Republicans are furious with RNC Chair Michael Steele over a recent interview in which he–for once–actually spoke the truth:
“I can’t give a number [of seats the GOP will win] yet, because like I said, we’re just now beginning to look at the races,” Steele said. Asked if GOPers will take back the House, Steele confessed: “Not this year.”
In fact, when [Fox host Sean] Hannity followed up on the point, Steele said he doesn’t know if the GOP is ready to take back the reins of power.
“I don’t know. And that’s what I’m assessing and evaluating right now…”
Steele is right–the GOP has almost no chance of taking back the House this year and, if their recent behavior is any indication, they certainly can’t be trusted to govern.
But Republicans are furious that their chairman is forcing them to face reality–they want so badly to believe that 2010 is going to be another 1994, facts be damned.
Of course, part of this is also preemptive spin–when the GOP does fail to take back the House, how much do you want to bet that conservatives will point the finger at Steele and accuse him of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy?
That’s the modern Republican Party for you–attacking their own chairman for speaking the truth. Then again, perhaps that’s something they’re just not used to.
UPDATE: Now the NRCC–a branch of the Republican Party–is taking shots at Steele:
[O]n Tuesday, the National Congressional Campaign Committee released a statement in which it basically slapped down Steele for his electoral prognostication.
“The NRCC’s goal — as the campaign arm of the House Republican Conference — has always been to recapture the majority in 2010,” said Ken Spain, press secretary for the committee. “Independent political analysts and even liberal columnists have stated that Republicans have a very real shot at taking back the majority in 2010. Make no mistake about it, we are playing to win.”
It is extremely rare to see two campaign committees on such different pages when it comes to messaging.