May 1st, 2009
03:27 PM ET
6 years ago

Gingrich insult rankles RNC members

Gingrich said Thursday that RNC members think they are 'precious.'
Gingrich said Thursday that RNC members think they are 'precious.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Several members of the Republican National Committee are miffed at Newt Gingrich for claiming that they’re a small bunch of egomaniacs who need to be coddled by the party chairman.

“Newt needs to take a breath,” New Jersey committeeman David Norcross told CNN.

Gingrich made the assertion on C-SPAN Thursday when asked about a new resolution put forth by some veteran members - including Norcross and RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen of Arizona - that would limit chairman Michael Steele’s ability to control how the committee spends its money.

That resolution has sparked a fresh round of infighting between Steele loyalists on the committee and entrenched members who backed other candidates for the chairmanship and remain skeptical of his leadership.

Defending Steele’s tumultuous start, Gingrich said the chairman might be under fire from some in the committee because he “probably has not yet learned the art of massaging the egos of RNC members.”

“They all think they’re precious, and they all think they should be taken care of, and they all think the job of the chairman, first of all, is to make the RNC members happy,” Gingrich said of the committee’s 168 members.

Tennessee GOP chairwoman Robin Smith objected to that suggestion, saying that “RNC members, on the whole, are committed individuals who sincerely work for the best of our party.”

“Forming circular firing squads only gives aid to the Democrats who are doing quite nicely in undercutting the public trust in our government,” Smith said.

Ada Fisher, committeewoman from North Carolina, said RNC members are not “as ego driven as some professional politicians and pundits would like to believe.”

“Most of us are not receiving large sums from being on television, serving as commentators, giving speeches or writing books, nor do we devote our waking hours to playing politics,” Fisher said in a thinly veiled jab at Gingrich.

Another committee member called the former Speaker’s remarks a “gross generalization.”

But other RNC members sympathetic to Steele sided with Gingrich and defended the chairman’s three-month tenure at the party helm. Steele backers said the new chairman is engaging with state parties and grassroots activists in ways not seen since the GOP was last out of power during the Clinton administration.

California GOP chairman Ron Nehring boasted that the RNC under Steele “is about partnerships with the states, and that’s good news for everyone.”

“Newt is right that RNC members believe they are ‘precious,’” said California committee member Shawn Steel. “However, Michael is more popular than ever. He communicates much more frequently than the prior chair."

North Carolina Republican party chair Linda Daves, who backed South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson during the race for the RNC chairmanship, knocked the members who are now pushing the resolution to regulate Steele’s financial powers.

“I think some of the members should spend more time trying to build the party on the state level and spend less time trying to micromanage the RNC and trying to tear down Michael Steele,” Daves said.

Norcross argued that the good governance resolution is only being proposed to fill the vacuum left by the retirement of veteran RNC comptroller Jay Banning, who was let go by the committee last month after more than 30 years. He said that oversight of the chairman’s purse strings by the committee is nothing new.

“Newt ought to get his facts right,” Norcross said. “My ego does not need to be taken care of, but my Treasurer does.”

A spokesman for the RNC did not respond to a request for comment about Gingrich’s C-SPAN appearance.


Filed under: Michael Steele • Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. HUH

    Keystone Cops!

    May 1, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Andrea D

    They;re melting! They can change their names. They can move. They can do whatever they want, they're still America haters.

    The GOP are the mean people, I swear they were bullied in scholl, and now they're taking it out on all of us!

    Doesn't matter for 2012, with the exception of 20% of this country, 80% are happy with Obama.
    He is a kind, considerate person is will act in MY BEST INTEREST!
    After 8 miserable years of Bush, robbing the treasury for his friends and family, we finally have a human being as President.

    Why you troll hated Clinton, I don't know. He was the perfect Rethugnican!
    80% of the wealth of this country, is now in the possession of 10% of the population.
    And you right winged Christians fronted for them, happy now?
    You were used.
    Keep fightin' boys, as you cans ee, they're all old, white men, including Steele. He's just a wanna be, poor Steele.

    Newt wants to rpetend he's normal and concerned, he's not. Just remember, these are all the family values guys who have been married and divorced 2-3 times, family values my foot!

    HYPOCRITES!
    You'll read comments here, 1 out of 10 will like these guys, that's about it.
    Newt, if you think this is 1993, and you guys will come waltzing in, wrong.
    We just lived through the darkest days in this country and we're reeling from it. You're gonna lose your shirts in 2010 again! Just watch,
    WE WILL NOT FORGET WHAT YOU'VE DONE!

    May 1, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. obama/mama

    Newt flip-flop Gangrene

    May 1, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. Ghost

    Yeppers, the more they infight, the better for the country. But it is nice to know that even while at odds, they can still throw a jab at the Democrats.

    May 1, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  5. Daniel, Atlanta, GA, ex-republican

    He was right, the RNC is out of touch with most Americans. The GOP is now the Christian Republican Party and is NOT inclusive of others.

    May 1, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  6. Abram Lincoln Jeter

    This gray-haired blowhard needs to be forgotten. He can go plant his gray haired head in the sand...see if it grows! End of story.

    May 1, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. Stop the Madness

    Newt spoke the truth for once in his miserable life. The GOP are a bunch of spoiled, self-righteous people who feel they are entitled to any and everything they want.

    It must be a bitter pill for them to swallow to be at the very bottom of the totem pole as it relates to credibility and relevance.

    GOP and RNC . . . . I throw both my shoes at you.

    May 1, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Democrats will not be distracted by the Republicans in house fighting, we have a higher agenda to fulfill, the economy, jobs, etc.

    May 1, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Simmy

    “Forming circular firing squads only gives aid to the Democrats who are doing quite nicely in undercutting the public trust in our government,” Smith said.
    **************************************************************************
    Mr. Smith,

    Trust me when I say you are your own worst enemies....Dems need only be still and watch you bite off your noses to spite your faces.... The above phrase illustrates the misinformation that your party continues to exude....Try being genuine for a day and see what happens....

    May 1, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. Franky

    "Several members of the Republican National Committee are miffed at Newt Gingrich for claiming that they’re a small bunch of egomaniacs who need to be coddled by the party chairman."

    Look who's talking, LOL!!

    Yeah, I would slow down if I was Newt, plus, it ain't like is the first time he called out his party. They sure are weird, they call each other out, then all, call call each other out, I don't know, they make no sense...

    May 1, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  11. grf67

    They are both right. gingrich needs to take a breath and the RNC is a bunch of white, rich, male, racist egomanics.

    May 1, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  12. Water board Coulter! We want the truth about that Adam's Apple!

    Is it possible to insult the Brown Shirts in the RNC?

    May 1, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Sniffit

    Great picture. Seriously...put it next to 99% of the pictures of Obama and you'll have yourself a perfectly symbolic representation of the differences between the parties. Obama is almost always smiling, but look at this goof. Frowny McFrownyface needs to cheer up before he's lying on his death bed regretting how he wasted his life being angry about everything.

    That being said...Frowny had it all wrong. It's not their egos the RNC has been demanding everyone massage, it's their tea bags and I dunno about you, but there aren't enough surgical gloves on the planet to convince me to go there.

    May 1, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  14. Michael B

    It stikes me that the members of the Republican party are more interested in themselves than the people they were put in office to serve. All you hear about are the interests of the politician, party, chairman and would be leaders, and nothing about ideas for the country or how they would improve things for their employers, the American people.

    May 1, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  15. Kevin Wires

    Steele is just the latest Sarah Palin. He was selected to be the answer to Obama the first black president. Not much thought was given as to what other qualifications he might have or the approaches he might want to take to further the parties interest. Sarah had obvious appeal to a segment of the Republican party, but it was also apparent that she needed prep-time before hitting the campaign trail. Now you have Steele selected to show the GOP has diversity as well. The fact that major parts of the party are completely ignoring him and attempting to remove his access to the purse strings, demonstrates that he was hired to sit in the front window to show how diverse the GOP is and nothing more.

    May 1, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  16. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    From the "Just not getting it" files: House minority whip Eric Cantor told Fox News that the Republican Party's efforts to reinvent itself will include the leadership of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. Aaaaaaahahahhahahahahahaaaa.......haha.

    May 1, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  17. IndyVoter

    [[“Forming circular firing squads only gives aid to the Democrats who are doing quite nicely in undercutting the public trust in our government,” Smith said.]]

    Really? What planet is this person living on? At last check, which was at Pres. Obama's 100 days, the 3/4 of the American public approved of the job that the President is doing. The number of people who say the country is going is the right direction has spiked significantly. The only people who don't trust the Democratically led government is far-right Repbulicans who if Pres. Obama stamped out world hunger, found a cure for cancer and reversed global warming all in the same day, would still find something negative to say.

    May 1, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  18. jaye

    The republicans are a joke... they just don't get it....and Newt will never be president.

    May 1, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  19. Ron Ft. Myers

    All Newt is guilty of is telling the truth, ie, all politicians are the same. They are just so much smarter than those of us who put them in office and PAY their salaries and obscene pensions. Look at Barney Rubble Frank and crew, they just do what they want, they don't care if over 60 % of their employers agree or not, they're above scrutiny.

    May 1, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  20. RepubliKLANs Are Plain STUPID

    Let the in-fighting and the self-destruction begin – I'm loving it!!!

    These RNC dead-beat whiners will tear each other and their Grand "0" Party down before the democrats and the american people stick a fork in them!!!

    May 1, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  21. John in Ohio

    Animal in trap
    Wounded angry and vicious
    Turns upon itself

    May 1, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  22. Leanna Collins

    Newt Gingrich calling another person an "egomaniac" is the pot calling the kettle black. If the Republican party ever hopes to get back on track they need to start looking to people like Representative Mike Pence of Indiana and run the other way from Newt Gingrich.

    May 1, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  23. J in NJ

    Robin Smith – “RNC members, on the whole, are committed individuals who sincerely work for the best of our party.” That is the problem right there. If you started working for what is best for the American PEOPLE you might start getting party members elected!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 1, 2009 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  24. Michael

    I think both sides have the other pretty much pegged. Newt is a political blow hard and the RNC is certainly out to put the screws to Steele. The committee's attempt to making any wanted purchase above $100, 000 by Steele subject to their approval makes that grossly apparent.

    Though Newt's comments were scathing the committee members were the one tightening the screws. Did they really Steele and his supporters not to push back?

    May 1, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. Eileen from Maine

    Tennessee GOP chairwoman Robin Smith objected to that suggestion, saying that “RNC members, on the whole, are committed individuals who sincerely work for the best of our party.”

    “Forming circular firing squads only gives aid to the Democrats who are doing quite nicely in undercutting the public trust in our government,” Smith said
    *********************************************************************************
    I would guess that she is reaching out to all the people who have very recently fallen off the turnip truck and are totally unaware of what went on in Government in the past 8 years. Unless she is just assuming that all Americans are morons...................................

    May 1, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
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