Steele calms some RNC members

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At least two participants were highly critical of Mr. Steele and the way the conference call was conducted, but they both declined to lend their names to their views.

Mr. Pullen said he took Ms. Fisher’s call for Mr. Steele’s resignation seriously but saw no move among the rest of the members to try to force Mr. Steele out of office before his two-year term expires.

By the end of the day that Mr. Steele’s remarks about Mr. Limbaugh became widely publicized, the RNC chief had apologized, telling Politico.com that “my intent was not to go after Rush - I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh - I was maybe a little bit inarticulate” and there “was no attempt on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership.”

On his radio show, Mr. Limbaugh had blasted Mr. Steele, saying, “It’s time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you’re having a tough time pulling off.”

Mr. Pullen noted that the unpleasantness between the two men might hurt the RNC among its strong small-donor base of those who give $50 to $100, since many of them are admirers of Mr. Limbaugh.

Mr. Pullen, who was tied up with political work in Arizona and could not participate in the conference call, told The Times that the RNC had $23 million in cash on hand at the end of February, “far and above what any of the other campaign committees - Republican or Democratic - have in cash.”

He said previous Chairman Mike Duncan left the RNC in the black, and that about $8 milion or $9 million of the $23 million had been raised since Mr. Steele had become chairman.

About the Author
Ralph Z. Hallow

Ralph Z. Hallow

Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.

 

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