South Carolina GOP elects Obama's 'worst nightmare'
May 7th, 2011
04:23 PM ET
10 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. OneMoreTime

    " If we have to trick or treat for the first vote, then we will ". Teacans certainly know how to trick, treat, lie,
    spew hate, etc.

    May 7, 2011 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  2. James

    Typical Republicans - all they care about is WIN WIN WIN. Whatever is best for them - not what is best for The People.

    Hopefully the 'smart' Republicans will someday say enough is enough, and force their party to get back to the values they once had.

    May 7, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  3. The Greedy Oil Pigs have declared class war on America!

    This guy is awfully full of himself (not to mention something that bulls produce after eating). My "worst nightmare" is a country run by psychopathic GOBPbaggers full of fear, ignorance, lies and hate. Kind of like the Greedy Old Parasites in SC.

    May 7, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  4. peace

    Angel that the truth and those nuts in the south still dont see the writing no the wall. all of these red states is going through hell but they dont hear us.

    May 7, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  5. QSB

    Is it me or do these REPUBLICANS need to grow up. If you feel the need to impress us, then express what it is that you are doing for this country. Everyone finds it easy to point fingers. . . try looking at yourseves in the mirror. Maybe that way you'll see that we all are a part of the problem not just one party.

    May 7, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. juliei4

    President Obama just ordered the termination of his worst nightmare – and America's worst nightmare.

    May 7, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. Sarah Palin, Fierce Advocate for Childhood Obesity

    I doubt Obama gives this nothing a thought, let alone have a nightmare about him.

    May 7, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |

    These Republicans only have fear and empty threats to offer,.. Obama has brains and a vision,.. i'll take the latter thank you.

    May 7, 2011 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. Kenny

    President Obama just finished "Slow Walking" Osama bin Laden to his grave and he never batted an eye. Now if you think he is scared to take on the South Carolina Tea-Publicans or Donald "The Chump", all of you will find in November of 2012 that you got "Slow Walked" into Oblivion.

    May 7, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  10. carrotroot

    Quite bellicose words for a guy who's only role is to ensure his state holds the Republican primaries before Florida. If anything he is Romney's worst nightmare.

    May 7, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. kyle

    He's probably just SC's worst nightmare, he won't talk about the issues either, he's just another attack on Obama.

    May 7, 2011 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. David in Denver

    I think he flatters himself a bit much.....pretending he is the President's worst nightmare? For a President of any political persuasion, the fact that a state chair would engage in such hyperbole immediately removes that chair from any serious political process in the future. Funny and sad at the same time.

    May 7, 2011 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  13. DENNA

    Wow, I'm shaking now. What a wingnut. He would best use him time to try to undo the damage that Trump, Palin and Bachmann have done to their party. Seriously man, are you drunk or stupid?

    May 7, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  14. Clwyd

    Admit it! They are just more republican nightmares!

    May 7, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Charles

    This KKK man is scared of the calm, decent,caring, familyman Obama who is working hard to save our country from the doldrums the gop left it.God bless Obama and USA.

    May 7, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. Karl Jonas

    What a joke. How could he be Obama's worst nightmare when South Carolina always goes Republican, Obama and every Democrat knows that, and they could care less what happens there. Obama won't spend $5 on SC cause it'll go Repub.

    More like an afterthought than a nightmare:)

    May 7, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  17. Nick

    Mr. Obama has been in office 3 years now can you truly say he has done anything for this country? High fuel prices, high unemployment that's all I see. And since when has being a republican equate people being racist? Seems that you liberal socialist are stirring the pot with those comments. I guess Herman Cain is a racist? As a union member in the private sector the construction industry. Work is dead I see layoffs all the time now. So please tell me why do you liberals put this man on a throne?

    May 7, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. B

    Lets face it, South Carolina is the capitol of mindless bigotry in this country.

    They are still fighting the Civil War..

    May 7, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Good_Wife

    President Obama's worst nightmare - translation - they elected another old fat white guy

    May 7, 2011 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Liz the First

    This also makes him America's worst enemy. these rethugs live in an alternate universe where everything good is bad and everything bad is good. they should be declared a terrorist organization. the more they show their true colors, the better the chances that even the dimmest bulbs in their base will come to their senses and realize these thugs are only in politics to finish the transfer of every last drop of wealth from the rest of us to them. they care nothing about the health of the country or its people and will stop at nothing to establish a fascist oligarchy. Americans have to wise up and vote every last one of them out of office before we lose every right, especially the right to vote. don't listen to what these creeps say, watch what they do!!!

    May 7, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. Buzz

    Wow. Getting the first vote in the south.....................that'll put alot of people to work.

    May 7, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. cherese

    Sometimes I feel sorry for the republicans. Other times they are just funny, however, at times they are down right lying. When are they going to realize that america is no longer the way they they want us to be.

    May 7, 2011 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. bobden

    Seems that the repugs have completely forgotten the American people.
    The ones they are supposed to represent in congress. But they only represent their donors (Koch bro's and many other rich creeps).

    May 7, 2011 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  24. cppray

    What's in the water in South Carolina?

    May 7, 2011 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. sara

    Listen to this IGNORANT. Whatever his name, He surely doesn't measure to the GUM on the President's long shoes. There they go again with their HATE Filled selves. He looks "rabid" with Racism.

    May 7, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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