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. Grog in Ohio

    I wouldn't blame Southerners nearly as much as I would Lee Atwater and the "Southern strategy". But there's no way we'll ever hear another Republican question St. Ronald Reagan.

    July 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. REF

    for all of you who label southerns as racist better check your history the area that had the most problems in busing was your boston from that liberal state of mass. also a lot of dems like byrd and gores daddy where part of the kkk and without republician help lbj great society and civil rights bills would not have pased. all you who pass judgement on southerns just do not have a clue you are self seving elitest who are just plain ignorant of the facts i have lived in the midwest south and northeast those from the northeast are the worst as far as being self serving and judgemental

    July 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. carolflowery

    If there has ever been a president that sets the tone for such statements as this, it's Obama, he's a name caller, and others are starting to follow suit, this is not how a country should be, everything about the administration is a divider, it's not good for americans period, So now all southerners are bad, how dare you sir

    July 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. joel palmer

    Any area of the country wher they will look you in the eye and tell you that dinaosuars roamed the earth in 6 BC with Noah and Jesus and espouses creationsim and intelligent design (what an oxymoron) will give you Senators like Inhofe, DeMint, McConnell and the other gop troglodytes,

    They are just our retahded country cousins

    July 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. john m

    Hello! Thats why the evagelical republican are a regional party wrapped in themselves and have no concern for anyone but old white money and old white farts! just look what they voted on with Sotomayor, and all the disinformation they spew regarding health for americans as not even being a right!

    July 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Tony

    I guess we really have not advanced very much as we would like to think...based on all of these post! Someboddy needs to start building border walls....but not in Texas...maybe along the Mason-Dixon line!!

    July 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. pkb

    Historically, the South was under educated and poor. People like DeMint, Coburn (OK), Sanford (NC), and Barbour (MS), and their predecessors like Strom Thurmond and Jessie Helms, came to power on the control of the political processes in the South among a weak, poor, black, and uneducated populace. That obviously hasn't changed much. Ride through the rural South and see how many newspapers you can find. They are non-existent. The rural South still lives in isolation. The rural Midwest is similar. The control of the media across this country (newspapers, tv stations, radio stations) has been a top priority of a certain religious group which has become wealthy beyond the general public's comprehension, thanks to George Bush and his empowerment. The Democrats have to know their enemies and act accordingly. Ohio is a progressive state and Voinovich probably couldn't stomach the radicalism that the GOP now represents.

    July 28, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  8. Jim

    Sen. Vionovich is a prejudiced bigot! He obviously does not have the leadership to stay and help reform the Republican Party, so he just blames everything on the South and quits. Yes, the coalition of religious right, fiscally conservative, and business supporters that constituted the majority of the Republican Party is fragmented. It seems that such a diverse coalition was doomed to explode eventually. It's a feeble-minded cop-out to blame this explosion on the South.

    July 28, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  9. Jonathan H

    Don't blame the Southerners. Palin is from Alaska.

    July 28, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  10. Ron

    The dumbing down of the conservative movement . . .

    Buckley
    Goldwater
    Reagan
    Limbaugh
    Bush/Cheney
    Palin
    DeMint, Birthers . . .

    And 90+% of these clowns continue to set the bar at "Reagan/Limbaugh"!

    July 28, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  11. Working Class American

    Finally! A Republican who has the guts to stand up and tell it like it is. Of course, if he was going to run for re-election he might not have . . . but it's nice to hear the truth coming out of a Republican's mouth for a change!

    July 28, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. Andi

    The South is the *POVERTY belt*, with a low level of education and a high obesity rate. Someone please tell me WHY these people believe they are Republicans??? ....the GOP stands for everything that is against the interests of the average unhealthy, poor, uneducated Southerner!! Karl Rove really pulled the wool over their eyes...but not hard to do when you are so uneducated and poor that you need religion as a crutch to get you through each day (and yes, I too am a Christian, though ashamed to admit it these days). The South is filled with severely right wing Christian fundamentalists who want to run the county like the Middle Eastern countries they so despise...because their religion is of course, the *correct* version (unlike that crazy Islam stuff...).

    July 28, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  13. Nick

    Regionalism disappoints me. Don't generalize the south due to the politics of the region. There are very excellent intelligent people here. I've lived in 3 liberal strongholds in the south and they are excellent places to live. I'm tired of people telling me I'm an ignorant southern redneck when I have a PhD from an elite university. I invite my northern and western neighbors to stop judging this region.

    July 28, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    You are a RINO and a tax and spend liberal. Please move to Michigan

    July 28, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Steve

    It's not even the Southerners so much... it's just the religious fundamentalists. The religious right has taken over the GOP and turned it into a theocratic, Taliban-like party that most Americans simply are not going to get behind.

    One day humanity will outgrow its childish need for "gods," become *truly* moral, and banish all the ignorance that comes with religion. Until then, we'll have to suffer messes like the current Republican party, and the South will remain backward. You can look at a co-relation: the most religious states are always the ones who have th most poverty, the worst education, the worst health-care, etc. And if that's not enough, look at what happened in the Middle East. The Arab countries were the peak of civilization, until Islam took control and now they're far behind everyone else. The negative influence of relgion is clear to see, for anyone brave and honest enough to look.

    July 28, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Linda

    I got so sick of southerners saying "goanta" instead of "going to" in the Presidentail debates of 2000 that I swore never to vote for another Southernor. Thankfully 2008 saw an people from Deleware, Illinois, Alaska and Arizona running as their party's nominees.

    July 28, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  17. Jess

    you hear of racism all of the time, but it is always some white person was being racist towards a black person. What about this??? doesn't this qualify as racism... I, for one, am sick of everyone making southerns look uneducated and poor. For instance, the show called Redneck Weddings... all southerns are not that dumb. The Republican party, but since we are name calling, the Northern Republican Party needs to work on their weaknesses and not place the blame on anyone. I, myself, know many smart and wealthy people that live in the south!!!

    July 28, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Lynne

    Sad state for a democracy when, except for a few ,the only people who can run for office are the rich or those in the pockets of lobbyists, corporations and/or insurance companies.

    America has the 4th largest GDP in the world yet is 92nd in the distribution of wealth with the top 5% living the best in all nations. That means that the wage disparity between rich and poor is the WORST among developed countries!

    July 28, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  19. Roger

    Hey if it wasn't for ignorant rednecks from the south W never would've been elected so if you are going to blame the decline on the ignorant, uneducated, toothless, bigoted redneck of the south he also has to give them credit for putting his party in control. Oklahoma's Coburn may be a goofball but hey Inhofe is even a bigger goofball, global warming is a hoax, Obama wasnt born in America is a gigantic conspiracy!!! Sure our senators are stupid but so are we how did you think they got elected.

    July 28, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. John

    The top 10 Republican states (except for California) are also the bottom 10 in education. They are also in the southern Bible belt. No coincidence here folks.

    July 28, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. JJFlowgoer from Alabama

    I agree the South has taken over the GOP. I for one wish they'd go somewhere else! BUT if keeping them down here means less influence for them overall, I'm happy to make the sacrifice and let them err, err, stay... ;-)

    July 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. JR

    It's good that there's a place for the dimwitted and immoral to gather. The GOP provides a service, a club for the idiots and morons of America to come together.

    July 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. RCLGuard

    I'm a Democrat and I still say Voinovich is wrong. It's not Southerners, it's a small fraction of them. It's like saying all Islamists are terrorists. That's wrong too, it's only Islamist Extremists. You can't lump everyone in the South together.

    July 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. GG from Minnesota

    Voinovich is an idiot country club Republican and CNN wouldn't care less about what he says except that it fits the framework of Republican decline that left leaning segments of the MSM is so heavily promoting.
    The way the democrats are imploding I would think it wise to hold off performing last rites for the Republican party until after the 2010 election.

    July 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Robin in SC

    I'm from SC, I'm a middle aged professional woman, and I'm a left-leaning Independent. I agree 100% with this guy...churches run the republican party in the south. Go to any southern baptist church just before elections and they have "sample ballots" to show their members how to vote according to "Christian beliefs." I'm sick of DeMint and Sanford and all the others and I'm sick of the rest of the country assuming I and others like me are cut from this same cloth just because we live in the South.

    July 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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