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. TrueBlueOhio

    I am from Ohio. I take issue with the Senator because he makes it seem as though there is something inherently wrong with being a Southerner.

    July 28, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Mark

    I agree with Voinivich. Let's get back to the New England Republicans who are fiscally responsible and socially progressive (unlike the Southerners).

    The Southerners are still angry over losing the civil war... you can still hear the hint of racism and separatist talk in what they say...

    July 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. william

    This country will continue to spiral downwards until we make education a priority. I view myself a fiscal and moral conservative, but I refuse to vote for a Republican. I am shocked by how uneducated the vast number of Republicans are and I firmly believe the party has been severely "dumbed down" by the likes of Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee.

    July 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Dark Side

    My party (the GOP) needs to have an idiot test prior to allowing candidates to run for office. The severe misrepresentation that our GOP elected officials make of Republican constituents makes me wonder why on earth we would have elected them in the first place. The bible thumping and fear mongering Republicans damaged our party. Voinovich's statement that southerners are ruining the party reinforces just how poorly we Republicans have chosen our candidates. Perhaps a lot of bleeding is good for the party, we need to wash this pestilence from our party if we're going have any meaningful say in America. After the Dems have screwed things up even more than the Republicans have over the last 8 years, we'll need quality candidates who can do well for this country instead of themselves.

    July 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. rainbird

    The South will fall again...

    July 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. georgia

    I don't know that it's fair to blame the South for an Oklahoman.

    July 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Dino V.

    I agree with this guy 100%.

    July 28, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Clay

    Oh, the South was fine so long as everyone was voting republican. But now that many re coming to their senses they're nothing but a bunch of hicks, is that right. Well, I've lived in the South and the North and I'd choose the former any day. The fact that many Southerners are switching back to the democratic party means that they're able to change and can spot a snake oil salesmen from a mile away. I found racism to be much more insidious in the North because they try to hide it and the media perpetuates the stereotype. But you're right, there are still far too many Southerners in the republican party and they'll be more than welcome as Democrats.

    July 28, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Bingo

    Do you mean Southerners like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Lyndon Baines Johnson or William Jefferson Clinton? I could even list Abraham Lincoln, since he was born in Kentucky. The Southern values of freedom, liberty, individualism and individual responsibility, the right to keep what you earn through your own efforts are what made this country great.

    July 28, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. yuri

    We guess that serves the tough-talkin' tootsies from GOP right. DeMint has delusions of dementia and derision about what he decides to deliver, so he deserves the distinction of bein' the most desirable target for derogatory darts.

    July 28, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. Clara

    Mr. Senator from Ohio have you noticed how many Northerners keep moving South? Must be something right down here!

    July 28, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Dave

    I live in Mississippi, and I'd be glad if this state stopped being so Republican. It's pretty embarrassing, having so many ignorant, superstitous morons outvoting us all the time. But, that's what you get when you're over-churched: a population full of dimwits.

    July 28, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. single mom

    Nice try, Senator. Why don't you step up and show some leadership if you don't like the way things are going?
    Sheesh! If you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem!

    July 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Larry

    The south has nothing to do with it. There are plenty of despicable Republicans in the north and west too.

    Good thing you're retiring Voinovich. You'd have been voted out anyway.

    We've had enough of the lying Republican party.

    July 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Change_Has_Begun

    wow the repubs are in worse situation than i thought...oh well if they dismantle than it is good riddance...

    July 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. Tyrone

    Fighting and inbreeding among the RepubliCANTS–oh you just got to love it!!!

    July 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Frank

    It's a little late to complain about that now, don't you think Senator?

    Richard Nixon's so-called southern strategy turned the party of Lincoln into America's last institutional home for white racism. In the bargain, it gave the GOP a virtual strangle-hold on southern politics and a decided advantage in presidential elections for more than a generation.

    But the demographic worm has turned. It seems more than a little disingenuous for Republicans to cry about the results.

    July 28, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Patrick

    Well then i guess its good that Florida isnt considered a "Southern State" haha

    July 28, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Bobby G.

    Voinovich opposes lowering tax rates, was the only Republican in Congress to vote against a bill providing for relief from the marriage penalty and generally supports gun control.

    Well here is a hot news flash: THE SOUTH has a problem with RINO's like him anyway.

    July 28, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. Zion

    I would not brand all southerners as non-progressive. The problem with the GOP is you do not allow DECENT southerners to talk, you know those southerns who do not view civil rights as problems ahead. Instead, you let goons speak making all southern whites look bigoted. That's wrong. I don't understand how white people continue with the GOP. GOP is an equal opportunity offender. How about that?

    July 28, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Whatever...

    Hello..where has this guy been?

    I think it was George H (Papa) Bush that began the trend in the 60's. While heading up the RNC he needed numbers so he enlisted all the red necks he could from the South on the platform that the Republican Party supported SEGREGATION. The DNC called him and thanked him for taking all their nut jobs.

    PBS documentary on the Presidents–HW episode–look into it!

    July 28, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. laura

    The south – a backwater of ignorance. Well put Senator. I agree w/ you wholeheartedly.

    July 28, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. dominican mama 4 Obama

    .....And while you're busy polishing off, and educating your Party representatives so that you might be able to take them out in public, don't forget to take Sens. Graham and Sessions, and your brain-dead quitter poster child: Sarah Pailin. 'Sho nuff cuz!!

    July 28, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Shucks

    More infighting. The republican party still doesn't get it, do they. They are now their own worst enemy. Forget what the democrats are doing and saying, the republicans are just throwing each other on the sacrificial table every chance they get. It shows a party that is out of control, alienating it's own members, and holding morons up as their defacto leaders. I don't think we have to worry about them for a long, long, time.

    July 28, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Jan

    "the area of the country with the poorest education and the worst economy"

    How's the economy in Michigan, eh? I hear the drop-out rate in Detroit is really good, too.

    The South doesn't have a monopoly on problems to work on.

    July 28, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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