The chairman of the Republican National Committee is due in Omaha this morning to rally with Nebraska Republicans. Michael Steele has come under fire for taking a bus tour of the 48 contiguous states rather than focusing the national party’s resources on key races, but Steele is shooting back at his critics.
“Those are people who generally aren’t involved in the business of going out and getting people to engage in the party. It’s not a waste of time, I think, to come out and rally the base and to get them involved in the everyday business of winning elections,” Steele says.
“I would submit they’re probably some of the people who had a hand in some of the problems we’ve had in the past.” Steele started his 48-state tour in mid-September, riding from state-to-state in a huge red bus.
“This is an effective way to send a message that the party is on the street. When I became chairman I made it very clear my goal was to put the party back in neighborhoods and communities, to be with our grassroots, to make our state party organizations the center of political activity not, you know, the talking heads and bureaucrats and the GOP establishment in Washington,” Steele says.
“Some people don’t like that. My style’s a little different. I’m a grassroots guy and I like and really love the opportunity to be with the grassroots.”
Steele is unwilling to get into the “prediction business,” but he’s expressing confidence about the chance of a G-O-P take-over of the U.S. House.
“I feel very good about where we are right now,” Steele says. “I think the energy’s there.”
Steele made his comments late Tuesday afternoon after a rally at the Republican Party’s “victory center” in central Iowa. Steele and his big red bus arrived in Nebraska last night.