July 23rd, 2010
06:24 PM ET
12 years ago

Coleman criticizes Steele, leaves door open to RNC challenge

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/23/art.coleman.file.gi.jpg caption ="'The reality is that there have been concerns about the RNC,' Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Friday in the Situation Room."]

Washington (CNN) - Former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman said Friday that his focus is on the November elections and not next year's race for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, despite reports that he is eyeing the job.

But his non-denial denial aside, Coleman couldn't resist a pointed swipe at Michael Steele's handling of the RNC post.

"Between now and November I am going to work with Chairman Steele to make sure that we move this country forward to the path of fiscal responsibility," Coleman told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

"Listen, the reality is that there have been concerns about the RNC, that's a reality," he continued. "Fundraising hasn't been what a lot of folks would like, et cetera. But that's not the focus right now."

Though several leading Republicans have criticized Steele's management of the committee in private, few of the party's leading lights have taken to national television to directly question his leadership.

Doing so with just over three months until the Election Day signals that Coleman is serious about challenging Steele, but his efforts could turn off RNC members who are focused on the elections at hand.

"Sounds like we got a candidate in December," quipped Democratic strategist James Carville, who was appearing alongside Coleman.

"I'm working with chairman Steele," a grinning Coleman stressed, before signing off.

Coleman is currently running the American Action Network, an independent group raising money and crafting strategy for Republican candidates.

Filed under: Michael Steele • Norm Coleman • RNC
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. GonzoinHouston

    Amazing, they actually found a worse alternative to Steele.

    July 23, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. Proud American

    Well he couldn't win a set in congress, I guess he needs a job and any job will do at this point.

    July 23, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  3. Donnatella

    Anybody that sends money to the RNC is out of their mind, so much for fiscal responsibility. Coleman has not got over the fact the he got his but kicked by Al Franken.

    July 23, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  4. Gil

    Coleman is also out of touch with the mainstream moderate republicans. it seems that the only leaders the republicans can draw from are the extremist right and nut case variety. Moderates and liberals in the party are always welcome in the democratic party that is tolerant and senseible!

    July 23, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |

    Guess he doesn't want a real job, needs to stay on the public payroll. Hypocrite.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    July 23, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. they call me "tater salad"

    The party of the Giant Orifice Pimples is always about "fiscal responsibility" unless we're talking about funding 2 bulls**t wars with a Chinese credit card, stealing money from the middle class to bailout wealthy Wall Street fat cats and corporate welfare to corrupt corporate elites, and lets not forget the good ol' Military Industrial Complex and all of their rich private Defense Contractor buddies (Lockheed, Boeing, Haliburton, Xe, Blackwater, ect.) when it comes to that stuff, the sky's the limit as far as spending goes! Smoke and mirrors nothing more nothing less!

    July 23, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |