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. Dont blame me

    This guy ran the "middle of the road" Mike Huckabee's campaign and if elected will run the RNC to defeat the same way.

    Give me former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, any day over this guy.

    The republican party needs to get back to its conservative roots and stop looking and acting like democrats, which is what Huckabee, McCain and Bush did.

    November 14, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  2. Boise, ID

    I am a Democrat leaning person. I always have been. I keep hearing how Republicans are for smaller government, less spending and less taxes. If they ever actually stood for that, I might become Republican. I keep hearing about how Democrats are for Tax and Spend. I don't believe that, but I like the sound of it much better than the Republican affection for Borrow and Spend.

    November 14, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. walleye

    The Republicans wont be in power again for a VERY LONG TIME. The people now have an honest POTUS moving in. Last year when gas was almost $4.00 a gallon, my wife and I took a road trip to the Northwest. During our trip, guess where we found the cheapest gas – Casper Wyoming where Cheney is from. Let them keep there 3 or whatever electoral votes.

    November 14, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. GOPS are going down!

    Please get palin in 2012 and 2016 and 2020 then we are sure to have democrat in the white house always! HA HA HA! LOSERS!

    November 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Susan

    "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!

    November 14, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. Chris


    November 14, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. LyonsPhilly

    Wow, look at the republicans scrambling......

    November 14, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. Ken

    Hey Don't Blame Me: you're showing your rightwing delusion again by saying McCain and Bush act like Democrats. #1 if that's true, then why did the [D]s win so big in this past election?......actually people noticed a BIG difference and they voted [D] to get away from Bush and McCain. #2 if that's true, then YOU were really voting for [D] principles back in 2000, 2004, and now in 2008 when YOU voted for Bush and McCain? I guess you buggered yourself there buddy.

    Good try in attempting to off-load very bad rightwing behavior as [D]. But delusional thinking and talking drivel is what lost you the election. So you keep right on talking that crap while we [D]s walk into even more offices in 2010. You gotta love these neo-morons!

    November 14, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. CanIcallyouJoe

    I bet they're going to choose someone with really really edgy ideals for a Republican; Someone who thinks women should be allowed to leave the kitchen, who thinks white people may not be superior to anything, who has thought that rich people may – at times – be subject to laws too, and that the constitution might have some good ideas in it!!


    Nah, they'll just put up the richest racist and polish him up until he can fool people like they always do.

    November 14, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Seattle Sue

    The question is: Is Saltsman a big enough weasel to be the head of the RNC?

    November 14, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. SD,Michigan

    "Winning formula for 2010", ok, but a formula to win which part of the Republican electorate? The right-wing fundamentalists? The fiscal conservative, moderates who are not so interested in the "social values" of the former faction? Or who? Can they come up with a viable plan to attract both? Who's gonna do that? So far they don't seem to find a common ground.

    November 14, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Byrd

    WOW.....the gop ticket has turned into the jerry springer

    November 14, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. 2cob

    How nice to hear that Mr. Saltsman will not have to undergo any of the inconveniences that the American people have to withstand, like going through Public/Commercial airports! No matter, I suppose, as fewer and fewer of us can afford the inconvience.

    Chairman of the next Republican National Committee...hmm...wonder what that will bring? More Palins or more of Palin?

    The prospect of either is pretty creepy, wouldn't you say?

    November 14, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Matt

    Cracking me up that you think the Republicans party needs to not look and act like Democrats and "get back to its conservative roots." Have you been conscious since November 4th? It's blind adherence to conservative ideological premises such as trickle-down reaganomics, despite all evidence showing it does NOT work that way, that has gotten the Republicans to where they are today.

    I should be wishing for them to "stay the course" like people are suggesting, so they are utterly destroyed, yet here I am trying to convince them to wake up and save themselves. Go figure.

    November 14, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Rachel

    P. S. I see Newt Gingrich is in the running. Keep him off of FOX NEWS and maybe he'll be alright. That radical Sean Hannity if a black eye even to the Catholics.

    November 14, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. facts are facts

    Another Gomer Pyle clone like the Huckster. Don't the GOP get it?

    The days of the right wing extremists and religious cults is long gone in America with tolerance and moderation being the key words of today.

    November 14, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Tex Ann ~~~~~~~

    Here's a big news flash for the Republican party~~~~
    You can NOT continue to pander to the far right evangelical groups and expect the Republican party to win. People are tired of being told they are un-Christian and un-patriotic just because they don't subscribe to the views of that fanatical segment of the population. The Republican party needs to start caring about ALL people instead of a select few. Until you move more back to the center and quit letting the zealots call the shots for the GOP, you won't be seeing my vote or my money come your way ever again.

    November 14, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Matt

    Two words: Huckabbee. Creationism.

    'nuff said

    November 14, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. mitch

    who cares about GOP?

    November 14, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Dadi

    Joe the Plumber sounds great!!!

    November 14, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    JUst stop being greedy and you'll be on the right track... "Money is the root of all evil"....

    November 14, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Chuck

    Another religious wingnut at the helm. The GOP will never recover.

    November 14, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  23. G.R.I.T. - Girl Raised in the South

    Ron Paul is NOT for smaller government. If he were, he would not support government intereference in a woman's reproductive choices. Period. Telling individual members of society what they can and cannot do with their own bodies is NOT small government. It is big brother in the bedroom and the doctor's office. This goes for constitutional amendments to "define" marriage. Not small government's business. Get over it. Religious beliefs and the morals of some should not be injected into politics.

    As far as being "afraid" of Palin? Not on your life. I just do not believe that someone who lies publicly and often, and cannot grasp the idea of speaking in complete, coherent sentences deserves to be a public figure.

    November 14, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Pat Pa.

    I don't know why he is even bothering. It is obvious from the photo-op yesterday, that they have already chosen Sarah Palin to lead them. Look how they all gathered around her to support her. She has them all " just where she wants them ".
    Give it up losers. Sarah is your leader.

    November 14, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |



    November 14, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
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