April 7th, 2010
12:32 PM ET
13 years ago

Steele speaks with RNC committee members

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/13/art.getty.rnc.steele.jpg caption ="RNC Chairman Michael Steele is speaking to committee members on a conference call Wednesday."]Washington (CNN) - Michael Steele is connecting today with the only people who have the power to oust him as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Those people are the 168 members of the RNC, who are expected to join a conference call Wednesday with Steele. An RNC official downplayed the timing of it saying that it was a "routine" call.

But it comes as Steele is under fire for his leadership of the organization. Steele, Maryland's former lieutenant governor who made a bid for the Senate in 2006, is accused by critics of misusing donor funds as Republicans head into the midterm elections with less money than Democrats. The party's House and Senate campaign committees rely on the national parties to help fund efforts in the midterm election years.

Steele also came under fire from social conservatives after reports surfaced that the RNC had picked up a nearly $2,000 tab at a bondage-themed West Hollywood nightclub for a group of young donors. A few days later, Democrats distributed an RNC fundraising solicitation that had a misprinted number sending callers to a phone sex line.

To fire Steele, two-thirds of the 168 RNC members would have to support a resolution calling for the ouster of the chairman. The members are state party chairs and top committee officials from the states. Tuesday, New Hampshire RNC member Sean Mahoney accused Steele of spending donor's money with "reckless disregard" and resigned his position on the committee.

–CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Mark Preston contributed to this story


Filed under: Michael Steele • RNC
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Tori in Texas

    I wonder if there will be entertainment at this meeting. Whips and chains, Mike? Some simulated lesbian sex during the break? Or maybe you'll just hand out some free passes to Voyeur. I just hope my friend Mike keeps his position. As far as I'm concerned, he's doing a bang up job! Hang in there Mikey – we love you!! kiss, kiss, wink, wink!

    April 7, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Ken in NC

    Not to worry Steel. You do have a lot of supporters that that think you are spot on. All Democrats are behind you. You are a good undercover plant. We support the job you are doing to the Republican Party. Kepp it up and in November of 2012 you can come out as a Democratic plant LOL.

    April 7, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Dutch

    You've got some explaining to do Mikey. Why is all of your staff resigning? Forget the strip club. The guy who resigned yesterday said he's leaving because of YOUR wreckless spending.

    April 7, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Dutch

    I don't think Michael Steele ever heard the expression "Lead By Example." If he's out spending DONOR money on lavish expenditures, what the hell does he think his staffers are going to do.

    April 7, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The question of how long he will stay where he is now more in doubt. I wonder if he will stay if the real people in charge of the Republican Party (Limbaugh and Coulter) don't want him.

    April 7, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. LacrosseMom

    Its sad to see Mr. Steele being thrown under-the-bus. The only reason they chose you, Mr. Steele, was politics! America had elected an African-American president and so the GOP's reaction was.......... geez..... we better put a Black man up as the leader of the RNC!

    Maybe when they toss you out, you will see whom the GOP really is!

    April 7, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    I feel bad for Michael Steele. Sure, he's been a major source of comic relief, but he's been used as a "token," and will be discarded, by the Republican Party. Hopefully he can find a good job in the private sector and not be scarred by the experience.

    April 7, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Oski

    Aw, so conflicted. I can't stand Steele. But I can't stand the Republican Party. Do I want the political party I oppose to have intelligent, principled leadership that would bode better for their effectiveness in potentially helping America? Or do I want that party to wallow in comic-level incompetence?

    April 7, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. George

    Michael Steele is obviously the wrong man for the job. The RNC needs to get him out as quickly as possible and focus on the winning strategies and solutions for the future. At this point he is a dangerous distraction who squandered a great deal of opportunity. Sad.

    April 7, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  10. Wisconsonite - Repeal & Replace the Republican Party!

    I would be willing to bet my entire 401K, (which has come back quite nicely since Bush tried to bankrupt the country, thank you President Obama!), that Michael Steele's 15 minutes of fame are winding down. They MAY let him continue until the mid-terms are over, but once the Republicans see that they are NOT going to get control of either the House OR the Senate back . . . . buh-bye, Mikey.

    April 7, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  11. Victim of GOP Taliban

    wow will the drama ever end? the Republicans planted an african-american to give the illusion of being diverse, yet stab this man in the back at every opportunity

    April 7, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  12. JA/TN

    the chickens are home to roost

    April 7, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    So, as Steele would say, I'm head of the RNC but it looks more like they're getting ready to hand him his head.

    April 7, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  14. Doc SteveO

    What kind of tickles me most about this whole debacle, is the notion that the "Young Eagles" I think it was – the "young" donors who expected the RNC to spring for the tab at the Strip joint – are up to 45 years old! I guess for the GOP, 45 is still just a pup!

    April 7, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. T'SAH from Virginia

    You cannot blame Steele because "...Republicans head into the midterm elections with less money than Democrats...", you need to BLAME the RepubliCAN'Ts for all of the FAKE, PHONY and LYING ads they are putting on TV and the only ones that are paying attention are the ones they are FRIGHTENING.

    People who READ more than one newspaper and WATCH more than one channel for news – are NOT frighten by the RepubliCAN'T's fear-mongering tactics and lying (COBURN also agreed...LOL).

    April 7, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. Rob Johnson

    It's amazing how cocky some Republicans are about their chances in November, considering the ugly intra-party infighting going on lately.

    Whatever you think of the health care bill, by passing it Obama and the Democrats united their party. This is borne out by their high fundraising totals for March, the first time in a while they raised more money than the GOP.

    Contrast this with many incumbent Republicans facing primary challenges from unelectable Tea Party types, and an open civil war amongst the Republican leadership, and November is looking better for the Democratic Party every day.

    April 7, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. Terry From West Texas

    This Republican vendetta against Steele is blatant racism. McConnell, Gingrich, Palin, Boehner, Vitter, Ensign, and most other Conservative leaders are irresponsible, unintelligent, poorly educated, selfish, vain, lacking in judgment, contemptible, and white. Steele is irresponsible, unintelligent, poorly educated, selfish, vain, lacking in judgment, contemptible, and black.

    The discrimination is blatant and obvious.

    April 7, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. BillE

    He's already playing the race card. But should we expect anything less from the GOP.

    April 7, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. hongli

    Bye,Bye Mr.Steele . You should have known that oil and water cannot mix . Let me be clear as I can, America is still endulging in RACIAL PROBLEMS. RNC- Racial National Congress.

    April 7, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Abe

    Some one please tell Mr. Steele to address our president in his messages or criticisms not as Obama but as president Obama. The man you can see has no respect for the presidency or president Obama. No matter how much you disagree the way the administration is functioning he is still the president of our great country.

    God Bless

    April 7, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Average American

    Na, na, na, na, hey, hey, good bye. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out....

    April 7, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. RCasson

    Be a man, admit you are wrong for the job and resign. You are a complete embarrasement. I'm a black woman who is disgusted by people like you who use their color as an excuse for failure. How dare you compare yourself to Obama...you are not even fit to tie that man's shoes!

    April 7, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. The Other Michael in Houston

    No way! Never would have saw this coming. Of course they are ready to get rid of Steele, he didn't do what they wanted him to do. It was not about raising money, moving the party in a new direction etc, Steele could not balance the Presidents WOW factor. The only reason why the RNC allowed an African American to lead their party was to tap into that 25 million plus African American vote, who showed up in November 2008, that gave President Obama his victory. And when the RNC learned that most of the African American community did not race vote, and that this is the end of Republican Jihadist Establishment, they now want to remove him. That's why Michael Steele was making idiot statements i.e. bring hip hop into the Republican party. Furthermore, Mr. Steele, you had to know you were being used. Mr. Steele if you ever spent one day in the African American community, you should have known that the likely hood of most African Americans changing over to the Republican party was slim to none after years of being looked at as second class citizens, disenfranchised, discriminated against and for some, killed because of their skin pigmentation, amongst some of the reasons. So now the Republican Jihadist are reminding you that you are not one of them, and everyone seems so surprised. And you do know Mr. Steele that we as a community will tolerate many things, but we cannot accept a Tom so nothing you can or will say or do will ever put you in good standings with the African American community. So I hope for your sake that the Republican Facist Commitee decided to find some other use for you. As for the rest of you Republican Taliban, as we continue to rid your brothers overseas, we will continue you to rid America of your hate filled ideology domestically and frankly speaking, there is nothing you can do about it. So let us all send a good riddens to the Republican Jihadist Establishment. President Lincoln would be so very disturbed to see how his great vision has been destroyed by the very people who claim to be Americans.

    April 7, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. BillE

    He's just like the rest of the GOP, arrogant and has trouble with the truth.

    April 7, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Donatella

    All they want to hear from you is, I QUIT!!!, For some reason you just don't get it, you have been used you stupid token!!!!

    April 7, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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