January 7th, 2009
11:27 AM ET
14 years ago

RNC members vote to grill candidates behind closed doors

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/07/art.getty.rnc.logo.jpg caption="The RNC meeting will no longer be open to members of the media."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - A much-anticipated special meeting between Republican National Committee members and the men seeking to lead the party will now take place behind closed doors after the members voted to prohibit non-party members from attending.

The meeting was originally scheduled to be open to reporters and other Republicans not on the committee, but after a roll call vote, it was determined there were not enough RNC members present for a quorum. Since the meeting would then only be an unofficial gathering, the members present were allowed to vote on how to proceed, and chose to bar the media from the session.

Now, the six contenders for RNC chair will present their cases and face more than an hour of tough questions from committee members without television cameras and reporters looking over their shoulders.

One candidate, former Mike Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman, said he would have been fine with the media in the room, but also said he welcomed the chance to speak candidly with members without the presence of reporters.

“Every candidate has got a different idea of where they want to take the party, and I think its important for us to get together, talk about it, and obviously let the membership decide where they want to take it,” he said, “because I see the members as the board of directors of this company.”

Filed under: Chip Saltsman • Mike Huckabee • RNC
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. FreeNLovIt

    I think of all the RNC candidates, I like Huckabee. He seems to be someone that is willing to do the right thing.

    January 7, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  2. Seattle Sue

    Don't the Republicans do everything behind closed doors? It has been nearly eight years and we still don't know who Cheney met with about energy. This is just one example.

    January 7, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Newport News, VA

    The GOP is over! They've left a nasty taste in the mouth's of the American people. They've proved to me that they are fiscally irresponsible. And they are supposed to be the smaty ones? What a joke.

    January 7, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Irritated in Fl

    If these eggheads could come up with something besides a lame duck like McCain for President then this Democrat will gladly vote Republican. I'm sick of my party's corruption.

    January 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. boered1

    what they meant to say is "we have to do this behind closed doors so we can try to decide what rights we will take from americans next after all the corporations that pay us are losing money and the people think they have a right to know what is going on we cannot ahve that!"


    January 7, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Proud American

    Why yes why would those Idiot want all Americans to see. Many republicans are in federal prison for doing things behind closed doors. Boy they sure love airport restrooms

    January 7, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Bill Charlotte

    They need to put their whole antiquated party behind closed doors and leave them shut!

    January 7, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. Mesa Mick

    Just like those GOP rethugs – Everything behind closed doors and in secret.
    Now that's the kind of change the RNC is noted for – NONE!

    January 7, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Sue T

    Why do the Republicans have to be behind closed doors? Why don't they want reporters there? To much still like this Bush administration, doing things behind the american peoples backs.......Chip Saltsman welcomed the chance to speak candidly with out journalists in the room........WHY so he could sing "Obama the Magic Negro"? Come on GOP open your doors, when you shut your doors it only looks like you have something you want to hide........something you want to keep from the Ameirican people...........when are you going to get some smart people in your organization?

    January 7, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Left Coast Mike, Laguna Niguel, CA

    Much ado about nothing. Nobody cares what the "R' party plans to do because we already know what it has always done, enrich its fat cat friends through fraudulent government contracts, pin the blame on brown people all the problems it is clueless to solve, and of course, praise Jesus while it plans and finances death in the form of wars without end. There are only two viable political entities in the country now, Democrats and Independents - then there is the 10-15% Jesus party that used to be Republican and has no vision for the future and prays for the "end of days". Fine with us, just end it and leave the rest of us in peace.

    January 7, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |

    closed doors?!

    instead of having an open door policy that all inclusive, the republiklans will like to have their closed doors klan meetings to see how they can further alienate the american people!

    goodluck closet rednecks, Loooosers!!!!!

    January 7, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  12. ga.

    if they are behind closed doors dose that mean they don't have to go by the book? i don't even trust them with the doors open.

    January 7, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  13. jfs Memhis, Tn

    RNC.............HERE"S A TIP...................M-O-D-E-R-A-T-E. Think Collins & Snow. THINK MAINSTREAM. THINK OF THE "NEW" SILENT MAJORITY ( 8.5 Million votes Obama won by). THINK VOTERS UNDER 50 yrs. THINK NEW AMERICANS (LATINO, ASIAN, ARAB). THINK LITERATE. JUST "THINK"!!!!

    January 7, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |

    No worries, the Party is okey dokey, you betcha!


    January 7, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. kravitz

    will the quiz involve knowing all the lyrics to that 'magic negro' song?

    January 7, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Lyndon from CA

    Why air the dirty linen in public.

    January 7, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Floridian

    So much for transparency. Has the RNC learned anything from the Bush/Cheney years? Apparently not.

    January 7, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    The RNC needs to revise its platform before it can choose an appropriate leader. The RNC has an 18th century mentality, which ignores all the advances in science, technology, environmental awareness, diversity appreciation and social justice. The RNC "creed" of "Me first, you never" has no place in today's world.

    The RNC is like a small fundamentalist church asking why it has so few members, when the solution is obvious...move into the current millenium!

    January 7, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  19. Lewis Freeland

    That is the Republican way behind closed doors.

    January 7, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Mike in Philly

    Here's what I don't get .. .there's no quorum, so this is an unofficial meeting. So why bother grilling the candidates? Won't they then have to re-grill them, when enough RNC members decide that they aren't busy enough somewhere else, to attend the RNC meeting? If they don't re-grill them, doesn't that hurt the members who weren't there, to participate in the grilling?

    January 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Ex-Republican

    This is our chance...while they are behind those closed doors...let's BAR IT SHUT, and throw away the key. Keep the whole lot of those domestic terrorists locked up for life!

    January 7, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. shoegazer

    I can almost hear the line of questioning..."If you have five dollars and you steal a billion more from taxpayers,how much can you expect to get in a bailout from the government?"....Come on,this is easy.

    January 7, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. Mike

    Indeed the GOP needs to step back and figure out why they allowed the Bush boys to usurp the agenda of conservatives. Fiscal constraints seemed to fly out the window as fast as our rights under the constitution all in the name of National Security as defined by Cheney who shot someone in the face with a shotgun. I'm thinking the GOP really needs to get a new game plan.

    January 7, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |

    "...the six contenders for RNC chair will present their cases and face more than an hour of tough questions..". Some examples:

    1) Do you use restrooms at airports, train or bus terminals?
    2) Do you allow contributors to refurbish your home with no question asked?
    3) Is killing a Moose from the comfort of an elicopter a sport?
    4) When someone refers to her spouse as "the first dude", do you feel your back cringing or do you act as if you suddenly lost your hearing?

    January 7, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  25. Working gal

    Gee, I see all the out of work Democrats blogging still (not again). You guys need a life, a job and a shrink!

    January 7, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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