July 28th, 2009
01:04 PM ET
12 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. McTeach

    As a Young Republican, from a Long family history of Republicans, I am a Fiscal Conservative. I was not a Democrat, due to the Southern Racists. When 1964 came, I switched to the Democratic Party because I am a Christian and believe We are All the Same in God's Eyes.
    The Senator Stereotypes... I was in the Deep South in the '60's. and met many Sharp Southerners, who Deplored what was happening.

    I do, however, agree with the Senator that the GOP has been Hijacked by a minority of Republicans, not just from the South, who are unable to, IMHO, behave like the Loving Christians I knew in the Early 1940's.

    They have, also, Hijacked my Religion !

    July 28, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Southern Dem

    If Ohio is so great, why are there so many people from Ohio now living in the South. Because Ohio is the arm pit of America. Dead Industry, Dead Real estate, Entire Dead cities.

    July 28, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  3. Senator Cleghorn

    George, you're a bit late. They took it over a long time ago. Read "Dixiecrats" 1948. Couldn't get elected to anything outside the "Land Of Cotton" where old times are best forgotten

    July 28, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  4. Thomas in Tx.

    It is a good thing that the GOP( in its present form) is becoming irrelevant.Nevertheless, I find it disturbing that the current Republican mindset,which seems to extend to Blue Dog Dems,may retain enough clout to torpedo progressive legislation such as health care reform. .

    July 28, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    The South used to be solidly Democratic. Such a shame that Reagan changed all of this.

    Speaking of Reagan, the Reagan Library invited Sarah Palin to speak there next week.

    They might as well have slung horse poo onto the walls of the library, the Republicans main shrine.

    July 28, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. jimbo

    Wow! Once again, the supposed party of tolerance and compassion cannot comment on anything without using hurtful and demeaning language. I am from Texas and we have jobs. We don't have a state income tax. Our taxes are much lower than most. You really think that is because we talk funny? Senator whats his face just proves that politics is an equal opportunity vehicle. There are idiots in each party. To the people that constantly quote "the Bible thumpers", this country was founded by religous nuts with guns that were seeking the freedom we have so you fools can spout your hyperbole. This vitriol has no place in any intelligent converstion and accomplishes nothing. I still have a problem understanding where you insatiable hate comes from. Oh well, 2010 will be here before too long and if you vote armed with facts instead of emotions or idealology, we can fix this.

    July 28, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Billy Bob Joe Jimmy Boregaurd (the III)

    Can't we all just get along.....

    July 28, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Don of Iowa

    Even the Republicans are now realizing the truth, the GOP is no longer the GOP and has not been for near ten years now, it is extremist, right wing radicals who want to turn this country into a Christian Nation like Al Queada wishes to make a country an Islamist country, sound familiar? It sounds scary to me, how about you?

    July 28, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Norman

    That's right Mike...southerners are very nice people. To their own kin and color.

    July 28, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Taylor

    Someone said Dallas was now Democratic? I'm from Dallas, and I have NO IDEA what you are talking about..... perhaps wishful thinking?

    Besides Coburn and perhaps Demint.... yeah all these southern ivy league educated senators are just absolutely retarded. You know what I don't get, you guys are referring to southern senators as "hicks"..."toothless rednecks" ...etc. Ya democrats are obviously REALLY OPEN MINDED. The southern GOP's are the only ones that will stand up and do something it seems ....and the dems hate it and attack first chance they get. Anyone surprised?

    July 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  11. Sean

    This is very true. The party has been hijacked by social conservative evangelist and Americans are not social conservatives on the majority of issues. This is a social libertarian nation for the most part and niether party really offers a socially libertarian platform. Out of the two parties available though the Republicans are by far the worst due to the far right wing southerners.

    July 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Al, CA

    GOP is taken by extremists.

    July 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. JSRagman

    I forgot to mention in my earlier comments that Oklahoma has 77 counties. ALL 77 voted for McCain/Palin!! Apparently not many folks can read in that state. Enough said!

    July 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Terry

    He's right.. I am in the South and its obvious... Minorities in the begining were attracted to the Repbulican Party for its American Views for ALL... Now racist Southern Views have taken it over... Will the real GOP stand up...

    July 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Clint

    Not a good time for GOP to be infighting. It only diverts attention from the fact that there is a health care crisis in this country that has to dealt with, now, and anyone who is not participating in a good faith manner in the dialogue (as compared to playing scorched earth politics) is an enemy of this country and its future. Every day that this issue is not adequately addressed is another victory for the insurance, medical equipment and drug companies and their lobby. Instead of ideology, think of the future that your children and grandchildren will face if the status quo is maintained.

    July 28, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Ron Bo

    People need to quit ripping the South (BTW I am a conservative voter who lives in Minnesota). The GOP problem is not southerners, one of the many problems the GOP faces is that they lack a significant number of leaders who have a spine and stand up for conservative values. Or, in the case of non-conservative Republicans, they often don't seem to stand up for any discernable values other than re-election. From '94 through '08, they spent money in ways that took their credibility away. It is often best to look at yourself before criticizing someone else. I can respect politicians who stand for somethng, even if I disagree with them. I do appreciate southern conservatives more than most politicians for that reason. We need a whole new crop of leadership. For that matter, we need a whole new Congress.

    July 28, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. Kate in San Diego

    Southern hospitality? What a joke!!!! Try driving through one of those states with California plates.

    July 28, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Ben in Texas

    I'm reminded of an old song my dad used to sing:

    "I was born about 10,000 years ago,
    And there's nothing in this world that I don't know,
    I saw Peter, Paul, and Moses play ring around the roses,
    And I can whip the man who says it isn't so."

    It's southern evangelicals dumbing down the Repugnant party. However, there's enough Repugnants in the north and elsewhere that are just nasty, greedy, immoral folks, but not necessarily dumb.

    (BTW, Texas is in the west.)

    July 28, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. Michael Dugger

    I'm proud to say I'm a Texan and not a northern liberal. The issue here is ideology. You bleeding-heard libs live in a fantasy world. Your ideologies are so out of touch with reality, yet you consider everyone who disagrees with you, largely the southern region, idiots. Can you identify the irony here? Any by the way, two of the most troubled states, New York and California, are largely liberal. However, Texas is moving right along with barely a hitch..........thank God for conservatism.

    July 28, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. Shawn - GA

    I grew up in NJ and moved to GA 12 years ago. There is countless of us down here... Soooo if the South is taking over the GOP it is because those of us with means and not relying on the Goverment to support us on every thing are here for the lower cost of living and great jobs. So our numbers are mattering along with the great southern people that are native to this part of the country.

    July 28, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  21. Felly

    George needs to switch to the big tent- the Democratic Party.

    July 28, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  22. Lori reminds the GOP that they're STILL only 20Something % of the American people. Stop blogging under multiple names!

    Finally! Someone tells the truth. It's not that I don't agree with everything the Republicans have to say- I consider myself a moderate Democrat. But I don't agree with the racists followers (those calling Obama a 'muslim' which doesn't matter if he was anyway or those asking for a birth certificate, etc.). That only works on Southerners who are more prone to having deeply entrenched racist beliefs. And I don't believe that so-called 'Southern Christian values' should be dictated by politicans or a political party. I leave that to MY relationship with God, not some politican speaking about so-called 'family values' when they are committing adultery on their wife at home (Ensign, Sanford, Craig, etc.). I'm in my early thirties and I can understand why the majority of young voters, although some may be conservative ideologically, would NEVER vote Republican and consider the party a 'redneck' or 'southern' party. The majority of us hate racism, moral preachings from hypocrites, and politicans in our bedrooms.

    July 28, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  23. Don of Iowa

    I think I have to agree with an earlier sentiment, it may be a good thing for this country if the Republican Patry fails and is no more, with their recent history of almost a single party came close to destroying this country forever more due to their extemeist attitudes and they cannot seem to realize the problem is inside the party, not anyone outside, we have seen the enemey and it is them, Republicans.

    July 28, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  24. bill b. from Stratford,Ct

    Let's just call it like it is people, what he really means is that, the southerns, not all of them, but some of them are a bunch of racist bigots in his party. You really see their racism since Pres. Obama has been in the White House. calling the Pres. racist names, sending out racist pictures, racist e-mails, saying Pres. Obama isn't really an American, screaming they want there country back, back from what, that black guy, it's just ridiculous, but that's what they believe, it's a sad life.

    July 28, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Vicky from Milwaukee

    Perhaps all Republicans should be required to present their birth certificate. If they're from south of the Mason-Dixon line or Alaska ignore them completly.

    July 28, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
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