August 6th, 2010
02:01 PM ET
12 years ago

Steele touts record of success at RNC

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="RNC chairman Michael Steele told party activists Friday that he has re-shaped the committee into a successful grassroots organization."]Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) - Facing questions about whether he can win a second term as chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele boasted Friday that he has re-shaped the committee from an unwieldy top-down behemoth into an agile grassroots organization with a record of success.

Appearing before committee members at the RNC summer meeting while donning a bright red cap emblazoned with the slogan "Fire Pelosi!," Steele painted a rosy picture of GOP unity ahead of the midterm elections.

"Thank goodness we have Republican 527s that are ready to go out and fight with us," Steele said, a reference to a several independent groups formed partly in response to concerns over RNC's dwindling financial muscle.

The RNC had $10.9 million in the bank at the end of June but pledged this week to raise $60 million more before the year is out. It's an ambitious goal considering that some top GOP donors have fretted over Steele's stewardship of committee resources.

But Steele said the 2008 election had left the RNC in a ruinous state and forced him to reconsider how the party does business.

"Where we had been a big old elephant plodding the states, demanding and dictating to the states, requiring the states to do the most unthinkable things in politics that really had nothing to do with winning and electing Republicans," Steele claimed, an apparent criticism of past chairmen.

"We had to change all of that, we had to move away from a top down approach," he added. "And we had to focus on becoming more nimble."

Steele said his efforts have been validated by GOP wins in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races and the Massachusetts Senate special election.

He also drew a standing ovation from the committee – many of whom also donned the red baseball caps - when he announced a 117-city "Fire Pelosi!" bus tour for this fall.

"Get on the bus! Get on the bus!" Steele implored, promising to take the party's message "to the streets" ahead of the midterm elections.

In response, the Democratic National Committee, which has seized on Steele's numerous gaffes over the last year and a half, jokingly announced a bus tour of their own.

"We also are doing a bus tour this fall - it's called the Don't Fire Michael Steele Bus Tour," quipped DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

Filed under: 2010 • 2012 • Michael Steele • Nancy Pelosi • RNC
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. stacy

    he also passed out kool-aid to everyone and sent them home with jugs to pass out to their friends....... whatever works I guess!

    August 6, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Fire Pelosi! Why stop there? Fire All incumbents!
    This nation is on the edge of collapse and these two political parties are still fighting each other for power before representing the Constitution, the people or god.

    I do not care about what party you belong to! "We the Peopleā€ got screwed again this time we need to make all of them pay with their jobs.
    Guess what Congress "You Are Fired!"
    This fall vote "No to incumbents"
    Fire All incumbents!
    Congress allowed the American people to lose their jobs, their life's savings and their retirement. And then made the American people pay to bailout the ones who were responsible for the crime.
    All while supporting the special interests, lobbyists, Big business and the wealthy.
    You know what Congress, welcome to the ranks of the unemployed.

    August 6, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. PaDoc

    A record of success? How about a record of gaffs and etapes de fausses?

    August 6, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. kh

    I'm not even Republican and I approve of that statement. Pelosi is a blemish on the Democratic party.

    August 6, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Mike

    What a bizarre world Republicans live in.

    August 6, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Bill744

    While I don't care for Pelosi or Reed at all, even before their ascendancy to power,... I don't care for the direction the Republican leadership is taking their party. The denial of science, the undue influence of the oil & related industries and more inexplicable positions make them just as unpalatable. Don't know how I'll vote, but I'm sure it will be with one hand holding my nose.

    August 6, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. oklahoma

    The days of the good ole boys are gone all the gop can count on is silly sara and limp rush.

    August 6, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Vince

    The GOP witchdoctors have done a good job of turning Nancy Pelosi into a political voodoo doll but they still can't seem to explain why.

    August 6, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Shari from Madison WI

    Childish, Childish Childish. Both parties need to work together, but the Repugnant Republicans and the 'Darling' democrats (ha ha) are not able to get past their HATRED of each other. Both parties are trying to destroy each other and they don't care about actually finding new answers to the problems this country has.

    No wonder President Obama can't accomplish anything. People hate him so much and whether they admit it or not, it's probably because of the color of his skin.or the fact that he's trying to help the middle class and poor class instead of pandering to the corporate giants and millionaires that the Republicans support and pander to at the expense of the rest of us.

    August 6, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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