Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Wednesday hit back at Democrats who have accused Republicans in Washington of orchestrating angry protests at town-hall meetings across the country.
“To sit back and say that this is a Republican cabal is a bunch of baloney and you can substitute the b’ for something else if you want,— Steele told reporters during a conference call.
Steele was careful to validate the cause of the protesters, but not to endorse the more extreme demonstrations. He denied that the RNC was encouraging its supporters to be disruptive.
“There is legitimate reason— for public anger, he said. “We are not encouraging people to be angry to the point of being brutish and ugly.—
Asked whether he was concerned that the acrimony generated at these meetings could backfire and hurt Republicans, Steele said, “In my job I always have concern about how the party is perceived, how individual candidates are perceived.—
Steele also said the committee is rerouting to the Democratic National Committee angry calls to the RNC that were generated by a recent Democratic ad. The ad instructs viewers who are concerned about the town-hall disruptions to call the RNC to tell them they have “had enough of the mob.—
Steele said he was not going to let the “DNC direct a band of angry liberals to call the RNC.—
He accused Democrats and the Obama administration of trying to label the protesters as “extremists— to avoid addressing the widespread concern caused by Democratic legislative priorities.
“Instead of embracing the concern, this administration is repelling it,— he said.