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. w l jones

    Look like the Republican in real trouble with halve of the white vote and three fourth of the colored vote the president cannot lose.

    May 7, 2011 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. bullsballs

    obamas nightmare starts now...
    where is the proof osama is dead? no body no kill...

    May 7, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Rob in MO

    Worst nightmare – in your dreams, you weeney. The president deals with big stuff, not little insignificant republicans.

    May 7, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  4. WhatHappennedToPatriotism

    Why isn't this guy on America's side? If he doesn't support the commander-in-chief then he doesn't support our troops. He must be a Taliban; he is behaving like one.

    May 7, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Randy, San Francisco

    What next? A threat from Connelly and the state GOP/Tea Party for South Carolina's secession from the United States?

    May 7, 2011 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  6. Tired of the nonsense

    Why would anyone want to try to be the worst nightmare of the best president we've had since Bill Clinton?

    Oh, right, he's a GOPer and from South Carolina. 'Nuff said.

    May 7, 2011 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  7. tampaphilly

    I'm not sure Obama is losing sleep on this one. South Carolina has never been in play for his reelection campaign and the majority of South Carolinians will vote for a potted plant as long as it has an (R) after its name. It is truly funny that the states who receive more back from the federal government than they actually contribute are the ones who have the nerve to talk about fiscal sanity. It is truly sad that such a beautiful state contains so many racist people. This guy should be ashamed of himself. His hatred of him is based on one thing and one thing only: The color of Obama's skin. And if that is what South Carolina wants to be known for, have at it. They're not getting any of my tourist dollars. You can always tell a Republican southern leader. Fat, white and old and racist.

    May 7, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. Rick in Phx

    As an Independent voter. DOS hit the nail right on the head

    May 7, 2011 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. Jami the true independant

    Gee another fat slob republican racist, go figure there a dime a dozen. They have absolutely no intellectual capital. It is very hard to view any of the current GOP candidates as leaders. They are followers. Campaign donors tell them what to do, and what to say, do any of them have original ideas? I highly doubt it. Remember this folks... Rome was a republic, USSR was a republic. Both of these civilizations treated common people as trash and worse. Neither of them exist today. The downfall of America started with Reagan and continued with W. Also why is Bush building a library when my local library can't even make ends meet under mein fuher Corbett in PA. 😮

    May 7, 2011 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. Republican Robber Baron

    Oh Please! CNN when was the last time South Carolina voted Democrat anyways...during the Civil War? Yes who cares South Carolina is a hard-core red state and waste of time for the Dem's to even bother.

    May 7, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  11. they call me "tater salad"

    So thats what this clown looks like without the white hood!

    May 7, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. colowest

    Hey, folx, give this bombastic no-name fool a break. All the Repugs have left are gasbags, pill-poppers, media whores (of both sexes), a bunch of theofascists and a couple of Dem wannabes who just can't get up the courage to come home to where they belong.....

    May 7, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. joe

    Republicans havent done anything to the middle class. Democrats are actually the fesar mongers...oooh, we can't cut spending, we need to raise the debt limit, free healthcare for everybody, it will actually save money over the next 40 years, Obama, the greatest prsident ever, is actually the racist in chief, or liar in s chief....

    May 7, 2011 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. Steve

    Well, he might just be. I could see this guy in a coonskin cap or a white hood.

    May 7, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Charlie from the North

    I am sure our President has more thingsto worry about than you sir but you and people like you are certainly the county's worst nightmare.

    May 7, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  16. Chad oh Chad . . . You are the Worst Nightmare for the President . . .?

    Yeah, I bet he's quivering in his boots.

    May 7, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Proud to be an Independent !

    BWahahahahahahahahaha ! First reaction to this man ! President Obama hunted down Osama Bin Laden , he is hardly afraid of an old backward's racist ! BTW thank's for the laugh GOP !

    May 7, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. Howard

    Typical Republican stratagy

    1. Tell big lie–distort the facts!
    2. Make you afraid of it!

    May 7, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. ChumBucket

    I laugh at all the liberal H a t e speech on this site, and you're the ones who say the repubs engage in h a t e .

    sooo funny.
    and a little sad.

    May 7, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. M-AZ-Independent

    Another BIG MOUTH blowing hot air!

    OBAMA 2012!!!!!

    May 7, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  21. CD

    I wonder if he misspoke and meant to say "lean and clean" , if not then I wonder if he meant "mean" as in using robocalls in phone-jamming scheme like the GOP did in 2002 against the dems.

    May 7, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. AmFem

    The GOP is a laughing stock, whom no one takes seriously anymore. They are their own "worst nightmare."

    May 7, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  23. David

    I'm not sure what they think Obama's nightmares look like. He broke the record for death threats by a President-elect.

    Maybe he's afraid of being funnier than the keynote speaker a the White House Correspondents Dinner for the third year in a row. But I'm pretty confident that he's not afraid of any politician on either side of the aisle.

    May 7, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. lstro

    Glad to see that the majority of Americans don't buy into this hate game the GOOD OLD PARTY is selling. It's obvious by now its more about race and not about issues. Most Americans know OUR present President is the right man for the job and can't wait to reelect him in 2012. Reject the ugly faces of Rascism at every opportunity. Vote Democrate.

    May 7, 2011 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  25. gwats

    They are trotting out another hate monger, a knucklehead with no solid ideas to push and no real ability to govern. Any ideas about getting the economy moving and how to end these Wars? No. But i can bet you $100 he can tell you whose to blame for your misfortune, and he's not pointing a finger at a Republican either!

    May 7, 2011 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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