Gingrich calls for shake-up at the RNC
December 2nd, 2010
12:23 PM ET
12 years ago

Gingrich calls for shake-up at the RNC

Washington (CNN) – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling for a shake-up at the Republican National Committee, another setback for Chairman Michael Steele as he decides whether to seek a second term atop the party organization.

Gingrich has a friendly relationship with Steele and has come to his defense repeatedly during Steele's rocky tenure, but that appeared to change Thursday when he said the status quo at the RNC is unworkable as the party moves into the presidential election cycle.

Asked if a change needs to be made at the committee ahead of 2012, Gingrich said Steele should either tap a "very strong" deputy to "convince people that the internal parts of the committee will be run by somebody," or else the RNC will have to find a new chairman.

Any other scenario could put Republican hopes of capturing the White House at risk, he suggested.

"Chairman Steele has to convince people that he will have dramatically stronger executive director and internal leader, or I think there will be a new leader," Gingrich said.

Steele has been unusually quiet in recent weeks as he decides his political future. Meanwhile, at least eight Republicans are mulling bids for the chairmanship in the meantime.

"It's clear that the committee has to pay off a very large debt and the committee has to focus on being dramatically more effective for 2012, and I think that members of the RNC got to make a decision about what the right way is to get to that," he added.

RNC insiders expect the committee to reveal debts of $15 million or higher in their next financial reports.

Gingrich, himself a possible presidential contender, was taking questions from reporters after an appearance at a conference put on by Americano, a bilingual website founded by the former Georgia congressman to reach out to the Hispanic community.

It happened that conservative RNC members were having a confab of their own across the hall at the same hotel to interview potential replacements for Steele.

Noting that he recently completed "The Audacity to Win," David Plouffe's memoir of managing Barack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008, Gingrich said the RNC needs to be in top form if any Republican is to have a shot at winning the presidency.

"If you are contemplating what the 2012 campaign is going to be like, it's not going to be like 2010," he said. "It's going to be much harder to campaign, it's going to be a much bigger universe, against a very formidable machine."

He added, "The committee members have to be convinced that whatever team they put in charge there is capable of running a system that's big enough to compete head-to-head with the president and with the Democratic National Committee."

Gingrich predicted that Democrats will raise roughly a billion dollars for Obama's re-election campaign, along with having the power of the presidency. Republicans will not have to match that amount, he said, "but you have to be in the same playing field."

Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Nancy Pelosi, the wicked witch of the west, the DemocRAT gift that just keeps on giving

    They need to move on with electing whoever they are going to elect. Since support for Steele is fading he should make it clear he is not seeking the post again. Let's get the team put together ASAP and start the ball rolling on taking back America from the leftists in 2012!

    December 2, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. Dave

    $15 million in debt? This is the party that America put into the positions of power? This is the party of financial conservatism? We reall are in trouble

    December 2, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. concerned liberal

    Leave the RNC and DNC to rot in place. Start supporting your favorite independents and 3rd parties!
    Time for a Change in this country – no, really this time.

    December 2, 2010 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. Jeremy

    The RNC in debt. The US in debt. Birds of a feather flock together. Throw the bums out!

    December 2, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Second, thousands...and I mean hundreds of thousands...of federal employees losing their jobs with no pay (that's what furlough means) would put a BIG dent in demand and consumer spending, add to the foreclosure problem, kill their retirement savings and cause a whole bunch of other problems for the economy. Whoever told you it wouldn't was blowing smoke up your...
    Not if they are capable enough to find jobs in the private sector. Their government jobs are OVERHEAD on all private job holders. The overhead costs of the federal government and its millions of workers is crushing those that pay ever increasing taxes."

    More cognitive dissonance from a conservative...big suprise there. Please explain to the community where furloughed federal employees are to find jobs when we have just experience loss of approximately 8-10 million jobs and, as a result, the unemployment rate has risen to 9.6% and is staying there BECAUSE THERE ARE NO JOBS. Reality check: if hundreds of thousands of federal employees are furloughed (again, that means without any pay) the unemployment rate will go up, demand will go down, necessary services will stop, IMPORTANT REGULATORY OVERSIGHT will stop (starting to understand what gives the GOP a "boehner" over the idea?), and THE ECONOMY WILL WORSEN. It's not rocket science. All you have to do is look at the entire picture AND ACCEPT EVEN THOSE FACTS THAT AREN'T CONVENIENT...instead of cherry-picking the portions you think support your predetermined ideological answer.

    December 2, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  6. ART

    A black president and Democrats are leftist I seem to remember people with signs during desegregation saying desegregation was communism, nothing I haven't heard before.Where exactly would we be taking America back to you idiot.

    December 2, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Ann

    Serves Michael Steele right for allowing himself to be used by the RNC. After the "shellacking" that the Republicans got in 2008 Presidential election they looked at the "rainbow" of people who were represented under the "big tent" of the Democratic party and panicked. They thought that they needed a Black man to run the RNC and hopefully attract some colour within the Republican electorate. Now that they have found other methods that have been shown to work in 2010 mid terms via FOX propaganda, the spread of lies, hate mongering, devisiveness and the promotion of intolerance they are sure that they do not need the Black fool Michael Steels. I hope that they continue to dog him and throw him to the curb like yesterday's garbage and then he will learn to display more dignity and self respect then he has so far. Oh, and by the way Mr. Steels you are no Barack Obama.

    December 2, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "ever increasing taxes."

    BTW, that's 100% incorrect too. Taxes are the lowest they've been in over half a century and, if you look at a trending line starting in the 40's or so, you'll see that the REALITY is that we've been paying "ever decreasing" taxes. To be fair, Reagan caused a bump with his tax increases, but when you start from the highest bracket paying over 90% in the 50's, it's a proportionately small bump.

    The REAL reason taxes feel opressive to the middle-class right now is because their average salaries have remained stagnant for over 3 decades and failed to even compete with inflation...all while the already wealthy increased their share of the total national income from approximately 10% to 25%, their ownership over the wealth fo this nation to approximately 5% owning 90%, and because of trickle-down deregulatory economic policies that help create bubbles in places like the housing market, greatly inflating the cost of buying a home, and allowing unfettered inflation of health care costs. That's right. It's not the gubmint or taxes that are primarily at fault for your feelings of being strapped: at core, it's because that jackhole in the penthouse suite wanted a golden bidet to go with his golden toilet and he doesn't give a flying rat's pink patoot that you're having trouble paying your bills or juggling a couple of credit cards to make ends meet because you've been denied a reasonable raise for 10 years. After all, he's got investments that make him even richer off the interest you pay for those consumer debt products anyway.

    December 2, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    [Gingrich predicted that Democrats will raise roughly a billion dollars for Obama's re-election campaign... "Republicans will not have to match that amount but you have to be in the same playing field."]

    Why would the GOP worry about $$$$$$$$$. Don't they have BIG CORPs behind them and 527 groups and the Tea Party and other mean-spirited far-right people?? What about FOX?

    December 2, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Joseph-Ohio

    Who cares who is leading the left!
    I find it odd that nobody is talking about what trully happen on Nov 2nd. The change was not due to a revolt against the Dems and Obama, Republicans only won races by in large by less than 1-3 percentage point overall nation wide. That is not due to discontent! That is due to Dems not getting out an voting
    DEMS!............for once in your life would you please vote and keep voting
    Voting does not stop with the election of a President.....

    December 2, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Who cares what a disgraced political has-been has to say! The 90s are over Newt! You already disgraced yourself back then! Your own party pushed you away! Nobody cares about your opinions!

    December 2, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Son of CSM.Wiggins

    Steele your not wanted anywhere whites no longer have use for you, you nuked your status as a black man lol you are all alone token boy maybe you should jump off a bridge head first. As for the fool above the republicans won't win the wh back . Wanna know why most of the old fools who put you tea fools in power will be dead and the youth and blacks will vote in the 2012 election. You will have to kill 98% of blacks to get back in power sorry but its true. You don't want a civil war buddy.

    December 2, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. sara

    Yep taking AMERICA backwards! But anyway, haha Steele. You forgot one thingy....this is a White Boy Club. Hehe

    December 2, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    That ought to put enough "fear" in Republicans to get rid of Steele because each day they continue to use different excuses to get rid of him, but he was qualified to do the job for 2 years with no complaints from Repugs. They never complained when he did what they hired him to do, bash President Obama and never complained about his fund raising. So come Newt and Repugs, why don't you just be totally honest, you got your quota of 2 more black representatives and you don't need 1 to head the RNC.

    December 2, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |