Washington (CNN) - Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, offered support Monday for embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who he praised for trying to build a bridge between the GOP establishment and the libertarian-minded activists who supported Paul's presidential bid.
"Generally, the Republican leadership [doesn't] want to have anything to do with me and don't want to have anything to do with the Ron Paul people," Paul said in an interview on CNN's American Morning. "They should be looking to us and saying, 'You know, why don't we help these young people who are so anxious and interested in what I'm talking about? Maybe they can be and sure should be in the Republican Party instead of being excluded.' He's reached out."
Paul ran for president on a libertarian political platform where he emphasized limited government and concern for the national debt. He developed a loyal following of supporters who backed his White House bid under the banner of the "Ron Paul Revolution."
This eclectic group continued to support Paul after the 2008 campaign and is credited with helping him win the Conservative Political Action Committee straw poll in February and his second place showing in a similar survey conducted this past weekend at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.
"I think he's doing a pretty good job," said Paul, who pointed to GOP victories under Steele's watch as well as his fundraising success. The Texas congressman did acknowledge that there has been "some blunders" under Steele's leadership but noted the RNC is a "big operation."
Critics have accused Steele of failing to show fiscal prudence and lack of leadership as the GOP prepares for the 2010 midterm elections.