[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/27/surfer.gi.jpg caption="Republicans are holding their winter meeting in Hawaii."]
(CNN) - As the Republican National Committee gets set to kick off its winter meeting in Hawaii, chairman Michael Steele is defending the cushy venue amid criticism from some Republicans that tropical beaches are not the best background for the party as the economy continues to struggle.
"A lot of folks out there relax, we're working hard out here, this is not a vacation this is a working meeting this is our winter meeting, we're here to do the business of the party and we'll get it done," Steele told local television station KHON.
"It's a chance to really kind of expose Hawaii to the rest of America. I mean it's part of the growth and the fabric of this nation, and I think it's important for us as a party to be here," he said.