is looking to increase there appeal to people of color perhaps they should chose someone that challenges the status quo and the comfort level of stallwart Republicans.

    December 9, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  2. Trish in Ohio

    Yeah, he's kinda of a joke here, when he ran for govenor he lost by a landslide, We hate him in Ohio

    December 9, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
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