RNC Chairman Michael Steele On Defensive During Debate
Michael Steele defended his record as Republican National Committee Chairman on Monday during a debate with four other challengers who are vying to replace him as RNC leader.
The Los Angeles Times reports Steele faced "sometimes withering criticism" about his stormy two-year tenure, which included numerous controversies and gaffes. According to the L.A. Times, "Several of Steele's challengers for the job of chairman used words such as 'crisis' and 'lost credibility' to describe conditions at national party headquarters after two years under Steele."
Steele responded to the criticism, pointing out Republican victories in the 2010 midterm elections. "My record stands for itself. We won," he said.
The RNC Chairman faces an uphill bid to reelection, according to POLITICO, which noted on Monday that a majority of the RNC's 168 members would not support Steele's bid for a second term as GOP leader.
More from POLITICO:
A weeklong canvass of the party’s governing board by POLITICO revealed 88 members who have decided not to vote for Steele, either opting to support one of his opponents or simply ruling out Steele as a choice in the race.Fifty-five members, some of whom have endorsed one of Steele’s challengers, have signaled that they will not support the chairman under any circumstances. An additional 33 pledged their support elsewhere.
Just as telling, not a single member of the committee said that Steele was their second choice in the race — a grave indicator in a contest likely to be decided in multiple ballots.
The candidates running against Steele are RNC Wisconsin chairman Reince Priebus, RNC Michigan committeeman Saul Anuzis and Ann Wagner and Maria Cino, both former RNC officials from the Bush administration.
RNC elections are scheduled for next week.