Wednesday, January 7, 2009

CNN Misquotes Saltsman on RNC Meeting Behind Closed Doors (UPDATE - Correction from CNN!)

In a rare special called meeting, the Republican National Committee meet with the six men vying for the chairmanship of the RNC. The major headline this morning on the meeting was that the RNC decided to move the meeting behind closed doors. Since a quorum was not present, the rules allow the members to do this by a majority vote.

CNN filed this report along with statements from Chip Saltsman supporting the move….

One candidate, former Mike Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman, welcomed the chance to speak candidly with members without having journalists in the room.

“Every candidate has got a different idea of where they want to take the party, and I think its important for us to get together, talk about it, and obviously let the membership decide where they want to take it,” he said, “because I see the members as the board of directors of this company.”
As a supporter of Saltsman and as a supporter of open door meetings, I was certainly troubled by this report, and it did not fit the Chip Saltsman I have come to know. So rather than taking CNN’s word for it, I decided to ask Chip directly. Chip quickly got in touch with me to let me know that CNN had it wrong.

In a telephone interview with Saltsman as he was boarding a train to head home from Washington, he told me, “I never said what the story quoted me as saying.” He went on to say, “I was fine with whatever the Committee decided. It was their meeting. That's what I told the reporter (from CNN).”

This makes much more sense. Saltsman has been an advocate for taking “the ‘members-only’ sign off the clubhouse and replace it with a welcome mat.”

Saltsman also expressed enthusiasm over the past three days events which including a debate on Monday, a meeting with the Conservative Caucus on Tuesday, and a meeting with the full RNC this morning. Saltsman said that he was received a lot of positive feedback and feels that he gained some votes over the last few days. “No one has the 85 votes needed yet,” Saltsman said, “I feel good about my chances.” The 168 member RNC will meet on January 28 to elect their chairman.
UPDATE - Perhaps CNN reads my blog, because they just corrected their story. It now reads (italics on additional text)…
One candidate, former Mike Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman, said he would have been fine with the media in the room, but also said he welcomed the chance to speak candidly with members without the presence of reporters.
Thanks CNN for making it right! And thanks for reading!

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