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

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

Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich is not running for re-election.

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. Shawn

    What a strange comment... this whole article is a bit odd.

    July 28, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    A republican who is actually speaking the truth. Too many Demints.

    July 28, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Onyx Powers

    Republican identity crisis is self-inflicted. Only deep introspection will allow them to form an identity that is compatible with mainsteam America

    July 28, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Can you stand the TRUTH?

    What's wrong with that. Are Southerners not capable. Besides someone needs to take over.

    July 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  5. Alex

    Finally someone tells the truth....

    July 28, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. Wake Up

    Maybe, if senators from Ohio had some clams...the Southern senators wouldn't have to always speak up. When will the GOP learn that being Democrat Light is a losing strategy. GOP lost congress because they want to spend and spend, and grow govt. like a lefty dem.

    Someone has to step up to this trainwreck of a congress and Obamination of a president.

    July 28, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  7. Deborah/Kansas City

    At least he won't be forced to grovel to Rush or any of the other right wing zealots. He should really consider becoming a Democrat, we have room for everyone's opinion and good works.

    July 28, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Ryan Wing

    The Republican party has always been associated with the south – look at the electoral map in any election. All the southern states go red in a big way with the exception of the coasts.

    July 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. howie

    Jim DeMint is one of the few who sound as if they have any sense.

    July 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. ManAboutWeb

    Wow! Senator! It takes a decision to not run for you to say this? This gives everyone an indication how much "ballplaying" is done as long as they want to retain their office.

    That being said, I agree with him. And, being more left than the southern agenda, I am fine with this trend. Smaller and smaller the GOP appeal becomes...

    July 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. alvino

    Oh oh. Another republican who is saying "No!" to the party of "No!"

    July 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Steph

    That man speaks the truth!

    July 28, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Frank, Las Vegas

    More Senators and Congressmen must speak up about the state of the GOP or the GOP will soon not exist. However, Senator Voinovich doesn't need to only look towards the south, he should also look at Congressman Bonner. He is among the worst that the GOP has to offer and he's from Ohio. So I guess being from the south is more a state of mind, or lack of one.

    July 28, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Michigan mom

    That's interesting...kind of like Palin's 'real Americans." It is true that they have gotten very vocal lately, and that they make about as much sense as she does-I don't think the South has gotten over the Civil War yet. And for sure they can't tolerate a black President. I fully expect Palin and Perry to ratchet up the secessionist rhetoric before too long...she who blasts the $1.84 Alaska receives from the government for every dollar they send to Washington. They can't survive without federal help, and she knows it. They get more than any other state...Michigan gets about .85 back from ours. If they don't want it, we'll take ours back from them!

    July 28, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Thomas

    I guess the GOP is looking for any excuse to explain the party's lagging popularity. Now it is "them darn Southerners".

    No, it is not. What is affecting the party's lagging popularity is the changing platform of the GOP and how they address the issues.

    I was a life long republican coming from a familiy of life long republicans. However, the GOP has changed and not for the better.

    The fault rests not in your [Southern] stars, but in your souls.

    July 28, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Casey - California

    With any luck, maybe those Southerners will follow Rick Perry and once again secede from the Union...

    But rather than complain about the GOP, why not join the Democrats... or start a NEW party?

    July 28, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  17. cecilia

    Sir, ( we say that in the South) I am a Southerner and believe me I have no desire to leave the Democratic Party. However, I do take issue with your assesment of the state of the Republican Party.
    Do you seriously believe that the racist, dogmatic, Bible thumping bigots only come from the South???
    Contrary to popular opinion, we have intelligent, liberal, and moderate conservatives who voted for President Obama and are very proud of it.
    And you Sir, in Ohio and other Nothern states have many of the very people you dislike and who are negatively impacting your party. So please refrain from being so pig headed about what kind of people live where in the USA.

    July 28, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Photon Torpedo Dallas, TX

    Well that's been happening for a while now. How about this Senator... the Republican Party is being taken over by extreme radicals who often choose ignorance rather than intelligence.

    Obama 2012

    July 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Obama Victim

    North vs South............isn't that kind of tired??

    July 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. Anonymous

    True words!

    July 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Bill B. Nancy,KY

    Finally, an honest representation of the GOP! They will be in the minority for many years to come, if they keep up with the God, guns and gays rhetoric. At best they will be a regional power broker, with very little to add to our national debate! I can't think of anything that would make the progressives happier! Amen! LOL

    July 28, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Mark

    Oh really...We have a really easy solution for all you Yankees. Next time we pass articles of succession, don't force us to stay!

    July 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Back to Simple Life

    Don't forget Gov. Sanford, Sen. Ensign, Sen. Sessions, etc.

    Crooked and evil to the bone. "Good ole white male" attitudes that need to be voted out. They think they do no wrong with their philandering and slandering, but want to force us all to behave.

    Shame shame shame on a lot of states for forcing these people on the entire country.

    July 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. verna heiberg

    Finally there is a Republican who can speak the truth. The country needs Republicans who can work with the Democrats for the GOOD of the COUNTRY, something that has been lacking for many years.
    Now it is the angry, judgmental, hypocritical, and narrow minded people who make up the GOP. I hope more of the open minded Republicans such as Collins, Snow, Pawlenty, and others can speak up and start nudging their party more to the center. Enough of the Tea Baggers, Birthers, and other nut cases calling the shots.

    July 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Lou from CT

    One must be careful not to pigeon-hole Republicans no matter where they are from. I think Mr. Voinovich may have a point, but it still shows the Republicans don't have a original idea in their collective body.

    July 28, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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