Las Vegas, Nevada (CNN) – GOP Chairman Michael Steele told a small crowd of Nevada Republican Party activists and candidates that the GOP and the Tea Party are "locked hand in hand"–particularly when it comes to defeating Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
"What has captured the nation's attention is this little thing called the Senate race," Steele began. "And I'm here to tell you, the people of Nevada, a Senate seat is an awful thing to waste. Do not waste it by re-electing [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid. Let's elect Sharron Angle the next senator from this state."
Steele's comments came along his "Fire [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi" bus tour as it rolled into Las Vegas Sunday afternoon.
He continued by referencing the rift among conservatives - one that has pitted certain members of the Republican Party against those in the Tea Party, a political movement many have labeled as too extreme.
"Please. Can we stop this silly noise about the Tea Party and the GOP fighting eachother? We are locked hand in hand to unseat Harry Reid and elect Sharron Angle."
Angle, endorsed by the Tea Party, defeated a field of establishment Republicans in the state's primary, an accomplishment that stirred significant tension among party traditionalists.
Republican activist Victoria Delaguerra-Seaman worked on the primary campaign of the GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian and alluded to the leftover bad blood over the Tea Party's primary "interference."
"We were not happy about it," she said defiantly, while adding that she'll support Angle in the end because "we want to get rid of Harry Reid."
Incidentally, Reid has racked up a small list of fairly prominent Republicans that includes Nevada mayors and a former RNC chairman. Part of the reason could be the Tea Party's infiltration of the GOP primary, according to University of Nevada Las Vegas Political Science Professor David Damore.
"She's been a pain in the butt to the Republicans her whole career," Damore said. "She's made a lot pf primary challenges in the past against some establishment Republicans."
Asked how he takes their move to the left, Steele told CNN he was "very disappointed."
"I think any Republican who is standing there supporting Harry Reid needs to think about whether or not they're actually Republican. Don't use the word…and then go out and support policies and individuals who go counter to the pro growth, pro business, pro free market policies that we've advocated as a party for generations."
Still, he maintains the GOP is a party where people are free to "make their own choices."