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. Dixie

    They are both cut from the same cloth – saying one thing, and then doing another. I think they have a name for people like that.

    April 8, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  2. President Obama could walk on water and the Party of NO would still complain that he left footprints!

    Typical con response, the problem is ALWAYS the messenger, never the message.

    April 8, 2010 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. Lynne CA

    More blame and shame games from the rethugs. Hats off to the spin meisters, only a rethug would attempt to deflect blame for being caught at a strip club onto the media that reported the action. Said action being a media lie, of course.

    April 8, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. EBC

    Wow.....blaming the MEDIA, who's next Newt? Are you GOP going to blame President Obama too for your incompetency?

    April 8, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    In nine of the 14 months Steele has led the RNC, the committee has spent more than it has raised".

    And still the Reds cannot understand why they were booted in 2006 and 2008 and going for a 3 peat in 2010!

    April 8, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Chris Henshaw

    Newt your a has been no one cares what you have to say anymore.
    Your also dead wrong.
    There is nothing more un appealing then a whiny Republican who blames EVERYTHING on the media. Its pathetic get a new talking point repubs!

    April 8, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. Bill

    I agree with the Newt! Rush and Glenn Beck should leave Steele alone!!!!!

    April 8, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    If Obama had not been elected president, Steele NEVER would have been selected for this position. The republicans, in their submissiveness and spinelessness, were trying to impress the media and all the idiots who voted for Obama with their willingness to PANDER for votes like the democrats. In a way, Steele is the personification of what is wrong with the republican party.


    April 8, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  9. Hawkeye

    So, is the "elite media" – all the other media that are not Fox News and the myriad talk show entertainers? Other than reporting on this story NOBODY in the so-called mainstream press or their audiences really cares about this story because it obviously is an internal meltdown.

    But it's so easy to ALWAYS point to the "elite media" as being the culprit in the RNC's own mess-ups and obvious contradictions...which is a silly, cowardly tactic. These folks OWN the airwaves with gleefully self-proclaimed millions of viewers/listeners and I don't think I've ever seen a bigger bunch of screaming fools. I've heard the talk show folks call the President a "boob," a "threat to the country," and Democratic legislators people who should be "taken out."

    Either conduct your affairs (and spending) in private or deal with the fact that just a few people might want to know whether your talk equals your walk. You CANNOT have it both ways...

    April 8, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. jms58

    One looser defending another. Birds of a feather. Blind leading the blind. If you repeat it often enough someone is likely to believe it even if it is obviously a lie. Fox proves this daily.

    April 8, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  11. A disgusted former Republican

    Gingrich has always blamed the press his misfortunes rather than taking responsibility for his own mistakes and inadequacies. If one wants to judge the Newt's integrity, just ask one of his many exwives.

    April 8, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. Subhash Durlabhji

    YES YES YES. Keep Steele. Continue to idolize Palin and give her even bigger role. Put all your money with the likes of Michelle Bachman or whatever her name is. Link the Republicans firmly to the Tea Party. Use FOX and GlennBeck and Rush to fan the flames further. It is the fire that will consume the GOP, for good. Permanent Republican majority?? Just wait till November, you dodos....

    April 8, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. Bynum

    The "elite media" in this description is any media that questions or disagrees with Republicans. That also defines left-wing media, biased media and unfair media.

    April 8, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    yea, the media is responsible for his mismanagement. bullcrap

    April 8, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. Sgt. Flagg T. McLiberty, Superpatriot

    Pathetic. The GOP has become equal parts disgrace and laughingstock. Newt doesn't like the facts so he just makes up his own version of reality. And this goes on in the ENTIRE GOP.

    These people must not be allowed anywhere near power.

    April 8, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  16. Minnesotan

    I love watching the 'thugs turn on each other and start backstabbing. Bring on the popcorn; this is gonna be good!

    April 8, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. shamgar50

    The "Elite Media". The Republican BoogieMan.

    April 8, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. John

    Newt, you republicans own almost all of the media, your pointing the finger at yourself boy!

    There isn't any independent media in America except, MSNBC and they love Michael Steele. Michael is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Call it like it is Newt, your having problems with your confederate friends.

    April 8, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. Drew

    Newt's a criminal in case we've forgotten.
    What possible difference can his opinion make?
    These people have no shame and deserve no press.

    April 8, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Carmelle

    Don't look at me! Don't look at me!!!

    The ends justify the means!!!!

    Are they snorkeling buddies?

    April 8, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  21. Marge

    The media with it's head up republican butt, who scream and spew republican crap 24/7 according to newt the toot are in other words liberal. Darn....guess that's the idea that if you tell a big enough lie people will believe it, because the lie is too big to fail.

    April 8, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. J.T

    RNC, please grow up and take responsibility for your action. The media didn't make you guys throw a fundraiser at a sex club. The media is not responsible for you irresponsible fund raising spending. The media is not even responsible for other Republican politicians telling the American people not to give any more money to the RNC.

    April 8, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. Jens Pulver, IA

    Newt is playing an angle, that's all. Everyone can plainly see that Steele is a complete clown of a leader. None of my money goes to the RNC while this gasbag is still there.

    April 8, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  24. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Only in Newt Gingrich's mind could calls for Steele's resignation from his fellow GOPers be blamed on the media elites. And he's considered one of the smart Republicans.

    April 8, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. Brian L

    Yup its always someone elses fault..... its never the republican faults.... never..... it cant be..... nope must be the media lying again because we all know the republicans can do no wrong....

    April 8, 2010 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
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