January 30th, 2009
03:08 PM ET
9 years ago

RNC Race: Ken Blackwell ends his run

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/30/art.blackwell.gi.jpg caption="Blackwell threw his support to Steele."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Ohio secretary of state Ken Blackwell ended his run Friday, throwing his support to fellow African-American candidate Michael Steele.

Blackwell had been in last place after four rounds of voting.

"I told you last night that in elections there are two ways that you change outcomes, you either change the composition of the electorate, or you can change the attitude of the electorate," he said.

"My fellow Republicans and members of the RNC, I cannot change the composition of this electorate. Nor would I want to. I do want to influence your perspective and your attitude at this moment in history. We must be a party that makes good the promise of Lincoln. We must unleash a new, a new birth of freedom....

"Ladies and gentlemen, I withdraw my name, but I put my fullest support behind the candidate that I think will do great things. And I do it out of the fullness of conviction of my good book. I believe that the next chairman must inspire hope, must be smart enough to work with the policy leaders to create opportunity for America and must have the leadership, ability and vision to first pull us together and then to pull American together. Because we as Republicans understand that great nations don’t come from great governments, but from good people doing great things together, and that is why I put my fullest support behind Michael Steele."

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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Mallory

    Sorry, Ken. The Democratic Party is now the Party of Lincoln. And Jefferson.

    The GOP is the party of Bush. And Palin.

    January 30, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  2. alvino

    Where is the RNC loyalty for Blackwell? Didn't he discard 300,000 ballots in Ohio which gave Bush the state?

    January 30, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  3. Larry

    It is amazing that both remaining black members of the republican party were running to be the head of the RNC!

    January 30, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  4. Laura, Boston

    After what Mitch McConnell said why bother electing a new RNC chair? According to McConnell the Republican Party will not be a National Party if things keep going the way they are.

    So, If they elect a new RNC chair, the first thing they need to consider is 'what will this man do to make my party strong again and appreciated by the American people'. Will minorities and others feel at home in the party. Will they adjust their views to accommodate more moderate Republicans or will they strickly try to stay close to only those on the far right?

    January 30, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  5. God Bless the U.S.A

    republicans are DOOMED.

    January 30, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Dennis Lee Hoffman, citizen of the world

    It's so hard to say something here... but I wanna... you know what I'm saying?

    January 30, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Dennis Lee Hoffman, citizen of the world

    I guess what it is... Republicans trying to prove they're not racists?

    January 30, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Mallory, you idiot – Lincoln was a republican! Get your history up to speed!

    January 30, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "We must be a party that makes good the promise of Lincoln. We must unleash a new, a new birth of freedom…"

    One of these days both God and Lincoln are going to come back to Earth to defend the use of Their Names!

    New Freedom? Does that mean elected Republican representatives will be allowed, nay, encouraged to think, to offer ideas, to discuss solutions ... or are they forever condemned to an elephant walk of the blind, tale to trunk, back into the swamp of the last 8 years....

    January 30, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  10. Rob

    No Mallory January 30th, 2009 3:28 pm ET , the Democratic Party is the party of Moe, Larry, & Curly. Of Ross, Racheal, and Phoebe. Of Carrie and her 3 tramp friends. In other words, it is the party of the self serving, hippie dreaming, vapid, shallow people. Your ideals have failed, it was called the Soviet Union.

    January 30, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. American Hope

    Once you go Blackwell, well then your screwed.

    January 30, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. JB

    Good for the RNC – Blackwell would have been a disaster.

    I guess the RNC is looking for their own "magic negro"

    January 30, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Truman

    This is most likely the worse thing that could have happened for the Democratic Party. If the Republican Party becomes the Party of principles and for all people, the democratic party will not be able to take the black, white, hispanic, asian vote for granted.

    The regional Southern vote now may become even larger in importance if the GOP can influence Blacks to jion them. Long live the South.

    January 30, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  14. LM

    Give us all a break! After Blackwell's maneuvers to make sure Ohio went to the repubs in 2004, I'm surprised that they did not do the same to make him their "leader."

    We've all had enough of this kind of "leadership."

    January 30, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  15. whatever

    To the Republican's, you nutty evangelicals, LOL as the song by Cold Play goes " ( I ) You use to RULE the World " but you DON't anymore ...so get use to it !!!

    I moved from NJ to DC after 911 to defend & protect my country but, let me tell you, the Republicans from the south make me wanna puke! I have never in my life meet so many narrow minded idiots in my life. In the last election you Republicans got what you deserve, KICKED OUT, NOW SHUT UP!!!!!!!

    January 30, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. kayla


    January 30, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Gerry

    I was in the news business in Cincinnati when Ken B got his start in city council. The man was never a man of conviction in any way. He changed both his party affiliation and religion on more than a couple of occasions to accommodate his political ambitions.

    He has always been the consummate "political pimp" to attain his warped goals. Truth was never a barrier. His conduct as Ohio Secretary of State perhaps gave "W" the 2004 election. He had the guts to reject over 130,000 voter registration forms from heavily Democratic Cuyahoga County for "being on the wrong weight paper". Problem is, his office printed the forms. He got away with it.
    Don't let the door hit ya in the rear on the way out Ken!

    It was heartening to see that he came in dead last in the voting today. Dead last for the head of a bunch of losers is a fitting end to a "stellar"
    political career.

    January 30, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Proud American

    I guess the republicans said "Let's not take this too far" One minority is more than enough for republicans.

    January 30, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. shoegazer

    Wow,two tokens in the same race!!Welcome to the 21st century GOP.

    January 30, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. if only he would pull out of Ohio politics altogether

    this man is crooked, he should leave politics

    January 30, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |