January 16th, 2009
05:26 PM ET
9 years ago

RNC candidates turn up the partisan heat on Obama

SC GOP chairman Katon Dawson vowed to be Obama's 'worst nightmare.'

SC GOP chairman Katon Dawson vowed to be Obama's 'worst nightmare.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Despite the climate of national goodwill surrounding Barack Obama as he prepares to take the oath of office, two of the candidates vying to lead the Republican National Committee unleashed harsh attacks against the president-elect on Friday.

Katon Dawson, the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, promised in a new a YouTube message to be Obama's "worst nightmare" and said it would be the party’s mission for the next four years to "expose" the Democrats for what they "want to do to this country."

"I can assure you that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will understand that Katon Dawson will become their worst nightmare," he says in the video. "We will expose them at every turn for what they are doing to the American public."

Dawson defended his tough talk as the duty of a party leader.

"Whether you're the chairman of the state party or the national committee, your job is to hold Democrats accountable in every way," he told CNN. "That doesn't mean you have to do it in a mean tone of voice or in a way that doesn't offer solutions."

Earlier in the day, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who has positioned himself as one of the most rigidly conservative contenders for the RNC's top job, published a column on Townhall.com accusing Obama's economic stimulus package of being a liberal "Trojan Horse" that has "serious flaws, some of which convey a partisan advantage."

Obama’s stimulus plan would create government jobs, Blackwell argued, and government workers tend to vote Democrat. He called it "political mischief."

"In 2008, Virginia went Democrat for the first time since 1964, and Mr. Obama won it by 130,000 votes," he wrote. "Creating 600,000 new jobs might help cement Virginia in the Democrat column, making it harder for Republicans to retake the White House."

The 168 members of the RNC will elect a new chairman at the end of the month at their annual winter meeting in Washington.

Dawson and Blackwell have four more rivals in the race: incumbent RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and former Tennessee GOP chair Chip Saltsman.

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Shirley in California

    I call it jealousy. Are they that afraid of him?

    January 16, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Caligirl

    Cry, Cry, Cry.

    January 16, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  3. R Cross

    Well the repugnant way sure worked out well. Maybe we should keep it up!

    January 16, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Texas Teacher

    Now here we go.... "plans be Obama's worse nightmare"... REALLY? *LOL*

    You forget, Dawson, your party LOST.. you are now in the minority! Seriously... do you really think you are going to anyone's nightmare? I doubt that VERY MUCH!

    You bozos voted in LOCKSTEP with Bush/Cheney! They are to blame for the mess we are in... and that means... YOU ARE as well!

    January 16, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. fat john

    Blah , blah , blah.........
    Show them how it's done Obama!!!!!!

    January 16, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. Tina

    Unlike the Republicans who have been the people's worst nightmare for the last 8, bloody years.

    January 16, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. David

    If he believes his "job is to hold Democrats accountable in every way" his focus is misplaced.

    Instead of politicians looking out for themselves or there party's interests maybe they could focus on being a public servant. That means putting aside your personal agenda and turn your attention to making better the lives of the people you represent.

    January 16, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  8. Necie

    Uhm....Katon who? Guess this dufus wants to be the pitbull without lipstick. Ridiculous!

    January 16, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  9. Not4MoreYears

    Can't you guys argue without it getting personal? Can't you find away to be constructive instead of being so unremittingly negative and destructive? Don't you get it yet, not only did you lose, you lost because of this kind of divisive crap. This election was a referendum for that kind of behavior, and YOU LOST BECAUSE OF IT.

    Please try to raise the tone of the debate instead of dragging it back down into the Rovean gutter.

    January 16, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  10. Beverly, NYC

    oh boo hoo. Instead of coming up with ideas to get the country out of the mess their party created the Republicans would rather pout. Thanks for being such patriots Messers Blackwell & Dawson. Your parties true colors showed in this election, and gladly most American did not like what it saw. Keep it up, you are becoming leaders of a very small club.

    January 16, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  11. Morgan

    Did he not see the past election? Clearly people are tired of that tactic. We reject the politics of fear and hate. That's the biggest reason we reject Palin.

    January 16, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  12. Really???

    I can't believe I just read that – is this guy serious? Ok, let's think about the consequences – fine, hold up Congress, let's not get anything accomplished, then when/if your party is represented by POTUS, the Democrats will be happy to hand it back to you. This kind of attitude ensures that nothing will ever get done by our government again. Thank you Republicans, for showing us why we just collectively voted yours butts out of office – would this be the appropriate time to question YOUR patriotism?

    January 16, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  13. what change..

    It’s a shame…people are losing their jobs everyday and instead of trying to working together to president elect get this economy back, they talking about being Obama worse nightmare…..Each day I hear Republicans talk it turns me off…..

    January 16, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. vic

    I am so sick of the hate and bitterness from the republican party. I wish they would just shut up.
    Either help fix the problems of the country or resign. We're sick of the nonsense.

    January 16, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Tom

    You lost. Get over it.

    January 16, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. bill for barack

    Where do they find these idiots anyway ?
    Under a rock somewhere ?
    After what Bush and his cohorts have done to ruin this great nation, why would they want to continue those ways ?
    It becomes clearer by the day that the Republican party is a relic that needs to be sent to the junkyard – replaced with something meaningful.

    January 16, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  17. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    I haven't heard a single Republican offer any alternative, viable solutions. Guys like Blackwell and Dawson with all their "I'm gonna be watchin' those Dems and holdin' them accountable and bein' their worst nightmare" are so partisan and unpatriotic I don't know how they can sleep at night. I got news for ya Katon, the Republican Party has been MY worst nightmare for the last, oh, I don't know, 12 years or so.

    They should be working with Obama and the Democratic members of Congress to do what is best for our nation, not for their tired old party.

    I am so tired of their "can't do" attitude with no constructive solutions. Just obfuscation and obstruction.

    I am also tired of "Bush kept us safe" – no, servicemen and women, cops and firefighters keep us safe. You can't prove a negative – no attacks doesn't mean we did anything to prevent them, maybe none had been planned with the meticulousness of the 9/11 attacks.

    I am tired of "Bush sent the military to protect our rights" – no, our rights were never threatened by anyone outside our nation. The only ones who have threatened or damaged our rights are Bush, et al.

    I am tired of "Bush attacked Iraq because of WMD, oops, the intel was wrong, but that wasn't his fault and besides, Congress voted for the same war". NO – look up the group PNAC Progress for a New American Century. These folks were trying to get Saddam Hussein ousted since the early 90s. Clinton wouldn't do it, so they found someone who could. Bush SHOULD HAVE KNOWN who the members of this group were – those same people advising him and encouraging him to invade Iraq. Those same people who provided the intel on WMD. That intel should have been suspect just given where and from whom it was coming. A rational, thinking man would have taken the source into consideration.

    January 16, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  18. Wheres the proof of citizenship?

    You can put a monkey in a suit but its still a monkey. I guess you can add lipstick if you like. Are the last 8 years of Bush bashing by the democrats supposed to be forgotten now? I think not, what goes around comes around. Go get 'em' Mr. Dawson!!!!

    January 16, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  19. Betty

    Some retugs are willing to work with the new pres, because they fear not to would mean their cushy jobs in government and they might have to get a real job. Others will do everything they can to throw a wrench in the works, not realizing they are the cause of the problems we are now in. We just need them to keep opening their mouths and Obama will win handly again in 2012. They do not understand that we are fed up with what has happened to our country in eight years and that we have spoken.

    January 16, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. Chelle in Fla

    What a JERK?? So the country is trying to get back on track and instead of working collaboratively with the new administration to get the country in a better condition, he wants to expose Democrats...clearly he wasn't around on Nov 4th when the American people spoke out AGAINST that type of leadership!

    January 16, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  21. The Real Issue

    Americans, if you believe this Republican jargon and I mean "jargon" then we will have real problems. The Republicans had 8 years to monitor the Bush Administration and failed. And Blackwell who was the former Ohio Secretary of State failed to properly monitor the 2004 election in his state and because of this failure, we have been subjected to the failed policies of the Bush Administration from 2005-2009.

    January 16, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. Ellie




    OH PUHLEEEZE....... stop with the Republican/GOP whinning. We're sick and tired of the same old song and dance.

    January 16, 2009 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  23. Steve

    "Obama’s stimulus plan would create government jobs, Blackwell argued, and government workers tend to vote Democrat. He called it "political mischief."

    Kind of like when, for the last 8 years, our Republican President and VP handed out lucurative government contracts to their friends (i.e. Haliburton).

    January 16, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. jay

    Do these people live in some caves in america? They just do not get it.

    January 16, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. Seriously??

    Absolutely unbelievable. This quote is shocking: "Whether you're the chairman of the state party or the national committee, your job is to hold Democrats accountable in every way."

    What about serving the country? Isn't THAT your job??

    America voted for Obama in large part because we're sick of the partisan rhetoric propagated by the GOP over the course of the last eight years. Please don't let this man gain any type of leadership position.

    January 16, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
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