April 8th, 2010
07:31 PM ET
5 years ago

North Carolina GOP chairman asks Steele to resign

North Carolina GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer called on Michael Steele to resign.
North Carolina GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer called on Michael Steele to resign.

Washington (CNN) – North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer called on Michael Steele Thursday to resign as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Fetzer made the request in an early afternoon letter sent to Steele.

Read the letter

Fetzer told CNN in a telephone interview that he felt that “the party needed new leadership to move forward.”

“This is a conclusion that I reached only recently and somewhat reluctantly,” Fetzer said. “I have been supportive of him during my entire tenure as chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party. In the last few days, I have reached the conclusion that if we are going to be the party of reform we have to start with our own party.”

Fetzer was referring to allegations that Steele is misusing donor funds as Republicans prepare for the midterm elections.

Earlier this week, New Hampshire RNC member Sean Mahoney resigned his post in protest of Steele and GOP operative Alex Castellanos said that Steele should step down.

In addition, prominent RNC fundraiser Sam Fox also parted ways with the national committee.

But Steele has his supporters including the GOP chairmen representing California, Delaware and Illinois as well as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, among others.

Update 5:55 p.m.: RNC Deputy Communications Director Katie Wright responded Thursday evening to Fetzer's request for Steele to step down:

"Chairman Steele has maintained broad support from RNC committee members, who have been pleased with the proactive measures put in place for greater accountability. Most importantly, the RNC remains focused on raising money and winning elections in North Carolina and across the country this fall," Wright said.


Filed under: Extra • GOP • Michael Steele • North Carolina • Popular Posts
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. gangof4

    I wonder what Mr. Fetzer thinks of other GOP embarassments–like the governor of his neighboring state to the south? Why throw Mr. Steele overboard when there are bigger Republican fish to fry?

    April 8, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  2. franky_speaking

    Steele was nominated as NRC chair during the 2008 election hoping the GOP he would steel Obama's thunder. Now that his honeymoon with the GOP is over, they can replace him... with a white chairman.

    April 8, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Mitch

    With all that is at stake this fall, the last thing Republicans need is a diversion like Steele's lousy leadership and management. He should go, and go now.

    April 8, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  4. m smith

    Hey just blame it on the media like Newt did. Steele has been a token from the beginning. Gee They sure are eatting each other alive in the party of NO

    April 8, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  5. Frozone

    Don't do it! Don't let the Confederate wing of the GOP take over the party!!!

    April 8, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. cspurgeon

    Keep him.. You all rate him.

    April 8, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. tf

    mr steele should step aside...under his direction the GOP has lost credablity and respect...we (GOP) need to exemplify the strong principles and ethical leadership that can guide this once great nation, restore us to our former glory and relieve us of this tyranical opression we now endure...represent the people and make us all proud to be americans once again...mike steele is not up to the task...i believe he has lost sight of these principles...seems that he has adopted an increasingly "left" leaning posture..."lead, follow or get the hell out of the way" mike...

    April 8, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Big Jim

    Quick note to mention that I am soooooo tired of these crummy, petty, self-important, do-nothing, obstructionist, corupt and hypocritical politicians.

    Why can't they get their salaries from corporate sponsorships instead of our tax dollars? It would be the same old slippery Washington D.C.

    April 8, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. David K.

    Forget Steele, if Republicans are serious about reforming their party and cleaning up their message (and their act) they should be distancing themselves from people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Ann Coulter. The fear and bigotry they use to rile up the extremist right wing base may be useful for getting ratings and books sold, but it alienates moderate and independent voters and has driven the Republican party in terrible directions of abuse of power and outright hypocrisy (smaller government while expanding it? fiscal conservativism while running up the debt?).

    April 8, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. CR

    "if we are going to be the party of reform we have to start with our own party"

    How true. It's rotten.
    Clean it up. Purge it. Fumigate it.

    April 8, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. joel palmer

    NO! Steele needs to stay; we love the pinata

    April 8, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. SNAPPA

    Well god knows he hasn't the capacity to do it on his own.

    April 8, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. Kent in CA

    Regardless of Mr. Gingrich's view of the world, it is not the 'elite' press that has tarnished Mr. Steele's name. He had done it all on his own. If he had executed his job by the book, and kept his mouth shut, he would be a relative unknown, like most party national chairmen. This man should have been focusing on the job he was hired to do. If he had done so, he wouldn't be facing the fundraising nightmare now before him. You can't blame the NY Times and CNN for this, Mr. Gingrich. Mr. Steele should definitely step down.

    April 8, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  14. Dale

    "the party of reform" is in direct contradiction to what the word "conservative" means. Conservative means to resist change and maintain the status quo. Look it up.

    April 8, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. EBC

    Oh, oh...the rats are jumping off the Steele Titanic. Are there more to follow in calling for Steele's resignation? Hummm.....

    April 8, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  16. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    The link to this post on the front page is called "GOP head asked to resign". That is misleading; no one has asked Roger Ailes to resign.

    April 8, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  17. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    If Obama had not been elected president, Steele NEVER would have been selected for this position. The republicans, in their submissiveness and spinelessness, were trying to impress the media and all the idiots who voted for Obama with their willingness to PANDER for votes like the democrats. In a way, Steele is the personification of what is wrong with the republican party.

    REPUBLICANS: STOP TRYING TO BE DEMOCRATS!!!! STOP TRYING TO IMITATE OBAMA AND SHARPTON AND START TRYING TO IMITATE TEDDY ROOSEVELT AND REAGAN.....THE ONES WHO MADE YOU A GREAT PARTY.

    April 8, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  18. Bob

    Finally some intelligence from the GOP.

    April 8, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  19. A disgusted former Republican

    Isn't it fun watching the republicans eating their own?

    April 8, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  20. beth

    it's sad to say but he won't be able to resign....they'll orevent that because he is the party's token 'minority' person.

    April 8, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. jbakaregit

    Heck no. Keep Steele please. I'm just about to go to Kroger to get some more popcorn.

    But seriously, this is what saying "no" to everything that would benefit the American people gets ya - karma just boomerangs the negative right back on you.

    After what the GOP did during Bush's reign, they are lucky Obama, the Dems, and the rest of America even entertains their presence. Tax cuts that benefit the rich, 2 unfunded wars (one of them based off of phony intelligence, torture regime, outing of a C.I.A. agent, Gitmo, crashing of the economy, etc. all hurt America to the core.

    As one of the current leaders of the GOP, Michael will be one of the 1st to go, commencing with many of the GOP come November.

    April 8, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. lineman

    Mr Steele is simply doing what he can to keep the Republicans on track. His tenure as chairman has produced no real surprises. The misuse of doner funds is not a real issue as the funds were not used in any way that the doners had not anticipated. No Republican is against a little relaxation now and then. I can understand Mr. Fetzer wanting the job and he could probably do as well as Steele, as could most people. The only real problem they have is that Steele has not kept as tight a lid as usual on Republican secrets.

    April 8, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. John

    Michael – please resign, you don't look like the rest of us republicans and it is confederate month.

    April 8, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  24. Minnesotan

    I love watching the 'thugs turn on each other and start backstabbing. Bring on the popcorn; this is gonna be good!

    April 8, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Art

    As tough as Mr Steele had been on candidate Obama and continued to bring heat to President Obama i am truly giddy that he his now receiving the same kind of scrutiny and heat....God I love this country.....Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...If only he would take Juan Williams with him....

    April 8, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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