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. big daddy

    Get Palin.I need another good laugh !!!

    November 14, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. thomas

    Perhaps the RNC's new slogan could be: "Let them eat cake".

    November 14, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX


    November 14, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Whats left in your wallet?

    Wheres he flying in from,Columbia?Check his bags,he may have some goodies or money with him.

    November 14, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Over taxed, over worked

    We need someone like a Ron Paul to lead the party. No more undercover democrats. It's time to go back to low taxes, smaller government and fixing illegal immigration. Ron Paul is the only trustworthy republican left to get the younger generation on board.

    November 14, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. Jackie

    The GOP needs to get back to the fundamentals. I know it is tough in this environment, when everyone is looking for a handout. But it is not always easy to do the right thing, actually it is hard more times than not. But it has to be done.... give the people a choice between conservative principles and liberal ones.

    We didn't have that choice this time around. It was just two liberals running.

    November 14, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  7. Lesley

    I totally agree that commercial flying is inconvenient. For all the money that the Repubs complained about Obama raising, I see they can still afford private jets for their members. I guess the faltering economy hasn't hit their party as yet. Oh, right, the money never did trickle down did it.

    November 14, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  8. A Real American

    Flying his own plane so as to avoid the inconveniences of airline travel?

    That sounds kind of elitist to me. What would Joe the Plumber say?

    November 14, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  9. just a thought

    the republicans just don't get it.

    November 14, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Milhouse van Houten

    The Republicans can put whomever they want in the chair,but as long as their policies remain buried in the kind of blind ideology of the recent past,they will remain an non-entity.Except for the relative handfull that fall for such harmful direction.

    November 14, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Joe

    JOE THE PLUMPER!!!!!!!!!!

    November 14, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Doug R.

    I would nominate...Joe the Plumber.

    November 14, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  13. Jack

    My – My – Such Mean comments from the obama gang –
    Let's all unite, support and get behind our new President –
    Just like the obama gang supports and Respects our CURRENT President – Right!!!!!
    What has GOV Palin ever done to the obama gang – maybe you were worried that McCain/Palin just might win????
    Back Off!

    November 14, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  14. malclave

    Well, the Demcorats have been focussed on their message of hatred for years now, and they just won control of the government.

    Lefties, judging by the comments here, think that the GOP is just as disgusting and depraved as the Democrats are. We're not... but if hatred, racism, lies, and intolerance (such as has been amply demonstrated by the left) is what it takes, maybe the Republicans should move in that direction.

    November 14, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. Maggie from Virginia

    If the GOP was smart, they would pick a republican from one of the blue states. They need another perspective, other than that of the south.

    November 14, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. aware


    You democrats need watch the Republicans get their act together with Governor Sarah Palin, the happy, gracious, honest, strong, courageous, smart, intuitive and likeable charismatic who has a record of authentic reform! 🙂

    November 14, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Jaye

    These people scurrying around trying to see who can be boss are laughable.
    They need to clean up their act and start behaving like decent human beings instead of the slimey hate filled group that just got slammed in this election.
    Maybe their closeted homosexual senator Lindsey Graham will take the reigns...nah, if he does his supporters won't be allowed to take communion. LOL
    Anyway, look, laugh, and enjoy the show courtesy of the RNC.

    November 14, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hope the RNC will pick someone who is totally ignorant, uneducated and has no grasp of the English language or America.

    November 14, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Ken

    Current RNC chairman Duncan said "we have a deep bench in the Republican Party". Yeh, that's right moron. You've got a deep bench because alot of your starters got relegated to the bench the last two elections. Thine bench overfloweth.

    November 14, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  20. Spencer/NY to VA

    It doesn't matter who the chair is. The republicans do not reach out to minorities and that's their biggest problem. It's good to have homies and amigos supporting you.

    November 14, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  21. JL

    Hopefully they choose someone who is capable of self-reflection and can help the party change course.

    November 14, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    What about Joe the so-called-Plumber, or Tito-the-builder????? How about those dudes?

    There was a comment on the other article from a far-right-blogger saying that we Liberals are afraid of Palin!

    Good grief, we are not afraid of her, we do not want her anywhere near the Oval Office!

    Although........ hmmm...... go ahead and nominate Palin in 2012....... that will give President OBAMA an easy victory!

    November 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Sandy

    I nominate Joe the Plumber too. 🙂

    I thought Micheal "Drill, baby, drill" was going to run for the head of the RNC. He's enough a snake to hold that post.

    November 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Matt

    Still can't admit they've been wrong. I'll bet $700B they think they can just find someone who is a charismatic liar to re-sell their tired, disproven ideological dogma (more like dog crap) to the American public and we'll suddenly forget all about the past 50 years and believe them all over again.

    November 14, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Don't close any door

    NO. Palin should be CHAIRMAN!

    And she could run for the Secretary General of the UN, and the first female POPE. Also.

    November 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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