Ga. GOP convention concludes, venting its anger at Washington

  • Follow Latest News

SAVANNAH -- Defiance of Washington was the dominant theme Saturday at the state Republican convention in Savannah.

Speaker after speaker on the second and final day of the gathering lashed out at what was described as overbearing federal authority.

The rhetoric reflected the GOP's search for a way to reverse its 2008 losses; Georgia is one of the party's few remaining strongholds.

Former U.S. Senate candidate Herman Cain reminded conventioneers of a clause in the Declaration of Independence.

That historic document, Cain said, asserts the people may "alter or abolish" regimes that deny their rights.

"I challenge you to leave with a fighting spirit," he told convention delegates. "We have a fight on our hands."

GOP national Chairman Michael Steele said federal spending programs are undermining values such as hard work and thrift.

The government is trying to make the American people "more dependent, less industrious and less ambitious than our values," Steele said.

Elected this year as the first black to lead the national party, Steele drew a standing ovation when he was introduced.

Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone said his message was inspirational.

She said she especially liked it when he said people shouldn't "look to the government to take care of us ... from the top down."

States' rights backed

Other speakers defended states' rights, claiming the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama is usurping the U.S. Constitution.

Gov. Sonny Perdue cited news reports that federal funds have become the biggest source of revenue for state and local governments.

"If the president can decide which companies survive ... (and) name CEOs," he asked, "... how long will it be before he can make all the decisions in Georgia?"

Two resolutions that passed Saturday endorsed the concept of "state sovereignty."

That made sense to former Chatham County GOP Chairman Jerry Loupee.

"I think that's been a growing issue," Loupee said. "The federal government's actions ... are really getting people worried and shook up. A lot of us feel like they're violating the Constitution."

Nothing to 're-'

Steele rejected calls for his party to "rebrand" itself to appeal to moderates.

He said the GOP does not need to "remake, redo, rebrand, rebuild, re-anything."

"That's going backward," he added. "We don't have to remake anything. What are we going to remake? Our values? To do so says they're not true."

Steele said Republicans lost big last year not because they were too conservative, but because they communicated badly.

"We dropped the ball," the former Maryland lieutenant governor added.

He asked members of Young Republicans, College Republicans and Teenage Republicans at the gathering to stand and said the young activists should not be considered the party's future but its "here and now."

"I've freed you up from forever asking for permission to do anything," he told the young activists. "Not when you're 50, (but) right now."

He urged them to be strong voices on college campuses, in work places and within the party.

Noting Obama's strong showing among young voters, local GOP youth volunteer Martin Sullivan welcomed the challenge.

"If we don't energize 20- and 30-somethings, we can't win," Sullivan said. "We need to reach out to our age group and get them involved. We can't win just by being the party of older people."

Governor candidates

As on Friday, the convention's opening day, the six Republicans running for governor next year vied for attention.

Some worked the convention floor, shaking hands and posing for pictures with delegates.

All six had tables with bumper stickers, leaflets and other campaign hardware. However, Ray McBerry was the only one who offered old-fashioned, metal campaign buttons.

All spoke Friday, but three got to talk again Saturday because of the offices they hold.

Secretary of State Karen Handel and State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine touted the work of their respective agencies. U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal described federal legislation he is pushing.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Eric Johnson, of Savannah, drew steady traffic to a suite where guests were served - among other morsels - bacon-wrapped sausage.

"It's the best food here," said U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah, a Johnson supporter, "which means money, which means support, which means next governor."

Comments (20) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
patriciathomas
43
Points
patriciathomas 05/17/09 - 08:37 am
0
0
Republicans lost big last

Republicans lost big last year, not because they were too conservative (come on, McCain has NEVER been too conservative), but because they lost the conservative vote. They forgot about responsibility and accountability. The senators and representatives in D.C. are mostly "moderates" like Specter and "Colins and Snowe" from Maine. The metro Lindsey Graham from S.C. is a perfect example of what needs to change in the Republican party. Until the party returns to the conservative values of responsibility, accountability, honor and honesty, they'll continue to be the Democrat Lite party they are today.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 05/17/09 - 09:05 am
0
0
I hope they follow your

I hope they follow your strategy of forcing out the few remaining moderates in their Party (I don't agree that they're mostly moderates--maybe to you, but not to the country) because then they will become even more marginalized. The Republican Party as it now stands is utterly out of touch with the vast majority of this country's electorate. If you call what the fringe is doing a "return to the conservative values of responsibility, accountability, honor and honesty", you simply prove how delusional you are.

shivas
2
Points
shivas 05/17/09 - 09:12 am
0
0
How much of that federal

How much of that federal stimulus did Gov. Purdue turn down? How much did the Republican Governors take from the Bush stimulus? Did they state that Bush started the stimulus programs, and was supported by these strong conservatives? The hipocrisy of the right-wing becomes laughable. States Rights? Very funny.

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 05/17/09 - 09:28 am
0
0
*Yawns*

*Yawns*

fht610
1
Points
fht610 05/17/09 - 09:52 am
0
0
Didn't Georgia try that

Didn't Georgia try that "States Rights" thing in the 1860's??
Anybody recall how that worked out?

zardoz35
1
Points
zardoz35 05/17/09 - 09:57 am
0
0
The Republican Party aka,

The Republican Party aka, "The Walking Dead", had a convention and were mad at Washington. What a joke. We can only be thankful George Bush's reign ended when it did. Another year or two and the country would have completely fallen apart.
States Rights? Within 50 years, no matter what party is in office, states themselves will basicall cease to exist and we'll all be better for it!!!

confederate american
0
Points
confederate american 05/17/09 - 10:45 am
0
0
the revolution is coming to a

the revolution is coming to a town near you.

patriciathomas
43
Points
patriciathomas 05/17/09 - 10:51 am
0
0
shivas, as long as CNN

shivas, as long as CNN provides your information, you'll remain confused.

colcamp1
10
Points
colcamp1 05/17/09 - 10:52 am
0
0
Okay and the South will rise

Okay and the South will rise again. Seems like Texas will have some company. Cannot say that it would be a loss.

patriciathomas
43
Points
patriciathomas 05/17/09 - 10:52 am
0
0
congratulation fruit, you

congratulation fruit, you finally made an understandable comment. And it's appropriate for you, too.

confederate american
0
Points
confederate american 05/17/09 - 12:14 pm
0
0
i praise the bonnie blue

i praise the bonnie blue

palomino9
0
Points
palomino9 05/17/09 - 12:34 pm
0
0
I think the republicans

I think the republicans should continue with their rhetoric, then come next election, we will see the party all but demolished, as more and more people turn against their evil-spirited ways.
They will destroy themselves, and I will throw the biggest party ever held in Augusta, HEHE

gwham7
0
Points
gwham7 05/17/09 - 01:43 pm
0
0
As a PROUD GERGIAN

As a PROUD GERGIAN REPUBLICAN, and a delegate that attended the convention in Savanah, I am proud of our leadership and we understand it's an uphill fight, but we will fight for what is right, what our grandparents and parents stood for. Not too many years ago, the other side was in "Dasarray", I think they are more confused and in disarray than they are willing to say, that's why they post such cowardly statements here.

justus4
124
Points
justus4 05/17/09 - 01:57 pm
0
0
Republicans will continue to
Unpublished

Republicans will continue to lose. Their reality will turn to changing who can vote and putting restrictions like I.D., placing police cars & stopping minorities, serving warrants on voting day, etc. Their reality will become radical because the numbers don't lie. Their losses will continue, however, they are going the way of the Whigs and nothing will change it.

colcamp1
10
Points
colcamp1 05/17/09 - 02:06 pm
0
0
Where is GERGIAN? Does it

Where is GERGIAN? Does it hurt to be in " Dasarray"?

wcr250
71
Points
wcr250 05/17/09 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Put the RHINO's out of the

Put the RHINO's out of the republican party. Mc Cain should not have been the candidate for president. sarah Palin should have been or Romney or many other conservatives.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 05/17/09 - 02:35 pm
0
0
colcamp1, maybe gwham7 is a

colcamp1, maybe gwham7 is a supporter of David Gergen....wait, oops, wrong Party. Forget about what your Gerga parents and grandparents stood for (lynching? segregation?) and figure out what YOU stand for. Because the tide of History is washing you away.

HotFoot
17
Points
HotFoot 05/17/09 - 02:38 pm
0
0
Palin couldn't pour water out

Palin couldn't pour water out of a boot with directions on the heel. So by all means, nominate her.

confederate american
0
Points
confederate american 05/17/09 - 02:59 pm
0
0
with all the toes oh big ears

with all the toes oh big ears has been stepping on,that help put that joke into office the rep.will be back in 2010,you can count that.

Niko Mahs
83
Points
Niko Mahs 05/17/09 - 08:04 pm
0
0
Responsibility &

Responsibility & Accountability are two words that the Bush administration did not heed at all. Incompetence and the inability to change during conflicts were paramount in that organization. Good plans and ideas but very bad implementation. Finally, people like Rumsfeld & Cheney (old Nixonian heldovers) are out of government for good. PT, you might want to listen to Lindsay Graham - a little bit at least. He's no real moderate; but then he's no right wing hardliner either. I don't believe the way back is through Newt Gingrich & Dick Armey. At least move toward the center somewhat.

JoanofArc
0
Points
JoanofArc 05/18/09 - 11:47 am
0
0
Ray McBerry is the only

Ray McBerry is the only Gubernatorial candidate who's number 1 issue is states' rights. Would love to see you guys do a story just covering the most mainstream, relevant, Republican, conservative candidate in this Gubernatorial race.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs