Steele Likely to Seek RNC Leadership Post
The former Maryland lieutenant governor is considering a run for the chairmanship of the Republican Party, a source close to the situation told FOX News.
By Bill Sammon
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Michael Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland, has decided to run for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee and is in talks with Newt Gingrich to win the former House speaker's endorsement, FOX News learned Tuesday.
Steele declined to comment, but a source close to the situation said Steele would announce his candidacy as early as Thursday.
The source also contradicted a report in Tuesday's Washington Times that Steele and Gingrich were competing for the RNC post.
"There is no fight," the source said. "This tension between Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich is totally fabricated and, in fact, Gingrich and Steele are working together to create a new strategy for the direction of the GOP."
In a statement issued by the former House speaker, Gingrich said he was not interested in seeking the post of Republican Party chairman.
"A number of people have asked me to consider running for Republican National Committee chair. They have been very flattering, and I am very honored by their support," he said.
"However, my job as an American first is to develop a tri-partisan approach to developing solutions for the challenges we face. I use the word tri-partisan to designate the concept of attracting Democrats, Republicans, and independents to solutions that unify most Americans."
Meanwhile, Steele is said to be hoping that his entry into the race will scare off other hopefuls, including current RNC chairman Mike Duncan.
Others vying for the post include Chip Saltsman, who chaired Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign.