WASHINGTON (CNN) – A top ally of embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele called on GOP leaders and activists Thursday to publicly state their support for Steele, as criticism builds about his ability to lead the national party.
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“The RNC as a whole — including Republican Congressional leaders, grassroots activists, and Republicans nationwide — must speak forcefully in support of Chairman Steele and drown out the vocal minority,” Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer wrote in a memo to members of the Republican National Committee. “To do anything less is a disservice to our party.”
The “vocal minority” Greer pointed to are critics who have, anonymously and publicly, voiced their displeasure with Steele following a handful of high profile gaffes, and charged that he has not moved fast enough to put a political operation into place.
Greer also asked his fellow Republicans to “be patient” as Steele works to assemble his political team in Washington. Earlier in the day, Steele announced that Ken McKay would be his chief of staff.
“Ultimately, we can and will have differences of opinion on the issues, and that is healthy for a party that seeks to grow and diversify,” Greer wrote in the memo sent to CNN. “As Chairman of one of the largest state parties and an RNC member, I welcome this dialogue. However, it is not constructive to launch assaults on the transition process or promote division within our party by openly criticizing our new Chairman.”
See Greer’s full letter after the jump
To: RNC Members
From: Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer
Dear RNC Members:
Over the past few weeks, our newly-elected RNC Chairman Michael Steele has come under assault from a number of fronts. While we can and should expect attacks like this from the Democrats, it is unacceptable when they come from within our own Party. What I find so disturbing is that some Republicans cannot see the absolute necessity of providing unwavering loyalty and support to Chairman Steele as he embarks upon leading the Republican Party into the future.
In less than 45 days, Chairman Steele has led a top-to-bottom review at the Republican National Committee and wiped the slate completely clean, as many members of the RNC and Republicans nationwide called for. As a member of his transition team, I have seen first-hand the thorough evaluation that has occurred at the RNC: not one stone has been left unturned in our efforts to maximize each dollar, find the best staff members, revamp coalitions and communications, and bring a top-notch finance team on board. As anyone with business experience knows, transitioning from one CEO to another and restructuring a major organization takes time and should not be rushed to be successful. Effectively evaluating and implementing best practices from the top to the bottom is a lengthy process, and doing it the wrong way can cause irreparable harm.
Doing it the right way allows for remarkable changes, most recently illustrated by the hiring of Ken McKay as chief of staff. McKay served as Rhode Island Gov. Don Carcieri’s chief of staff and served as the campaign manager for two successful gubernatorial races in one of the bluest states in the nation. Bringing McKay on board reinforces the considerable political acumen of the new RNC Chairman.
Ultimately, we can and will have differences of opinion on the issues, and that is healthy for a party that seeks to grow and diversify. As Chairman of one of the largest state parties and an RNC member, I welcome this dialogue. However, it is not constructive to launch assaults on the transition process or promote division within our party by openly criticizing our new Chairman.
The RNC as a whole—including Republican Congressional leaders, grassroots activists, and Republicans nationwide—must speak forcefully in support of Chairman Steele and drown out the vocal minority. To do anything less is a disservice to our party.
Be patient and let our Chairman build the administration that is right for him and right for our Party. He will accept no less, and nor should we.