The Republican Party’s congressional leadership was reportedly angered when RNC Chairman Michael Steele said recently that the GOP probably won’t win majorities in the House and Senate in this year’s mid-term elections and that the Party isn’t quite ready to lead.
Despite the backlash from his colleagues on the Hill, and in the wake of Scott Brown’s (R-MA) victory in the Massachusetts, Steele still proclaims pessimism about the GOP’s chances in 2010. “You just can’t stop and think, ‘well OK now we’ll win in Maryland, we’ll win Delaware and we’ll win everywhere in the country because we won in Massachusetts.’ Every place is different,” he told a local Maryland radio show today. And on ABC this morning, Steele again said the GOP probably won’t win back the House and Senate:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Scott Brown wins in Massachusetts. Does this mean that the Republicans are going to take the House and Senate in November?
STEELE: Oh, I think we are very well on our way at this pace to certainly narrow the margin in the United States Senate as we will in the House and we’ll see how the rest of it plans out.
Congressional Republicans are putting forth a different message from Steele. National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) suggested in an interview with the New York Times today the possibility of a GOP “tsunami” this November. A National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman echoed Cornyn. “If Democrats can’t sell their agenda in the bluest state in the country, they can’t sell it anywhere…to that end, it will have a significant ripple effect on campaigns across the country.” “Scott Brown’s win confirms the serious ramifications that will haunt Democrats all the way to the November elections,” NRCC chair Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) said. “There is a movement building in America that threatens their majority in Congress.”
“You really just have to get him to stop,” one top congressional GOP aide said of Steele after his comment that the party wasn’t ready to lead. Another aide said Party leaders want Steele “out of sight, out of mind.”
(HT: Hotline On Call)
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) told CNN today that he disagrees with Steele’s assessment and is confident that Republicans can take back the House. “There is a lot of work still to be done, but yes, I do think that we can take back the majority in the U.S. House in November,” Cantor said.