NRCC Takes Aim at RNC Chairman

Posted January 5, 2010 at 11:54am

The National Republican Congressional Committee on Tuesday pushed back against Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele for expressing doubt that the House GOP can retake the majority in 2010.

Steele, the controversial head of the RNC, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity during a Monday interview that House Republicans are likely to make “nice pickups— this November but said he was doubtful they would regain control. Democrats won the House majority in 2006 and grew their margins in 2008.

“Not this year,— Steele said of a GOP takeover.

But Ken Spain, communications director for the NRCC, said the campaign committee is “playing to win.—

“The NRCC’s goal — as the campaign arm of the House Republican Conference — has always been to recapture the majority in 2010,— Spain said in an e-mail. “Independent political analysts and even liberal columnists have stated that Republicans have a very real shot at taking back the majority in 2010.—

Steele, who appeared on Fox News to discuss his new book titled “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda,— said he was worried that House Republicans weren’t “ready— to take back the chamber. He said that unless Republicans are able to recruit candidates who adhere to the principles outlined in his book — such as a commitment to fiscal responsibility and lower government spending — they may end up repeating past mistakes.

“Those candidates that are looking to run have to be, have to be anchored in these principles,— he said. “They have to understand these steps, because if they don’t, then they’ll get to Washington, and they’ll start drinking that Potomac River water … and they’ll get drunk with power.—

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was quick to comment on Steele’s predictions.

“If the NRCC hasn’t convinced the Republican National Committee chairman they can win, it’s no wonder that ‘tea party’ activists, Republican small donors, and Republican House Members are not confident and have failed to invest in the NRCC,— DCCC spokeswoman Jennifer Crider said.