January 29th, 2009
05:48 PM ET
9 years ago

Saltsman out of the running for RNC chair

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/29/art.rnc.gi.jpg caption="Saltsman is out of the RNC race."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – There are now just five candidates in the race to chair the Republican National Committee.

Chip Saltsman, the former Tennessee GOP chairman who managed Mike Huckabee’s underdog presidential campaign, is out of the running after failing to garner enough support to file as an official candidate.

According to committee rules, each of the six contenders for chairman were required to submit a list of at least three “nominating states” by 5 P.M. ET on Thursday, meaning a candidate must demonstrate support from a majority of committee members in at least three different states.

Saltsman did not file to run for chair by the deadline, according to an RNC aide. He did not make an appearance at the Thursday session of the RNC Winter Meeting in Washington, where the rest of the candidates were busy whipping up votes.

An aide to Saltsman did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.

Saltsman stumbled out the gate in the weeks after launching his bid when he sent party members a parody CD that included a song called “Barack the Magic Negro.” Under the weight of the negative media attention that followed, he failed to attract a single public endorsement from an RNC member.

UPDATE: Saltsman's letter to supporters announcing he's dropping out after the jump

Since November's election, I've had the remarkable opportunity to travel throughout thirty two states, share my vision for the future of our party, and listen to the advice of the nearly one hundred members who took the time to visit with me in their homes, their offices, their airports, and their coffee shops.

I've seen how the Clark County Republicans of Nevada are organizing online to defeat Harry Reid in 2010, as we defeated Tom Daschle in 2002.

I've heard how Republicans in the District of Columbia have expanded their membership simply by holding their meetings and spreading their message in communities that have long shared our values, but which have never felt welcome within our ranks.

I've witnessed how the hard work of Republican leadership in my home of Tennessee has given our state its first Republican General Assembly since 1869.

And I've met with Republicans in New England's blue states who are ready to plant our party's flag and prove that our coalition is broad enough, strong enough to compete everywhere and win anywhere.

But, while my travels make me confident in our party's future, I wanted you to be first to know that I have decided to withdraw my candidacy to become your next chairman.

Thank you for your passion for our party and for the principles that make it great. I hope that you won't hesitate to call on me as we rebuild our majority.


Filed under: Chip Saltsman • RNC
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. EC

    ONE down.... next

    January 29, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Mike Dallas

    The RNC all in one area?

    Where is a good Rapture when we need one!

    January 29, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. Turnabout is Fair Play

    I hear ya..heheh..next

    January 29, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Jkay - KCMO


    January 29, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. Snake eyes

    there goes the Palin faction!

    January 29, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  6. FJ from Atlanta

    Mike Dallas January 29th, 2009 5:53 pm ET
    The RNC all in one area?
    Where is a good Rapture when we need one!

    That was good!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 29, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Larry from RI

    Hey Chiper – I guess that "parody" isn't so funny now huh?
    Shot your foot right off did you?

    January 29, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  8. Simmy

    There is no love lost. He is one of many spouting warped points of views at a time when the country needs cooperation between its leaders. Division is all they seem to know, that's why change is so hard for them.

    January 29, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. chuck


    January 29, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  10. Janice

    Chippy open mouth, insert foot in 3.2.1.

    January 29, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  11. Obama 2.0

    America does not need people like Saltsman in public office.

    January 29, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. PCS / North Carolina

    He is a race baiter, just like Ann coulter, Rush , Sean Hannity, and the bigot O'Reily.

    January 29, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Allen iin Hartwell GA

    What will they do if no one wants to lead them? Couldn't do any worse I guess. Maybe Rush and Hannity will volunteer.

    January 29, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Grace

    DUNCAN should also be ousted. He's clueless and still living in the "Reagan Years". Get rid of the bum.

    January 29, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. TP

    Thank goodness, who is next, lets see, Rush, Hannity, Palin, get rid of all these bigots the U.S. will be a better place.

    January 29, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  16. Christina L.

    Unfortunately it would have done wonders for the Dems if he had in fact garnered enough votes. I must admit I'm a little disappointed.

    January 29, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  17. HopeWon2008

    The Republican Party has a huge problem. It's like they're still living in the 1950s where minorities were sort of invisible. They're divisive instead of inclusive. Mean spirited. They could care less about those on the lower rung of the economic ladder. They have that 'I got mine' mentality. As an American of African descent, I can't think of any reason why I would ever pull the Republican lever during a Presidential election.

    January 29, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. Chris S.

    Im glad to see republicans have some decency to silence this bigot. The GOP is full of racist but even they understand that America want to end the bigotry. The word Negro is a term referring to people of black ancestry who were african and non-african blacks of the 60's who decided that they would fight against racism and hate by using this word in place of the racist N-word. So I hope people understand the outrage.

    January 29, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  19. kayla


    January 29, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. shoegazer

    Couldn't find"three"nominating states?Popular guy there"Chip".

    January 29, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Larry

    Is having any COMMON SINCE just not part of being a Democrat???

    January 29, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  22. Meka

    Saltsman, was not qualified! RACISIM DOESN'T WORK!!!

    January 29, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. Alicia

    This is WRONG!!!! I mean he is being himself, a true Republican. Do they think people will forget that. He sent it to all of them!!!!!!

    January 29, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. Perusing-through


    Well what did you expect? Chip Saltsman is the typical fruit of a nasty, vicious, ungodly, hypocritical Tennessee State GOP. That explains everything.

    January 29, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. Cato

    They should put Limbaugh and Hannity on the RNC......THEY would have voted for him.

    January 29, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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