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. Grace

    The problem with the Republican party and its LEADERS is one of ideas, not of ideology.

    One minute they are against the stimulus package because it's too big, the next they want more tax cuts, which means more spending.

    One minute they're against the $3,000 employer job creation tax credits, the next they are against the stimulus package for not doing enough to create new jobs.

    Another minute their nip-picking everything in the package and yet they can't seem to implement a single plan or idea that has worked in the past 8 years, so they do what they do best, which is cause as much "distractions" as possible in front of the cameras in the hopes the American people won't notice they've accomplished absolutely nothing.

    The problem here is that Republicans can't seem to put together a simple coherent idea of WHAT it is they want, all they do is lay blame with everyone else, so they end up not only being unable to negotiate with the Democrats, but unable to even come up with a goal amongst themselves. It's a party of the "blind leading the blind."

    Republicans, the party of the Blind leading the Blind...

    January 29, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. Henry

    Let's get rid of all the Republicans. One thing they have in common: They are all mean spirited. Good riddance.

    January 29, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  3. Polly

    I think they need a fresh voice of optimism. The Republicans have the ability to bring optimism and the "change" that the country needs. We are in such hard times, that we need a "common sense" approach towards bailing ourselves out. Too much wasteful spending going on.

    January 29, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  4. Just the facts

    Someone should have Wolfe check all CNN news. McConnell is from Kentucky and not Nevada.

    January 29, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. CJ

    This is good... First Blagojevich is out, then this guy! This day just keeps getting better and better!!

    January 29, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  6. Steve (the real one)

    As a conseravtive, I am actually glad to see him go! That CD was a STUPID, STUPID move!!!!!

    January 29, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Paul Hogue

    Don't worry...plenty more Saltsmans to keep the RNC down.

    January 29, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. doro

    Poor old Chipper. Borrow one little tune from Rush Limbaugh and your dream goes down the drain. That Rush sure does have the common touch. (Rush–you remember him–he's the big puffy boy who runs the Republican Party).

    January 29, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Wall street executive

    I am counting on you RNC i just recieved a big bonus and I want tax relief.

    January 29, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. cnnnewser

    Why would the GOP want this man to lead them? He's a known racist!
    BUT, they allow Rush Limbaugh to lead them.......
    Idiots, the lot of them.

    January 29, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  11. MK

    Oh, Chippie boy, sad to see you go. Don't let the door hit you in your racists arse on the way out, bye bye loser!

    January 29, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. RMGofCO

    What a relief! I consider this gentleman one of the most dangerous and devisive of all. His behavior while "running" for chairman was downright appalling AND I cannot believe those in his party let him get away with his behavior. A true racist.

    January 29, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Who ever gets the job better go out and buy himself a white sheet and cone hat.... that is their base! Oh, wait... they also have the extreme right wing christian fanatics....

    January 29, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  14. annie - Palin 2012

    Michael Steele or Ken Blackwell should be RNC chair.

    January 29, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. steve r.

    I wonder if he thinks his cd is all that funny now? I think not!!! LOL

    January 29, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. CH in Maine

    They got that one right. The guy is a loser even by their standards

    January 29, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. CTP

    Bye Bye.

    January 29, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. HA! HA!

    Chip Saltsman, You Know there is an old saying what will make you Laugh will also make you Cry*****Saltsman the Magic White Guy*****

    January 29, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. legal in nc

    What a great American that puts his country before himself. After learning that he hurt the dems iddy biddy feelwings over the satirical "magic" song he chose not to run.

    Great American!

    January 29, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  20. JFK

    Why doesnt this party just go away! Except the Palin zealots and the extremist right, there is nothing left. Their lack of values and a vision show what a pathetic excuse this party has for existence. Please take your hypocrisy and destructive values and just go away. Lets also send Hannity, Ann Coulter, O'Reilly, and Rush to a deserted island far way. These

    January 29, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  21. Texas Trail Kitty

    Good, good, excellent. From all I've read about him, he will definitely drive the final nail the coffin of the RNC. Maybe he can get a talk show like the other racist talking heads who call themselves conservatives. Hey, maybe Ann Coulter can be your mentor. She is the personification of 'a pretty face can hide an evil mind,' And dear, dear, Lush Limbaugh, Mr. Pill Popper and all the other of your ilk should just pack your bags and move out of America. We could call it a beautification program.

    January 29, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. whom ever takes this job better get lots of perks

    a thankless job if there is one

    January 29, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  23. Saifur Rahman

    Poor Mr. Saltsman,I think he should go join Rush Limbaugh and create their own "RACIST PARTY". It's hard to believe sometimes that we still have people out there like Rush Limbaugh and Saltsman in radio business and politics-we need to boycot programs like Rush Limbaugh's so called radio talk show and politicians like Saltsman,enough is enough,this country is better off without people like these.

    January 29, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  24. once upon a horse

    perhaps now Mr. Saltsman will have time to sit down and pen a new tune like "Chip the unhappy white guy"!

    January 29, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. Candy

    What's the problem? Anyone qualifies so long as he's a thief, liar,
    or any Republican with his head up his butt.

    January 29, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
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