Republican senator on GOP's problems: "It's the Southerners"

Ohio's George Voinovich lashes out over his party's reliance on Southern spokesmen

By Vincent Rossmeier
Published July 28, 2009 9:55PM (UTC)
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The Republican Party has a Southern problem: It's been largely pushed out of other regions, and has become dominated by Southerners who are pushing the party even further to the right in what's become a downward spiral. Normally, Republicans can't say this, but one of the party's senators is taking advantage of the relative freedom offered him by his impending retirement to speak out.

In an interview with The Columbus Dispatch, Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, identified what he believes to be the Republican Party's biggest problem at present:


We got too many Jim DeMints (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburns (R-Ok.). It’s the southerners. They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr.' 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?"

Voinovich is now the second major Republican politician in less than a year to recognize and criticize the party's increasing regional and demographic isolation -- the other does want a political future. Last November, Minnesota's Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, acknowledged that the GOP can no longer compete in many areas of the U.S.

Vincent Rossmeier

Vincent Rossmeier is an editorial assistant at Salon.

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