Too many conservative senators like Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) are to blame for the GOP's downfall, one of their retiring Republican colleagues complained Monday.
"We got too many Jim DeMints and Tom Coburns," Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) told the Columbus Dispatch. "It's the southerners."
Voinovich, a native Clevelander who retires after the 2010 election, continued after the southern elements of the GOP.
"They get on TV and go 'errrr, errrrr,'" he said. "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 has broken with his party at several significant points during his two terms in the Senate. He bucked leaders to vote against a dividend tax cut pushed by President George W. Bush earlier this decade, for instance, and only last week voted against an amendment sponsored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) to expand Americans' ability to carry concealed weapons.
Voinovich, along with Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), voted against Thune's amendment, providing the key swing votes preventing it from passing.