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

Gingrich blames 'elite media' for Steele questions

Newt Gingrich is emerging as one of Michael Steele's most vocal defenders.

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. Eliki

    elite media?

    Can someone please translate? Did he mean to say Media-elite?

    HAhaha, sounds like someone got their talking points all wrong...

    April 8, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. jon

    Newt–let's get back to why you opted out of running for higher offices...why was that Mr. G? Skeletons? Typical of you-attack, attack and say nothing worthwhile or constructive. On what is your credibility to be based–your extramarital prowess?

    April 8, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. GaryB

    It's the old Gingrich tactic... if the facts aren't on your side, blame the media. I guess that's the modern, whiney version of shoot the messenger, but it plays well to a certain segment of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, and it seems to work for Palin.

    April 8, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  4. ThinkAgain

    "Elite media"? What, reporters aren't supposed to ask questions when a supposed "family-values" person takes money from hard-working people then goes out and spends it on partying at a sex club?

    Give me a break!

    April 8, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  5. Rita from Chicago

    Another whiny baby republican. Newt you are so go 1990s- go back there no one needs your idiotic whining again.

    April 8, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  6. Mark

    Since Fox News is the big ratings winner does that make them the "Elite Media"?

    April 8, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Once again, a prominent Republican is trying to shift blame onto the "media".

    Here's the solution, Newt, to getting the "media" off your backs:

    Quit being so hypocritical
    Quit lying
    Quit fear-mongering
    Quit trying to harm our country
    Quit playing the "Christian" card
    Quit trying to re-write history

    You know, quit being a Republican!

    April 8, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |

    So the media invented the strip club? Please.

    Guess what...we don't CARE who the head of the GOP is...if not Steel, then some other lying conservative wingnut.

    April 8, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  9. Marcia Kirk

    Difference in 94 Newt didnt have to lie.. Now that's all that comes out of his fat pork pie hole

    April 8, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. m smith

    Probably went to the porn club in LA we all know how he rolls. Of course he likes Steel!

    April 8, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. Mikey from Utah

    Good old Newt Gangrene. Now there's a fella who knows class.

    April 8, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. HypocriCNN

    Aw! Newt The Brute Gingrich (Mr. Grinch) Can't Stand The Heat?

    April 8, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  13. Hello

    No "elite media" (whatever that is) is responsible for Steele's problems. He seems to have foot in mouth disease. He makes his own troubles without any help. It also seems his own party gives him more trouble than the Dems. Odd situation.

    April 8, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  14. Jim

    Elite media? Whatever! Some day the Republicans are going to have to actually take responsibility for the way they run their party and the mess they caused when they ran our government. They are always attacking their own weaknesses. In case no one noticed, the Republicans represent the financial elite in this country.

    April 8, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. ConstitutionalistPatriot

    The elitists continue to hammer Steele because unlike Obama this black man will not be subservient to their wishes. Just goes to show you racism is pervasive and has very little to do with political view as the delusional left would try to make it seem.

    April 8, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  16. cspurgeon

    Keep him..you rate him

    April 8, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. Terry - Indiana

    It appears, on the surface, that those in charge of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference want the RNC Chairman to be white, and of course he or she must support the Sons of the Confederacy and the justification of slavery when America needed inexpensive labor in the Colonies.

    April 8, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  18. Preston

    Ah, yes, the old "elite media" ploy. Don't these people ever get tired of inane name-calling. By "elite", does Mr. Gingrich mean a group or class of persons enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status. Let's see. Mr. Gingrich received a B.A. degree from Emory University, and an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in Modern European History from Tulane, and was a professor of history for 8 years. Mr. Gingrich was Speaker of the House of Representatives. Mr. Gingrich is a multi-millionaire. His hypocrisy is unfailingly interesting, but not in the least bit surprising. One wonders, when he throws around catchy phrases such as "elite media", how much this represents nothing so much as self-loathing.

    April 8, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I've have finally come to the conclusion that Republican leadership must be only averagely- educated and economically middle class and having nothing of any importance to offer.
    That is the only conclusion I have for them referring the the media at "elite" of the President as a " Harvard Elitist".
    "Elite" by definition means in a class by itself distinctive, or exceptional..
    These are terms used to describe Regan, Lincoln, Washington, Ben Franklin, FDR, JFK and a handful of generals and Supreme Court justices. So to say that todays media is "elite" must mean that it is doing an exceptional job of pointing out the short-comings of our politicains. It must also mean that President Obama is distinctive.
    Of course many people think George W. was in a class by himself as well as one of the worst Presidents we've had, so i guess that makes him "elite" as well.

    April 8, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  20. She turned me into a newt!

    Man they are desperate, desperate, desperate...

    April 8, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. T'SAH from Virginia

    GinGRINCH, don't you know that your party is SPLITTING and half of them may agree with what you are saying and the other half are not??? Did you get the email???? I don’t’ think you got clearance from your party leaders – Palin/Bachmann/Beck/Limbaugh/insanity to make this statement? Now, you will be reprimanded and told that you need to STICK with the AGENDA or GET OUT!!! LOL

    This is getting too good!

    April 8, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  22. alan

    Oh, my goodness! Gingrich is so completely transparent it isn't funny. Defend the waste. Defend the appearance of impropriety and ... well ... just plain stupid moves. It just shows the world what we could expect from someone like you as president.

    April 8, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. Larry

    Give it up Gingrich.

    Neither you nor any other member of the Republican party has any credibility.

    You got yourselves through your stupidity.

    April 8, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  24. jonny

    Oh, yes, when the truth about these corrupt GOP scumbags is revealed, it's all because the media are elite. Please, we aren't ALL blind morons, Newt. Get over yourself.
    GOP = Corruption. Period.

    April 8, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. bruce b

    newt vouching for micheal steele is about the same as mark sanford vouching for john ensign.

    April 8, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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