Minnesotans know Obama ‘is not one of them,’ says GOP Chairman Priebus, predicting state will go red

Reince Priebus is so full of brash talk he makes Minnesota GOP Chairman Tony Sutton seem like an introvert.

Reince Priebus
REUTERS/Daniel Acker
Reince Priebus

Priebus, who succeeded controversial Michael Steele as chairman of the Republican National Committee six months ago, was in Minnesota Monday to raise money and to declare that Minnesota will be a “battleground state” in the presidential election.

“We’re going to turn Minnesota red for 2012,” Priebus said.

Obama ‘a millstone’ for Klobuchar?
Not only that, Priebus declared that President Obama “will be a millstone around the neck” of Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

This was an interesting declaration, given that the Republicans still don’t seem to have a bona-fide candidate ready to get into the race against Klobuchar.

Earlier this year, Sutton had said that a front-line GOP contender would be ready to get into the race by Labor Day, which has come and gone.

On Monday, Sutton was taking a two-pronged approach to describing the status of the U.S. Senate race:

• He said that former state legislator Dan Severson, who announced his candidacy months ago, “is up and running now.” Sutton added that Severson is a former fighter pilot, “a top gun.”

• But if that top-gun status isn’t enough, Sutton said there are unnamed others waiting in the wings, champing at the bit to get at Klobuchar.

“It’s the calm before the storm,” said Sutton, with a straight face. “To be perfectly frank, there are people who want a shorter campaign.”

Priebus nodded approvingly at that, with good reason. He was the chairman of the Wisconsin GOP last year, when the party took over the state legislature and the governor’s office and when an obscure candidate, Ron Johnson, defeated Russ Feingold in the U.S. Senate race.

“He [Johnson] didn’t get into the race until May,” said Preibus.

It was all these victories in Wisconsin — and Steele’s many woes — that put Priebus into the top spot of the Republican Party.

Sutton praises fundraising prowess
Money has been pouring into Republican Party coffers ever since, said Sutton.

“He’s raised more in six months than the last chairman raised in the whole two-year cycle,” Sutton said. “If he would have been the chairman in the last election cycle, we would have a Republican governor in Minnesota because the RNC would have made it possible for us to have more resources.”

This fundraising trip by Priebus is meant to help both the state and national parties.

Republicans in Minnesota love Priebus’ message because he attacks Obama with gusto.

He accuses the president of “waging class warfare.” He ridiculed the president’s “taxpayer-financed campaign bus tour” that started in Minnesota a few weeks ago. He noted that after the president ended the bus tour, he went on vacation to “Martha’s Vineyard to play with his rich friends.”

All the woes of the present economy can be laid at the feet of the president, Priebus said.

“He’s taken the economy straight into the ditch,” Priebus said, adding that the president has to stop blaming others (his predecessor) for the nation’s economic woes.

The people of Minnesota “know that he [Obama] is not one of them,” Priebus said.  

Meantime, the Republican slate of candidates is mighty, according to Priebus.

“All the buzz is about the Republican field,” Priebus said. It’s a field filled with the sort of candidates Minnesotans “are starving for.”

What are we starving for in Minnesota?

“Real authentic people who want to serve with a pure heart,” said Priebus.

So among all the GOP candidates, who has the purest heart?

Priebus thought about the question but, in the end, had no answer.

Doug Grow writes about public affairs, state politics and other topics. He can be reached at dgrow [at] minnpost [dot] com.

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Comments (27)

  1. Submitted by Terry Hayes on 09/13/2011 - 10:41 am.

    REINCE PRIEBUS?

    I don’t think he’s one of us.
    What galaxy does he come from?

  2. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 09/13/2011 - 10:47 am.

    Always love the GOP’s “class warfare” argument. Which war are they talking about…Gay marrieds vs. straight marrieds…..Christians vs. non-Christians……Wisconsins public sector vs. private sector?

    Your last sentence summed it all up…Priebus, and the rest of the GOP, have no answers.

  3. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 09/13/2011 - 10:47 am.

    “”Real authentic people who want to serve with a pure heart,” said Priebus.”

    We would LOVE that. But, if we voted for those people, government would be empty because, last time I checked, Jesus was still serving elsewhere. Of course, an empty government what the Teapublicans want. (All the better for the corporations that sponsor them to rob us all blind. If we’re lucky.)

  4. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 09/13/2011 - 10:57 am.

    “The people of Minnesota “know that he [Obama] is not one of them,” Priebus said. ”

    I think we all know what he’s saying here.

  5. Submitted by Tim Walker on 09/13/2011 - 11:04 am.

    Priebus accuses the president of “waging class warfare”?

    Really?

    And what of the fact that the GOP gave tax cuts to the rich (and only the rich) 10 years ago? What would he call that, a class cuddle party?

    No, the GOP fired the first shot in any class warfare that’s going on. And that’s a fact.

  6. Submitted by Dan Joachim on 09/13/2011 - 11:05 am.

    It’s so obvious – Michele Bachmann for Senator!

  7. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 09/13/2011 - 11:10 am.

    If Amy K runs on her record of legislative accomplishments and the fulfilling of her campaign promises made during her last election, it will be a good day for the republicans.

  8. Submitted by Kevin Whalen on 09/13/2011 - 11:14 am.

    “Not one of us,” says the Sconny headhunter. You mean Obama’s not a Wisconsinite, or the Kenosha Kid is suddenly a Minnesotan?

  9. Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 09/13/2011 - 11:53 am.

    Some Republican operatives have been testing the “he’s not one of us” slur with greater frequency the last six months or so. They seem to believe that it is a “polite” way of keeping faith with the Tea Baggers who now own the GOP. As evidenced in polling, Tea Baggers still believe that President Obama is not an American citizen and that he is secretly a Muslim; “not one of us” is a wink-wink tactic for Republican leaders to satisfy the cravings of their Tea Party base.

    And how, with a straight face, can anyone suggest that this recession is President Obama’s fault. It began in the spring/summer of 2008 and hit full force in September ’08 while George Bush was President. I guess if you are a Republican true believer it is imperative to ignore history.

  10. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/13/2011 - 12:04 pm.

    Unseating an incumbent is not especially difficult when that incumbent has been making difficult decisions or has proven to be abrasive, but Amy is neither.

    For that reason I won’t be measuring the GOP’s success by the Senate race, no matter who finally steps up on our side.

    I do expect that Obama will lose Minnesota, and that is plenty to celebrate.

  11. Submitted by Richard Parker on 09/13/2011 - 12:27 pm.

    No word yet on what the Republicans would DO for average Minnesotans, though, right? Other than provide nothing but Caucasian candidates?

  12. Submitted by Jim Roth on 09/13/2011 - 12:41 pm.

    God help us if these people take over.

  13. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 09/13/2011 - 12:45 pm.

    “know that he [Obama] is not one of them,”

    Yeah, because Obama is some smart guy from a midwestern state, whereas we…

    oh, maybe that’s not what he meant. Hmm. Priebus has a low opinion of us, doesn’t he.

  14. Submitted by Dan Gjelten on 09/13/2011 - 01:32 pm.

    The Republicans are so fond of speaking on behalf of “the people” and while I don’t know everyone in Minnesota, I know a lot of “people” and very very few are represented by those who are speaking for them.

  15. Submitted by Doug Seitz on 09/13/2011 - 01:32 pm.

    “Obama is not one of them” reminds me of another favorite GOP/Tea Party line, “We need to take our country back.” Back from whom? There’s always that racial insinuation.

  16. Submitted by Jeff Wilfahrt on 09/13/2011 - 04:03 pm.

    Sutton says the money is coming in so does that mean the GOP will finally pay its overdue debts all around the state and counties? Fiscal responsibility, right GOP?

  17. Submitted by Jeff Klein on 09/13/2011 - 04:05 pm.

    @14:

    No, no, what he means is that Obama likes basketball whereas this is a hockey state.

  18. Submitted by Seth Rowe on 09/13/2011 - 05:31 pm.

    “We’re going to turn Minnesota red for 2012” – I remember this saying, “Better dead than red.” Now the GOP wants to turn the state red? Besides those (also) soundin’ like fightin’ words, may I just say that the colors, they are a-changin’…

  19. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/13/2011 - 08:51 pm.

    Well, Obama is apparently not like Chairman Priebus – he’s not Caucasian, he’s a graduate of Harvard Law School, and he’s lived in areas outside the continental U.S. In most circumstances, those last two, at least, would be regarded as big pluses in a job interview, but apparently not if that first one can’t be denied. At least Chairman Priebus wears his racism and anti-intellectualism on his sleeve. Probably no room for them in his wallet after he’s collected all the checks necessary to buy the next election.

    It’s wryly amusing to listen to Republicans complain about “class warfare” and President Obama going to Martha’s Vineyard “…to play with his rich friends” when Republicans have made protecting the interests of “rich friends” their raison d’etre since the days of the 2nd-rate actor in the White House. It’s passing strange for a Republican fundraiser to criticize a member of the opposite party for cultivating relationships with the very same kinds of people that fundraiser would like to have in HIS pocket.

    I think he’s just jealous.

  20. Submitted by Ann Richards on 09/13/2011 - 10:10 pm.

    so when I was laid off in 2008 it was really Obama’s fault?

  21. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 09/14/2011 - 06:01 pm.

    Class Warfare? Ha, the war is over. 400 US citizens own more wealth than 150,000,000 others. I guess we know who won.

  22. Submitted by David Willard on 09/19/2011 - 10:10 pm.

    In 2009 it would have been GREAT to have had the press examine Obama as much as they examined Palin then or Bachmann now. We probably would not be saddled with a such an unqualified president now.

  23. Submitted by David Willard on 09/19/2011 - 10:15 pm.

    As the Lefties fumble for the latest senior thesis on how to solve the worlds’ problems in their fantasy world, Republicans have to clean up the mess ONCE again. Jimmah Carter anyone?

  24. Submitted by Derrick Schluck on 09/22/2011 - 11:28 am.

    @ David Willard…talk about living in a fantasy world, how neive do you have to be to think that the “free market” will self correct and regulate, let alone serve the needs of this country or the world. Self regulation has gotten us into this mess in the first place. Give me a break. I am no President Obama apologist, and was a very active College Republican, however these “new” Republican and Tea Party values and policy are way off base and turn away Independent’s and Modirate Repulican’s by the day… Good luck winning elections in the future holding on to the “white, conservative christian beleifs.” In the very near future it will take nearly 100 percent of this base just to equal 70% of the nations diversity as a whole and their voting values.

  25. Submitted by Kathleen Krupke on 09/25/2011 - 03:17 pm.

    Minnesotan’s won’t be twice fooled by President Obama, but you can trust that this state won’t turn red for many years to come.

    Chairman Priebus doesn’t know much about Minnesotans, nor does he acknowledge the fact that Minnesota Republicans don’t recognize the party they once subscribed to, and are planning to vote out every incumbant in office.

    “Me thinks he dost protest too much,” is a good indication that both political parties are creating a staged event in an attempt to convince the voters that a distinction truly exists, but it does not.

    No democrat or republican who currently holds an office will remain there for another term, according to every Minnesotan who does not own a conglamorate business that gains profit by their corrupt abuses, according to the people of this state.

    Street talk is reliable, and if the polls tell you anything different, know that they are fixed.

    Not one politician is viewed with any credibility today. Government is working against common good for greeds sake, and people are fed up whether they are gainfully employed or living on the street.

    Voter turn-out will be an historic high in Minnesota for years to come. Disgust, frustration, fear and anger will result in record numbers against all who are associated with the past decades of malfunction and deception.

    Good prevails… Desire to correct a mistake is never stronger until after the consequence is understood and the pain/fear becomes an experience.

    The mistake… People fell asleep at the wheel. Reality is a rude awakening and fear is the most powerful of all emotion… WE LEARNED.

  26. Submitted by Kathleen Krupke on 09/25/2011 - 03:35 pm.

    WHY DOES MINNPOST REFRAIN FROM IMMEDIATE POSTING OF COMMENTS? THAT LOOKS SUSPICIOUS FOR SELECTIVE INFLUENCE, WHICH VIOLATES OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.

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    THE UTILITY OF COMMENT IN A PUBLIC MARKETPLACE IS A RELINQUISHING OF PRIVATIZED AUTHORITY WHERE THEY EMPLOY A STAFF TO PERFORM A DUTY, AND THE OUTCOME IS THEIRS TO PRESENT.

    I BELIEVE MINNPOST ACTS UNLAWFULLY, AND EVERY PERSON WHO CONTRIBUTES A COMMENT NOT PUBLISHED HAS THE RIGHT TO FILE A DISCRIMINATION CLAIM, ALONG WITH EVERY READER OR PARTICIPANT WHO WRONGLY BELIEVES THAT THE OPINIONS SHARED REPRESENT A BROADER VIEW WITHOUT SELECTIVE INFLUENCE.

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