April 8th, 2010
07:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Gingrich blames 'elite media' for Steele questions

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/09/art.gingrich.srlc2.cnn.jpg caption="Newt Gingrich is emerging as one of Michael Steele's most vocal defenders."]New Orleans (CNN) – As Michael Steele faces continued questions about his leadership of the Republican National Committee, Newt Gingrich is emerging as one of his most vocal defenders.

The former House speaker - who has had a friendly relationship with Steele for years and even penned the introduction to Steele's book - told Republicans to lay off the chairman earlier this week, urging them to focus instead on defeating Democrats in November.

Gingrich continued to stand up for the embattled party chairman on Thursday in New Orleans, where he was set to speak to the opening session of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference.

In an interview with CNN, Gingrich was asked if Republican donors were right to have questioned Steele's financial stewardship.

In nine of the 14 months Steele has led the RNC, the committee has spent more than it has raised. That's on top of the recent scandal involving an expenditure at a sex-themed Hollywood nightclub.

"That's just so factually false. I'm amazed that a serious reporter could ask it," Gingrich responded.

Gingrich said questions about Steele's fiscal record were "false," because the RNC had its best fundraising month in recent memory in March, banking $11.4 million.

"They have raised over $100 million. They have $11 million in the bank with zero debt," he said. "Here's a guy who helped win New Jersey, helped win Massachusetts, helped win Virginia. They have had the biggest fundraising month in their history, and you're raising fundraising questions?"

Pressed again on the committee's spending habits - they kept just $2 million of that March fundraising total - Gingrich blamed the "elite media" for keeping the pressure on Steele.

"Go ask the DNC to release all their records, go ask the DNC to be accountable, go ask the DNC to where they spend their money," he said. (The DNC has released all their records: Both party committees publicly file their financial records every month, as is legally required.)

"I think it's better for Republicans to be unified and to focus on Pelosi, Reid and Obama rather than allow ourselves to be split by what I think are largely fundamentally inaccurate reports," Gingrich said.

Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • Newt Gingrich • RNC
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Pam in Oregon

    OMG! The almighty Newt is now the morality police! Does everybody have amnesia that he left his previous GOP political position as former House Speaker in disgrace? Poor Mr. Steele, and the GOP have to seek out past discredited party relics for support!

    Pam in Oregon

    April 8, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  2. Steve in Sunny Florida

    Yes and I'm sure old Newt was right there at Steele's side at the sex club. Wonder if that sex club owner was the same sex club owner that Newt was going to award last year.

    April 8, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. stephen Pagnozzi

    Did I see right? "Party of Reform"? What Reform? The Republicans have denegrated themselves time and time again. Give it up! Bunch of Bad Losers. I hope the Dems knock the socks off them this November!

    April 8, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. Joe Smith

    Maybe they are the same people that brought down Gingrich back in the bad old days.

    April 8, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. bill

    this conflict could not have happened to a nice political party

    April 8, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. CAW in MD

    Maybe that's why Gingrich is an ex-politician...

    April 8, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. independent

    Elite media. Hmmm.
    I am sure he is trying to use the Right's code word for 'Liberal', but is he really convinced that they are the elite. I take elite to mean, the best of the best.

    Now, this is different from someone believing themselves to be an elite, when they are not. This is better conveyed when you use the team elitist.
    However, Gingrich apparently used the term elite. I take that to mean he really thinks they are the best at what they do.

    That flub aside. Looking at the state of America's media, I don't see or hear much that I would term, 'elite'. I wonder who Gingrich is watching or reading, perhaps he could share that with us. I'd like to know.

    April 8, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  8. Denna

    Thank goodness for the 'elite media'. Politicians would love to be able to control the 'elite media'. Wow, you can't have the media telling the American public the truth. After all, we are pretty stupid, right Newt?

    I love that they Rethugs want to ream out Pelosi, Reid and President Obama, but they can't stop back stabbing each other long enough to turn on the "enemy". Keep up the good work guys. Pretty soon the only supporters you will have will be those ridiculous tea party nuts.

    April 8, 2010 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. ruty

    I can't believe anybody cares what this moron says or does.

    April 8, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  10. Will Work for Health Care

    yet another Repub blaming the media

    April 8, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  11. slip34

    Define "Elite" Media?

    April 8, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. Ramon

    Republicans vision would be to cut social security, Medicare. Health care, increase defense spending and start a new war with maybe with Iran.

    April 8, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  13. ron

    Dude, you're a "has been", an "also ran". Please fade away gracefully?

    April 8, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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