July 28th, 2009
01:04 PM ET
5 years ago

Voinovich: The GOP's 'being taken over by Southerners'

Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich is not running for re-election.
Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich is not running for re-election.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Sen. George Voinovich, who is not running for re-election next year, told a newspaper in his home state of Ohio yesterday that Southerners bore a good share of the blame for his party's lagging popularity.

"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Voinovich told the Columbus Dispatch Monday. "It's the Southerners….

"They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr,'" he said, according to the paper. "People hear them and say, 'These people, they're Southerners. The party's being taken over by Southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'"

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint have been top targets for Democrats. Over the past few weeks, the Democratic National Committee has released spots slamming DeMint, including a tough ad that rips the senator for saying defeat of the administration's health care bill would "break" President Obama.


Filed under: George Voinovich
soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. DennisG

    No duh Senator, the republican strategy has become one of gathering religious extremists, intolerant bigots and those that are fairly uneducated because they can be herded like sheep. And it surprises you they focus on the the south? You better step back and take a real good look at what your party has become and maybe consider what needs to be done to fix it.

    July 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  2. Jon

    Just another Republican traitor, ala Spector. Same thought, good riddance and go become a Democrat.

    July 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. David

    All I can say is: "I wish I were in the land of cotton, old times there are never forgotten, look away, look away, look away, Dixieland".

    There is enough blame to go around for everyone Sen. Voinovich! I would also suggest looking in the mirror once in a while.

    I'm proud to be a "Southern Redneck" with a MBA.

    July 28, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Dave

    The regional party of no.

    I think I'll just say "no" to them.

    July 28, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. John G

    The south has a long and proud tradition of standing up to big government Senator Voinovich. Maybe if y'all yankees could muster a little bit of backbone when it comes to dealing with this administration we wouldn't have to show you how it's done down here.

    July 28, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. cecilia

    And one other thing while I am at it, Sir, your attitude is the exact reason I left Ohio to return the Chattanooga after 2 years.

    July 28, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  7. Shawn

    Republicans seem determined to become an extremist, racist, wacko religious Southern regional party. I am happy neither Republicans nor Southern conservatives are relevant nationally. It's good for America.

    July 28, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  8. Glenn; Detroit, MI

    Case in Point... George "Dubya" Bush. Errr the "Great Decider"

    Good thing this guy isn't running for re-election, his own party would lynch him.

    July 28, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. bill

    Sen Voinovich is partly right. His comments reflect his Liberal leanings. Republicans need personable candidates who can relate to more Americans and wade into the middle of voters in a friendly manner. I think "personality" is the correct word vs "stuff shirts". Being Southern is not necessarily a bad thing.

    July 28, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  10. Deb

    Kudos for a republican to make that statement with which I totally agree. I find Jim DeMint a totally negative man.

    July 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  11. Andres Guevara

    There has got to be a better way of making your point than to insult a entire region of the country.

    July 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Bill NY

    The Republican's problems are rooted in the fact that they have no ideas, are totally out of touch with reality, have a drug addled ex used car salesman running the party from his radio pulpit and wish to see their president fail. They are becoming more dangerous to this country that the terrorists.

    July 28, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Sounds about right. What did they expect would be the result of the southern strategy anyway? Morons.

    July 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Ken in Mt

    Yes he speaks the truth. The next question should be : "Which is cause and which is effect?"

    July 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Dylan, Orange County CA

    Yes I am impressed with his honesty. It goes beyond "the South". The Republicans are officially hi-jacked by right-wing nuts that don't even tolerate "moderate" Republicans any longer.

    July 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  16. shs

    The Republican Party has cultivated the South ever since Nixon, right after the Democrats passed the civil rights laws in the 1960s. They are reaping what they've sown.

    July 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. joanna

    that is exactly why so many people are running from the party.

    July 28, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Republicans seem determined to become an extremist, racist, wacko religious Southern regional party. I am happy neither Republicans nor Southern conservatives are relevant nationally. It's good for America.

    July 28, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. MTF

    The Republican party has most certainly not ALWAYS been associated with the South. 1968 was the true break-out year for that association, with the previous twenty years, from the Dixiecrat campaign of 1948 forward, beginning the process (Republican skills at race-baiting, beginning with Nixon's 'silent majority campaign, can surely be seen as a reason). From 1852-1964 the Democrats owned the South. Any quick stop at Wikipedia (though real sources explain the process better) will make that clear.

    July 28, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Duck Fallas

    "They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr,'"

    They have to! That's how Southerner's communicate, with a series of grunts.

    Palin-Bachmann 2012

    July 28, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Jay

    The amazingly funny thing is that the Red/Republican states are the poor, dumb states. As a rule, they have the highest unemployment, highest divorce rates, lowest graduation rates, lowest incomes. If you are poor and dumb, chances are you are a Republican.

    Another amazing thing...the state with the lowest divorce rate in America is liberal Massachusetts. Imagine that!

    July 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Grin and Bare It

    Maybe Senator Voinovich should grow a set and stand up for the people of Ohio rather than blaming the south for his failings

    July 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. Chipster

    Southerners? Is this dim-wit suggesting that Southern Republicans are any more ignorant than any other regions of the country. I have news for Sen. Voinovich, there are well-educated Southerners and ignorant Southerners. There are well-educated and ignorant people all over the country. It just happens that right now, at this time in history, the GOP is appealing to the fearful and angry Americans. They are quick to believe the sound bites and talking heads who feed their paranoia and prejudice. They are comforted by those who agree that they are victims and their plight is someone else's fault.

    July 28, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  24. johny

    and they continue to eat their own. the self destruction of the Republican party is the grandest meltdown I have ever witnessed. Go team.

    July 28, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Christa

    As a Southern, I find this article ridiculous. Perhaps some of us down here in the sticks just get a little tired of someone who is run by the union telling us what to think and do. As to the racist comment, I am completely for a black president, if it is the right one. Did it occur to anyone that perhaps we differ with the president because of what he stands/or doesn't stand for, not what color his skin is? I have met more racists in the northern states than I have in the south. We might talk slow, but we sure as hell know more than people give us credit for.

    July 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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