January 16th, 2009
05:26 PM ET
13 years ago

RNC candidates turn up the partisan heat on Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/16/art.dawson.cnn.jpg caption="SC GOP chairman Katon Dawson vowed to be Obama's 'worst nightmare.'"]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Despite the climate of national goodwill surrounding Barack Obama as he prepares to take the oath of office, two of the candidates vying to lead the Republican National Committee unleashed harsh attacks against the president-elect on Friday.

Katon Dawson, the chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, promised in a new a YouTube message to be Obama's "worst nightmare" and said it would be the party’s mission for the next four years to "expose" the Democrats for what they "want to do to this country."

"I can assure you that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will understand that Katon Dawson will become their worst nightmare," he says in the video. "We will expose them at every turn for what they are doing to the American public."

Dawson defended his tough talk as the duty of a party leader.

"Whether you're the chairman of the state party or the national committee, your job is to hold Democrats accountable in every way," he told CNN. "That doesn't mean you have to do it in a mean tone of voice or in a way that doesn't offer solutions."

Earlier in the day, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who has positioned himself as one of the most rigidly conservative contenders for the RNC's top job, published a column on Townhall.com accusing Obama's economic stimulus package of being a liberal "Trojan Horse" that has "serious flaws, some of which convey a partisan advantage."

Obama’s stimulus plan would create government jobs, Blackwell argued, and government workers tend to vote Democrat. He called it "political mischief."

"In 2008, Virginia went Democrat for the first time since 1964, and Mr. Obama won it by 130,000 votes," he wrote. "Creating 600,000 new jobs might help cement Virginia in the Democrat column, making it harder for Republicans to retake the White House."

The 168 members of the RNC will elect a new chairman at the end of the month at their annual winter meeting in Washington.

Dawson and Blackwell have four more rivals in the race: incumbent RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, Michigan GOP chairman Saul Anuzis, former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele and former Tennessee GOP chair Chip Saltsman.

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. TrueIndependent

    And whose nightmare has he been these past eight years?
    These people play politics with peoples' lives. What does he think Republicans have done to our country?

    January 16, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  2. William

    Keep up the good work, and guess what? Obama will win again in 2012

    January 16, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Real

    We are in tough times. Very tough. Barack Obama has been elected as a driver-in-chief and America is on board. This folks, is no stick shift nor auto-trans, rather a loose missle barreling down a cliff. If there's any lesson to be learned, especially after witnessing what happened in the Hudson, Barack needs less noise makers from all political ends now and more genuine support as he makes decisions to steer us out of a real nightmare.

    January 16, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. BB

    Typical hate-filled Palin worshipers. If that's the future of the repukes, they can move out of this country. There.s now more room for them. More will be voted out of our gov't in 2010 and 2012.

    January 16, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. Hubert from South Carolina

    Yes Republicans. Please keep it coming. The more of you that keep this rethoric coming, the more secluded you will be from the national scene. I really hope they pick a really southern republican to head the party like in the past. It will guarantee the Democrats a win. Ohhh and please keep bashin' on Obama. It will only make him stronger.

    January 16, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. BB

    Google PNAC and look up what the repukes want to do -– and in fact have already started doing -– it "ain't pretty".

    January 16, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. moderate

    where did the republican got this embacel from. what a toilet waste.

    January 16, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  8. Greg Hodges

    This type of attitude is exactly why so many people are disgusted with the Republicans. Everyone with a brain is saying the partisan bickering and poison must stop; and then an idiot like this opens his trap.

    January 16, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    Your President is 25% popular. You just got your big fat elephant butts handed to you in the election and you are attacking the new President before he even takes office. As Dr. Phil would say "So how's that workin' for ya?

    January 16, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  10. Meh

    What a tool this guy is. Why would he want to be anyone's "worst nightmare"? How do you get anything done if you're not willing to work w. someone?

    where's the proof of citizenship> Wow. WOW. Nice racist code words there. Ugh. Don't you have a klan meeting to go to?

    January 16, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. DAVE IN CA

    wow GRITS and BILL must be blowing each other..... if you think BUSH and his team trashed our country.... get ready for real HAVOC and change that will send us right down the toilet..... this country will no longer have ENGLISH as the official language... it will be SPANISH... whites will be at the bottom and LAZY NEGROES AND BORDER BROTHERS WILL BE AT THE TOP. while hard working americans will be shoved to the side for DEMOCRATIC VOTES to keep them in office..... so load up for the revolution that will happen to regain our country from TYRANTS WHO WISH TO GIVE IT AWAY TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT BELONG......

    January 16, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  12. Mertis from Georgetown,S.C

    Mr. Dawson, I'm from South Carolina, we are trying to come together please keep those type of negative response to yourself. Remember God is in Charge, who do you think save flight 1549. Think hard before you speak,God is in Charge

    January 16, 2009 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  13. Ben in Dallas

    Dear Where's the proof.

    You must have a very hard time dealing in reality. The Republican party and its ilk (that's you proof) have lost any sense of morality, community and the principles of democratic society. How about you find a rock and hide under it. We'll all be the better for it.

    January 16, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
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