South Carolina GOP elects Obama's 'worst nightmare'
May 7th, 2011
04:23 PM ET
12 years ago

South Carolina GOP elects Obama's 'worst nightmare'

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Republicans elected a new party chairman Saturday who vowed to be President Barack Obama's "worst nightmare."

More than 1,000 Republicans tapped Chad Connelly, a businessman and chairman of the Newberry County Republican Party, to helm the party organization through the state's closely-watched presidential primary season.

Connelly survived two rounds of balloting to defeat Bill Connor, a former candidate for lieutenant governor, and Greenville attorney Stephen Brown.

"You guys just elected Barack Obama's and Dick Harpootlian's worst nightmare," Connelly told the audience after his win, naming the president and the chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party as his foils.

Connelly immediately faces the challenge of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to run the presidential primary, tentatively scheduled for February. Because only Republicans are having a contested presidential primary in 2012, the task of running the election is expected to fall to the state party.

In a cost-cutting measure, Gov. Nikki Haley has come out against using state money to fund the primary. The South Carolina legislature is still debating whether to fund the contest, which might cost over $1 million.

"We don't even know how much" the party has to raise, Connelly told reporters after his win. He said he has transition meetings scheduled to "find out where we are" and noted that he has been asking state legislators to sign off on using state money for the primary.

Connelly said he has "an aggressive fundraising plan" in place and promised to run a "lean and mean" operation to keep overhead low.

He also vowed to protect South Carolina's cherished status as one of the first four presidential nominating states in the face of threats from other states - notably Florida - to move up their primary and caucus dates in violation of the calendar approved by the Republican National Committee.

"We are going to be the first-in-the-South primary," he said. "If we have to trick-or-treat for the first vote, then we will. We will be first in the South. There is no doubt about that."

Filed under: 2012 • GOP • South Carolina
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. BC

    Why doesn't any of these guys (or ladies) start with a comment like, I've got this policy that challenges the President. These are some of my facts and speculations of the impact over the long term. Every time I read something from the GOP, it give the impression that the President can't do anything right. Which many Americans have known is not true for quite sometime, but the killing of OBL only put the nail in the coffin. Honestly, I think we're about to see President Obama move into overdrive and leave the GOP in the dust. I hope the 87 GOP House freshmen enjoyed their time, the booting out will begin with so many others nationwide in 2012! And a hint for the GOP voters, stop picking people full of hate and no vision!

    May 8, 2011 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  2. Fred Sanabria

    By the way GOPers and CNN, I have not heard or seen coverage of Palin or Trump since the death of Bin Laden. Is it me, or these two can't handle the weight? Or maybe they are back in their mansions planning the next race attack?

    May 8, 2011 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  3. Marry

    The GOP/TP is its own worst nightmare! In the long run it must be exhausting to only spread hate, distortions, and disrespect for the President and the American people. They have not done one single positive thing for the country in more than a decade. On the contrary the have brought the country to its knees through there incompetence and greed. No reflection on their shortcomings and not one good idea on how to bring the county back on its feet! What a sad and shameless platform of “No” to campaign on!

    May 8, 2011 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  4. makaty

    i think they are afraid of the smart guy ,and they think the only way to beat him in 2012 is to tear him and his policy dawn which is a very bad strategy for the GOP in the next election i think this is beyond understanding that the guy is busy killing osama bin laden

    May 8, 2011 04:01 am at 4:01 am |

    This guy is just trying to increase his own status, but he like the rest of the GOP are losers from the word go. President Obama doesn't and won't even know that you exist! Obama/Biden 2012!

    May 8, 2011 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  6. sick of republican phonies

    "worst nightmare"? Really? Worse than terrorists or any of the REAL nightmares a president faces? This guy must really think he's something, the big blowhard.

    May 8, 2011 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  7. jeff vb

    Leave to South Carolina to vote in a white supremist. i mean south carolina and it political environment is a joke.

    May 8, 2011 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  8. Soren

    He sure looks like a classic republican: Overweight and stupid.

    May 8, 2011 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  9. unretired05

    Finally a Republican is going to attack Obama, DUH. More politics as usual from the party of NO. How about some positive ideas for a change instead of "If he said yes I say no."

    May 8, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
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