Updated: 6:20 p.m.
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele lashed out at his GOP critics on Friday, saying that God made him chairman because of the strength of his belief in the party and that naysayers are afraid of his message of change.
“A lot of people think that this is about me. It is not about me,— Steele, a former Maryland lieutenant governor, told the Christian Broadcasting Network. “When this job is over, I will go back to doing something else. But God, I really believe, has placed me here for a reason, because who else and why else would you do this unless there’s something inside of you that says right now you need to be here to do this?—
Steele said that staffers who have been critical of his tenure at the RNC were lashing out because they felt guilty about the current state of the Republican Party.
GOP sources have said that Steele failed to tell a single member of the GOP Congressional leadership about the release of his new book, “Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda.—
“This book is a book a lot of those staffers who are trying to get the chairman on message or muzzle the chairman, it’s a book they don’t want you to read,— Steele said. “They don’t want you to read this book because a guilty conscience is a funny thing,—
Steele also dialed back comments he made on Monday that the GOP would not win back control of the House in 2010.
“Can we take the House back in November? Yes. Will we? I don’t know,— Steele said. “We still have vacancies. We still have candidates who are trying to decide if they’re going to run. We still need to target all the areas where we have the greatest chance of winning seats.—
Although Steele’s comments have caused increasing frustration on Capitol Hill — as well as among some top GOP donors — critics acknowledge there is very little they can do to control or get rid of the RNC chairman.
Senate and House GOP Congressional aides — who often bristle at the notion that Steele is the party’s leader rather than Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) or House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) — explained they have little influence over the RNC’s power structure. Likewise, while lawmakers and aides have made no secret of their feelings about Steele, they acknowledge they can do little to keep him quiet.