End infighting and finger-pointing, Steele demands
by Gadi Dechter -- The Baltimore Sun
Embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele lashed out at GOP infighting Tuesday and urged the party faithful – some of whom have expressed discomfort with his erratic statements – to be more like him: “unconventional, unpredictable … to do from time to time the unexpected.”
At a fundraiser for the Anne Arundel County Republican Party at the Annapolis Sheraton, the former Maryland lieutenant governor returned to a hero’s welcome and jokingly acknowledged the rough road he’s traveled since taking over the national party earlier this year.
“Someone told me this whole chairmanship think would be a cakewalk,” he told the more than 400 Republicans who ponied up at least $75 a place to hear him speak. “I’ve learned you can’t please everybody. However you can certainly tick them all off at the same time.”
“That’s part of my strategy,” he said, to laughter, echoing a recent claim that his public tiff with talk show host Rush Limbaugh had been planned.
But Steele also expressed frustration with the public airing of party doubts about his leadership that have dogged his first months as chairman.
“I’m a little sick and tired of the finger-pointing and blaming and complaining,” he said. “Yeah, we have our disagreements. But you don’t play it out there for the press. You’ve got to keep it in the family.”
Del. Warren Miller, a Howard County Republican, noted that the famously off-the-cuff Steele appeared a bit more practiced on Tuesday. "That was one of the first times in my life I've seen him use notes," Miller said.
Del. Anthony O'Donnell, the House minority leader from Southern Maryland said: "I think he was probably saying we have enough detractors from without, we don't have to have detractors from within."
Steele’s appearance at the Republican State Central Committee of Anne Arundel County’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner boosted attendance by at least 100, said Louis M. Pope, an RNC’s committeeman for Maryland, who estimated the county party raised more than $36,000.
-- Gadi Dechter