WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday strongly came out against a resolution supported by some committee members calling on Democrats to re-name their party the "Democrat Socialist Party."
Even though Steele has, in the past, accused Democrats of having a socialistic approach to government, he has so far distanced himself from the controversial resolution that is scheduled to be voted on Wednesday at meeting of the full committee. In an appearance on 'Meet the Press' on Sunday, the party chief said the resolution is not "an appropriate way to express out views on the issues of the day."
Asked on Tuesday if he is in favor of the effort to re-brand Democrats as socialists, Steele said, "No, I am not. I am not for that at all."
"I have mentioned that to folks inside the party and said that, you know, we should be smart and strategic about that," Steele said of the resolution on Fox News. "A lot of people have passions and the beauty of the Republican party is you get to express those passions in various ways."
Steele is scheduled address to the RNC later today, the second day of a three-day gathering of party members outside Washington.
Watch the event on CNN.com/live at 1 p.m. ET
(Updated after the jump with DNC response)
Update: The Democratic National Committee downplayed Steele's stand. "While we welcome Chairman Steele's words that the GOP wants to turn the page on its past, we are disheartened by the party's actions that tell the opposite story," said DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan.
"While the Chairman talks of moving forward, the very convention he's addressing will not focus on coming up with new ideas to create jobs and setting right what the party got wrong over the last eight years, but instead will revolve around name calling and the petty politics of the past. While the Chairman speaks of no longer looking in the rearview mirror, just this weekend he and other party leaders stumbled over one another to endorse the leadership of one of the most divisive figures in recent American history, Dick Cheney.
"The test of the sincerity of the Chairman's words will be if he and the other GOP leaders stand up to the fringe elements of their party and whether they tell the polarizing faces of the past – including Cheney, Gingrich and Limbaugh – to stand aside. Unfortunately, they have shown no willingness to do so, which is why fewer and fewer Americans have confidence in the Republican party to lead during these tough times."