S.C. GOP: We will ‘leap frog anyone who tries to leap frog us’
September 13th, 2011
12:17 PM ET
3 years ago

S.C. GOP: We will ‘leap frog anyone who tries to leap frog us’

Washington (CNN) – Well, that didn’t take long.

As quickly as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Monday that she was moving the state’s 2012 presidential primary to February 28, the South Carolina Republican Party said on Tuesday that they will leapfrog any state that tries to move ahead of the Palmetto State.

“I am going to wait until such time I can pick the date and secure our spot,” said Chad Connelly, Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. “No matter what happens in this drama, we are going to be first in the South and we are going to leap frog anyone who tries to leap frog us.”

February 28 was the same day that South Carolina had planned to hold their primary, meaning if they don't move, they will share the day with Arizona.

Two years ago, the Republican National Committee set rules that dictated when states could hold their primary or caucus. With a desire to be relevant, however most states want their date to be early and stand-alone.

Brewer had hoped to move the primary to January 31, but after a debate was tentatively sanctioned in Arizona, she backed off the original date. Even still, moving the primary to Feb. 28 is violating GOP rules.

“Arizona will be a player in determining our nation’s next president,” stated a release from the governor’s office. “Over the next 14 months, the candidates would be wise to meet with our voters and become familiar with our issues. “

The South Carolina GOP is the sole decider of when the states primary will take place, which allows more freedom in the decision making process. Vaguely threatening states thinking of moving, Connelly said he will use that process when deciding his date.

“To me, and this applies to any state, if was trying to be more relevant and there was chairman who had a latitude to pick the date whenever they wanted to, I would just follow the rules,” Connelly said.

According to the RNC rule book, “No primary, caucus, or convention to elect, select, allocate, or bind delegates to the national convention shall occur prior to the first Tuesday in March in the year in which a national convention is held.” The rule then goes on to exclude Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Connelly classified this type of argument as “unnecessary drama,” and said that the GOP is not focusing on the right issues when they talk about primary dates.

“If we are talking about calendar dates, it is unnecessary drama,” Connelly said. “To just throw the entire calendar into confusion, takes us off our main message which is beating Obama.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has warned states thinking of moving their primary, stating in August that if a state violates the rules, they will lose half their delegates at that national nomination convention.

All states have until Oct. 1 to settle on a primary date.

– CNN's Peter Hamby and Rebecca Stewart contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Jan Brewer • RNC • South Carolina • South Carolina primary
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. LegendRx

    Grow up already . . . who are these people? "Leap frog you" Dan Merica is the worse. Your editorial and it's title is Juvenile

    September 13, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Voice of Reason

    Yeah – because we wouldnt want a level playing field. Why cant these states all have primaries on the same day? Then candidates have to appeal to the whole spectrum of voters. Instead we have a system designed to force all the candidates to go kowtow to whatever special interest groups are in the state with the earliest primaries. And these Nincompoop candidates all go put on their phony parade and buckle to the peer pressure like 12-year-old girls in middle school. They have all the backbone of a wet paper towel. I just hope the American voter has a long enough memory and clear enough vision to see these phonies for what they are.

    September 13, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Well, that sure didn't take long. Republicans are showing their true "Stop-Me-If-You-Can" natures. Rules and agreements do not mean anything if it stands in the way of what they want.

    Just remember this, if Democrats were also holding primaries, then these renegade states would be breaking rules and agreements with Democrats, too. Costing taxpayers, who knows how much money.

    September 13, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    I like the idea of regional primaries. But then you'll get one region arguing with another region I guess. OK, let's just go with a random lottery system. Now let's just get on with selecting Obama's replacement and stop the distractions.

    September 13, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Voice of Reason

    Yeah – because we wouldnt want a level playing field. Why cant these states all have primaries on the same day? Then
    -------------
    It is done this way partly for historical and traditional reasons. It used to be that candidates could visit all 13 colonies, and news traveled slowly compared to today.

    September 13, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    from the article:
    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has warned states thinking of moving their primary, stating in August that if a state violates the rules, they will lose half their delegates at that national nomination convention.
    ------------–
    Uh, oh! Here we go again. "Make every vote count."

    September 13, 2011 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    It's the same kind of "I want it, I want it, I WANT IT!!!!! MINE MINE MINE!!!!" tantrum behavior you'd expect from a 2 year old who is like 3 hours late for nap time and high on one of those 5 hour energy drink shots.

    September 13, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. The Elephant in The Room

    This has everything to do with a particular state, in this case S. Carolina, having an overly inflated opinion of its importance to the nation at large. Iowa fails in this same category. It is self serving – democracy be damned!

    Why not just say it? The number of "conservative" "bible thumpers" is too small for them to prevail in a "majority-rules" world. As such, the attempt to pre-position their ideaologies in the political primary process. The hope that by holding the contests in their state before others, moderates will come in 4th, 5th, etc.in their contests and drop out of the race. want proof? – - well, he was no great candidate but Pawlenty is out and Bachmann is still in. Now, which one believes in science and which believe that man & dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time?

    It is, like many Republican efforts, a last ditch effort to hold onto electoral influence in the face of demograhics and a national mindset which are passing them by.

    September 13, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. w l jones

    Primary and dates: The president must be during something right everybody want his job?

    September 13, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. As GM goes, so goes the country...Unions/Democrats killed GM, now they are killing the country

    It's the same kind of "I want it, I want it, I WANT IT!!!!! MINE MINE MINE!!!!" tantrum behavior you'd expect from a 2 year old who is like 3 hours late for nap time and high on one of those 5 hour energy drink shots.
    ===============================================================================================
    But isn't this exactly what the Democrats say and do when talking about taxing all those evil rich people????

    September 13, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. Cfrench

    A bunch of leap-frogging tea-baggers. The visual alone is too much. Silly republicans. Oh well, the more of an ass the republicans make them out to be the more the country will vote against them.

    September 13, 2011 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. JD in Moraga, CA

    Never play leapfrog with a unicorn.

    September 13, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  13. d

    Silly is what it all is...no it is about money of course..this is the goptp

    September 13, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Peggy - Tx

    Arizona should be a player. The Govener is just looking out for her constituants that are sick and tired of all the politicans spaning so much time and money in a few little itty bitty Nothern States and those few itty bitty States making the biggest impact on who is nominated.

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is a stong female Republican and I respect her for standing up the the big establishment guys on an issue that is meaningful to her state.

    September 13, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. bg

    Chad Connelly (Chair from SC) sounds like a baby. Why does he think SC is privileged and no one else should be allowed to do what they do?

    September 13, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. MTATL67

    Just another nail in the coffin of reality for the GOTP.

    September 13, 2011 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    @as gm goes . . . – If you and your republican terrorists had your way, there would be no GM today.

    September 13, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. Emerson

    Pretty soon, South Carolina will have to hold its primary last week.

    September 13, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |