July 28th, 2009
01:04 PM ET
14 years ago

Voinovich: The GOP's 'being taken over by Southerners'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/06/art.getty.voinovich.jpg caption="Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich is not running for re-election."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican Sen. George Voinovich, who is not running for re-election next year, told a newspaper in his home state of Ohio yesterday that Southerners bore a good share of the blame for his party's lagging popularity.

"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Voinovich told the Columbus Dispatch Monday. "It's the Southerners….

"They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr,'" he said, according to the paper. "People hear them and say, 'These people, they're Southerners. The party's being taken over by Southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'"

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint have been top targets for Democrats. Over the past few weeks, the Democratic National Committee has released spots slamming DeMint, including a tough ad that rips the senator for saying defeat of the administration's health care bill would "break" President Obama.

Filed under: George Voinovich
soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. David - Charlotte, NC

    This gentleman is exactly correct, but lets also remember they've also been hijacked by the Religulous Right. Until the Republican Party moderates itself on abortion, same-sex marrage, right-to-die, et-al, they will be in the minority. That's why they lost me years ago, and I doubt they'll ever get me back. And I'm white, 50's married, heterosexual and have family income in the top 1%.

    July 28, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Shawn - GA


    When the GOP takes back majority in 2010.... I am going to laugh myself dizzy

    July 28, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    It has nothing to do with the south, north, east or west, what it has to do with is the past forty years of misleading the American voter. The RNC and the DNC telling one thing to get elected and doing the complete opposite instead.
    Neither of the two major parties have the best interest of the American people as their top priority. Their top priority is getting elected and raising billions of dollars for their re-election. The American people have been lied to repeatedly by both of these parties, and we are sick of it. We are Americans, we do not what a "New World order" we do not want progressive government, we WANT a return to the basic principles of the founding fathers, we want to have a return to the US Constitution!

    July 28, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. nj

    he's right

    July 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Joe Poindexter

    I'm a Westerner living in the Southeast, so I don't have a bone in this North vs. South fight. However, I've got to laugh at comments about racism, bigotry and ignorance coming from the befuddled hypocritical masses still trapped in the Rust Belt and New England areas. Those labels, I refer to as PC "isms", can be found across the entire United States and not the sole proprietorship of Southerners. You can find just as many ignorant rednecks living in Wisconsin as you can in Alabama.

    In reality, the Southeast is a thriving, growing and creating community. The mid-west is dying, because it's hanging on to labor union practices that have priced their job opportunities to other regions and overseas competition. The mid-west will continue to see population declines as opportunities and education worsen. The Southest is the future, the mid-west is the past. It's better to face it and get out while there's a U-Haul to be found.

    July 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Mike

    I hope the GOP keeps courting all of these southerners, it will continue to alert us who NOT to vote for.

    July 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. cool rock

    Yes, those Republicans do sound ignorant with that errrr sound. I don't even trust the GOP. They are undercover Socialists!!!!

    July 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the way Sen., how far away are YOU from the Southern border? Let me guess.... 2, 3 miles at best!

    July 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. Chris - Seattle

    ***NEW FLASH****
    Sociology 101: All peoples perceptions are colored by their experiences in life and we're all products of our own environments. To all the Southerners on here obviously taking offense to his comments shouldn't take it too personal because there is a great deal of truth to what he's saying! I don't give a rats booty if you're a republican, democrat or independent, the problem here becomes peoples perceptions of one another! American history has taught us that some politicians (North, South, East or West) can't see past the nose on their face and realize their seperatist ideals are killing people and making folk seem real stupid!

    July 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. Steve

    Voinovich proves you don't have to be a Southerner to be a redneck. Don't let your the door hit your behind on the way out, bigot.

    July 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Anthony

    I am a Southerner and quite honestly take offense to his GENERALIZED statements. I am a registered Democrat and vote strict party lines. Just because there are a couple idiots in the South doesn't mean that we all are idiots. I mean come on what if we in the South started yelling Yankees and Carpet Baggers? I am kind of glad that the "Southerners" are taking over the GOP. It makes the GOP look even more ridiculious. But his broad "generalization" was definately uncalled for.

    Thats my two cents!

    July 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. Randy Worley

    What an IDIOT! The reason Republicans are lagging in popularity is their lack of planning along with the likes of Cheney, Bush and Palin!

    July 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Michael

    duh, you think?

    July 28, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. CS from VA

    Voinovich could have chosen his words more carefully. I believe he is referring to individuals who have less of a tendency to reach compromise; who take hardened points of view and believe theirs to be the standard against which others are judged.

    Would be worthwhile to read John Dean's "Conservatives Without Conscience" and "Broken Government" for a better perspective. Then one can come to better understand the dangers to democracy as we know it when Government is dominated by headstrong authoritarians.

    July 28, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. walleye

    The South is a GREAT place to live: If you enjoy 95% sweltering humidity, if you like living among bigots, if you still think the Civil War is being fought, and if you still fly the Confederate flag on your buildings instead of Old Glory.

    July 28, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Davey in Denver

    The man is correct. It pains me to say it as a Republican, but we should shed the "Southern Strategy" begun by Nixon/Bush Sr. I am an unapologetic TRUE Republican....a fiscal conservative who believes in fairness and equality for all men (a la President Lincoln....remember him?)....and me and those like me are increasingly angry that my party is defined by the "least of us"...the muck-raking, small-minded, you're-with-me-or-against-me Republicans that typify the South. Not all Southerners, mind you....but a number too large to sustain any longer. Break off, start your own under-educated, simplistic, bigoted party, and let the intelligensia within the Republican party get back to running things. You're dead weight around our necks.

    July 28, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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