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. Sandra Day

    I could not agree more with Sen. George Voinovich. Of course, many of us saw this during the election. I can never figure out why the moderate Republicans and northern Republicans are continually ignored in this party. Meanwhile, outliers like the "Birthers" seem to get all of the press. I do not know if is just negative coverage the Republicans seem to invite, or if their party really is going south.

    July 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. Obama Victim

    wouldn't a senator from Alabama be Southern by definition?? is he proposing that Southern states have no senators?? pretty bizarre comments

    July 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. ETM

    The problem is not that the GOP represents the South but that they represent the ignorant white Southerners who cannot grow beyond racism, excessive nationalism, religious indoctrination and a pervasive fear of almost all social and political change.

    On the other hand, there are a lot of Senators from the new South more progressive than Voinovich, including Warner, Webb, Hagan, Landreau, etc.

    July 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Paul Ron

    Ron Paul is the only good republican, Jim DeMint is trying to ride his coat-tails right now, power to him if he's not just putting on a show. Did this guy walk lock-step with the rest of the 2000-2008 republicans that ran our country into the ground? Since 99% of them did, I'll assume yes until I hear otherwise.

    July 28, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. Proud Member..Party of No

    Good riddance Voinovich. This is good news....we got rid of Arlen Sphinctor and Voinovich. Now we just need to get rid of a few more of the limp-wrists and then the real conservatives can take back the party.

    July 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. Ken

    HA, HA, HA the repubs are in worst shape than I thought.

    July 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Myron

    I can't stand the GOP, but I recognize a cheap shot when I see one, especially as a North Carolinian.

    So it's Southerners' fault that they vote for Republicans?

    It's not a problem of the South if the GOP platform has no appeal in the north.

    Ryan, you're wrong by the way. The south was a Democratic stronghold before the civil rights era, and locally, it still is. As LBJ predicted, the issue of race would cost the Democrats the south in national politics. But even that is changing.

    July 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Roger

    As a southern I have to agree with the governor....the extreme right wing politicans are bringing down the GOP.....they seem to have tunnel vison & have no flexibility with anything outside their narrow minded thoughts...

    July 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Diane Panama City Fl

    Being a white, native born-Southerner, I say Senator Voinovich's remarks are dead-spot-on! In reality, the GOP is being overtaken by the racist branch of the Southerners' family tree. I know, my family tree has plenty of racist branches and they cling to the current G'Noper platform of bashing anything President Obama does like dew on a honeysuckle vine.

    July 28, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. Laura

    Sounds like he is "profiling" southerners.....

    wasn't it a northern city that kids were rejected from the pool?

    July 28, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. Brandon, Kentucky

    Wow! Yeah, we're so stupid down here... I mean, I barely spotted the grammatical idiocy of the phrase "These people, they're Southerners. The party's being taken over by Southerners. What they hell they got to do with Ohio?'".

    July 28, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. South Mouth

    Envy is such an ugly thing. If I were from Ohio I would be wishing I was from the south also, Mr. V. The Rust Belt kind of sucks doesn't it! There are plenty of us who sit around asking what the hell does Ohio have to do with anything...... Took over your political party, stole NCR, beat the crap out of your Buckeyes......Ya'll should just shut the state down and move south, we are a very welcoming culture. Hahaha

    July 28, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Joyce from South Carolina

    All Southerners do not reflect the bigoted attitude of Jim DeMint. He is sooooo wrong and makes me embarassed to be from the South. That being said, I believe that all Republicans just do not get it. Republicans are more interested in politics than helping people. We desparately need to do something about healthcare to help the average American. I sincerely support President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. I truly feel they are behind average people in America.

    July 28, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. T22

    Turning on people from a particular region of the country is not the way to go. Last time I checked, conservative voices like Limbaugh and Hannity weren't southerners. How about showing some leadership and getting the party back on track. It's the ideas, or lack thereof, not the geography.

    July 28, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Doc

    The Republican Party has long been taken over by crackpots, both in the south and in the north.

    True, there are more in the south and in some isolated regions of Idaho, and the south never did get over the civil war, but there are treasonous "secessionists" throughout the republican party, those that deny science, and nutcases that are on display every day in the media, from Glenn Beck to Sean Hannity. Turn on the AM radio and pick up any "talk" station and you will hear venomous right wing haters almost 24/7. They are a cancer on this country.

    July 28, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Melissa

    Its not about southerners, its about right wing nutbags. The party has been taken over by the fundamentalist right.

    July 28, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. craig

    We all know the GOP playbook by heart. Tax cuts that only help the rich, sending poor children to die in unjust invasions, milatary industrial complex. Need I say more.

    July 28, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Lumpy da Moose

    From where I sit (FL Panhandle), I don't see Oklahoma as "the South." Closer to the Midwest. But I guess that depends on where you place your Crayon line on the map– for some, anything south of OH, IN, IL, PA, IA is "the south."

    July 28, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  19. Adam

    I don't think it has anything to do with Southerners (I'm from CO and live in UT, so I'm not southern myself)... but with the DeMints, etc... that make up the elected members of the GOP. They problem isn't where the people come from, it is the fact that they have become so hardcore that the majority of people, even people within the GOP no longer believe the same way they do.

    Blaming a person or group of persons is shallow and childish and as long as the GOP is unwilling to look at its core values and where they are in regard to the majority of people in this country, they will continue to drift into irrelevance. It's a tough thing to do, looking at yourself in the mirror and finding all the flaws you can. It take courage and bravery, honesty and integrity... and I am still waiting for someone in the GOP to stand up and boldly declare that they have serious problems, here they are laid bare, and now we need to fix them. Seems no one is willing to admit their own weakness... instead the party still wallows in blame and denial.

    July 28, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. Nick M (Los Angeles)

    Civil war 2.0 is well on the way.

    Might as well get it over with.

    July 28, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  21. Anonymous

    The real problem is white males. All of you have screwed everyone on the face of the earth. It's time for you to step aside.

    July 28, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. lost in Texas FOREVER

    as a resident of Houston Texas we RESENT being referrred to as being the SOUTH! We are in the SOUTHWEST!! There is a big difference and you can tell by who we have for governor down here. Texas is the reddest state in the union, and that red should be from embarrassment.

    July 28, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Angie in Pa

    Hes right the Republican party has been Hijacked by the lunatic far right! and the Blue Democrats that are blocking Healthcare reform look them up most are from the southern red states!

    July 28, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Timmy

    Excuse me but I think this man should issue an apology for being defamatory to Southerners. I have come to realize that there is a prejudice often overlooked in America and that is discrimination based on accent. Southerner's are automatically slow and Northerners are automatically rude. This should not be. Senator, I think you should rethink your statement, or at least apologize to the South

    July 28, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. Annie

    If the GOP were being taken over by southerners, then the I.Q. level of the GOP would rise dramatically. Instead, the intelligent southerners have nothing to do with the GOP. Intelligence and the GOP do not go together.

    July 28, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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