November 14th, 2008
02:52 PM ET
14 years ago

Saltsman takes to the air for RNC chair

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Saltsman was Mike Huckabee's campaign manager."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chip Saltsman will travel the country next week to meet with high-ranking Republicans as he considers a bid to be the next chairman of the Republican National Committee.

But don’t look for him running through any major airports. Instead, Saltsman will pilot his own plane – a Piper Arrow – which will allow him to touch down in small airports and avoid the inconveniences of commercial flying.

“I am looking forward to sitting down, face-to-face with as many members of the committee over the next couple of weeks and talk about the future of the party and how we can put together a winning formula for 2010,” said Saltsman, who gained acclaim for his role as Mike Huckabee’s campaign manager in the 2008 race for the GOP presidential nomination.

Saltsman, a businessman based in Nashville, has strong ties to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and is also known for his fundraising ability.

Two other Republicans have already officially declared their candidacies for the race for GOP chair: Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis and former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele.

Sen. John Sununu, a rising star in the GOP who was defeated in his re-election race last week, has not ruled out a possible bid to lead the committee.

“I really haven’t begun to consider any particular option, and certainly haven’t ruled anything out,” Sununu said in a statement. “Over the next few weeks, I will sit down with my family, weigh the opportunities, and begin making decisions about the future.”

The RNC meets in late January to choose the next chairman of the party. That person will be charged with helping to rebuild the Republican brand and put in place a political structure to not only take back Congress but win governor’s seats across the country as the nation prepares for redistricting.

See the full list of possible contenders for the RNC chairmanship.

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Meka

    Tennessee has a real question, behind it's citizens!

    November 14, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. AKI


    November 14, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. kenny cole

    barack obama should be your best option

    November 14, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. Chris Cross

    To facts are facts – And what would you say the definition of moderate is? Same sex marriage? Well I guess compared to marrying an animal it would be but I don't think we should start down that slippery slope. That's why we need the good ol' "extremists".

    November 14, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  5. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    I think the Republican Party needs to figure out where they are before they look for someone to lead them to where they want to be.

    November 14, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |


    November 14, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Born in NYC

    Huckabee's( failed )campaign mgr...flying in his Piper...need I say more
    Same old, same old???

    November 14, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  8. deb in Colo

    Susan November 14th, 2008 3:48 pm ET

    "What has Gov. Palin ever done to the obama gang/"

    As a part of the proud Obama Gang, that question has a very simple answer — Gov. Palin is everything we detest in a leader — unethical, hateful, conniving, spiteful, ignorant, unable to speak acceptable or correct English — oh, I could go on and on! Her race baiting, disgusting, name-calling, and hate-filled rhetoric on the campaign trail didn't help.

    The part that maddens me the most, thougn, is the Republican campaign's attempt to "sell" her to the American people when, according, to Rick Davis' own words here, she was not vetted, qualified, or capable. That's insulting!

    YOU GO GIRL!!!

    November 14, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Desert Storm Vet

    His own personal plane? Sounds like Al Gore.

    November 14, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  10. Desert Storm Vet

    Please explain trickle up economics. Please tell me how many poor people have employed you? Trickle up? Sounds like it defies the laws of gravity.
    If anyone can tell me how giving to people who have no idea how to handle their own finances from paycheck to paycheck is going to all of a sudden save the rest of us by pumping that money up the chain, I'd listen.

    November 14, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  11. FL Independant

    The long-term viability of the GOP is really in doubt right now and they don't seem to get it. Southern White rural lower-income and uneducated voters is a shrinking voting block in America. Gay marriage and abortion are giving way to major domestic and international issues that affect large groups of our society.

    The GOP needs to make some macro-changes. Not a tweak in message or candidates, but a tweak in ideals. If this party puts forward another Palin or Huckabee-like candidate with base-only appeal, I guarantee that will be this party's death knell. John McCain would have been a far more formidable candidate had the party let John McCain be John McCain. He spent the majority of time trying to rally the base something that NEVER happen in a general election.

    November 14, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  12. Luigi ina California

    Looks like a pack of old, white guys, to me. But what else is new in the GOP?

    November 14, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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