Tags: castellanos | steele | rnc | scandal | resignation

Top GOP Strategist: Steele Should Resign

Tuesday, 06 Apr 2010 10:11 PM

Alex Castellanos, one of the Republican Party's best known media consultants and strategists, called for the resignation of Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele Tuesday on CNN's "The Situation Room" with host Wolf Blitzer.

A media consultant to seven U.S. Presidential campaigns, Castellanos also advises the RNC and supported Steele's appointment as chairman. Most recently, he worked as a senior strategist for the Romney for President campaign. He has been credited with the discovery of the political "soccer-mom" and called "father of the attack ad."

Here is the entire transcript of the exchange between Blitzer and Castellanos on Steele:

BLITZER: We're bringing in our CNN contributor, the Republican strategist, Alex Castellanos right now to talk about Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee. You worked with Michael Steele for a long time. You know him, you wanted him to be chairman, is that right?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN CONSULTANT: Yes, I did. He's a good man, a very decent man and a tremendously talented man. I have great affection for Chairman Steele and respect for his abilities but --

BLITZER: And you're an unpaid adviser to the RNC.

CASTELLANOS: Like all good Republicans, you know, the party blows the horns, and I try to help whenever I can.

BLITZER: So, you heard Rudy Giuliani say just a little while ago here in THE SITUATION ROOM, he supports Michael Steele, wants him to stay on. He has a good track record of helping the Republicans win in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Keep it up, that's what Giuliani said. What does Alex Castellanos say?

CASTELLANOS: I hope we can, but you know, Chairman Steele, I think has lost the support of two important constituencies in the Republican Party, one is our most successful candidates, our leaders on the hill, in the House and senate, the people who have won elections and who have responsibility of carrying our party into the next election. But more importantly, he's lost the support of a lot of our major donors. The donors who provide the money, the lifeblood, the oxygen that the Republican party needs to succeed on its mission to take back control of the House.

And this is not about any one man. This is nothing personal. This is about a party that has a cause, and that is, rescuing this country from bankruptcy. We have a responsibility as Republicans, I think, to provide the support that our candidates need to do that. And right now, I don't think that you're seeing a lot of that money that is frozen, it's not coming into the party, and perhaps a change in leadership here would thaw that and allow that support to flow.

BLITZER: So, what do you want Michael Steele to do?

CASTELLANOS: I think what you're going to see is you're going to see some of the members of the Republican executive committee, three from each state, the two national committee people and the party chairman, are going to need to have a little come to Obama meeting or come to Jesus (ph) meeting, and a lot of people think it's the same thing in this town, and either come to terms with Chairman Steele on what he's going to do and conduct himself through the next election or else take a different direction. And I think sometimes a change in leadership would be a good thing.

BLITZER: You want him to resign?

CASTELLANOS: I think that's up to them. I think a change in direction now at this point would do the party good.

BLITZER: So, you want Steele to resign.

CASTELLANOS: I think a change in direction --

BLITZER: For the good of the party?

CASTELLANOS: For the good of the party would be good. And again, it's not about one person, but without that financial support -- look, we're not going to be as successful as we need to be for the country, and that's important for all of us. Look at the RGA, the Republican Governors Association, they have over $30 million on hand. The RNC has a fraction of that, $10 million. There's a lot of support out there and that's a good news for Republican party.

There is a broad base of support. the National Republican Congressional Committee, Guy Harrison, doing a fantastic job, Nick Ayers of the Republican Governors Association, a fantastic job, Rob Guessworth (ph) the senate committee doing a terrific jock of mobilizing Republicans, but we can't have one hand of the RNC tied behind our back.

BLITZER: So, just to be precise, Alex Castellanos, if I hear you right saying the party would be better off if Michael Steele on his own decided to resign.

CASTELLANOS: I think that's a decision for the chairman to make himself, but I do think that without the support of our major donors and without the support of our leaders on the hill, our party won't be as successful, and I think the executive committee needs to look at this and say, we still have seven months to go to pull our act together. Should we suffer through seven months as we are or do we, in fact, need to make a change now? I think a change at this moment would be a good thing.

BLITZER: You'll stay on as an unpaid adviser to the RNC?

CASTELLANOS: Wolf, I've lost by ability to be of service, I think, to the RNC, and that's happened for quite a while. It's not uncommon. A lot of people have found me less than useful, so -- so, no, I've stepped away from the RNC.

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Alex Castellanos, one of the Republican Party's best known media consultants and strategists, called for the resignation of Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele Tuesday on CNN's The Situation Room with host Wolf Blitzer. A media consultant to seven U.S....
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2010-11-06
 

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