Savannah — At a breakfast this morning, Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, warned that the state GOP needs to be more receptive to fresh ideas and fresh faces, or risk irrelevance.
But Steele followed that speech up with an address to the entire convention a few hours later — a much larger audience — that contained much more red meat, and little mention of the need to create a broader tent.
“We don’t have to re-make anything. What do we have to re-make? Our values?” he asked. “We’re not too conservative. The liberals are jerking this country so far to the left we look like we’re too conservative.”
The RNC chairman urged President Barack Obama to take his time in picking an appropriate replacement for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter — “’not one who’ll have a knee-jerk desire to emphasize with Americans. What if I’m feeling bitter? What if I feel like clinging to my guns or my religion?”
That said, Steele, who — let us say again — is African-American, admitted that “I’m a little different. I can be controversial at times. I can give people angina, even within my own party.”
Steele was rushed out the back of the convention, and though he had time to pose for pictures and sign autographs, made no time for reporters. A Republican National Committee meeting starts Monday, and no doubt there was a desire to avoid unscripted responses.
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