From the National Journal:
House and Senate leadership aides are furious with RNC chair Michael Steele and have angrily confronted the RNC’s press shop over their inability to keep the chair on message.
In the course of a regular daily conference call between senior Congressional communicators, House and Senate aides berated RNC staffers over Steele’s comments that the GOP would not be able to take back the House, and that even if they did, the party would not be prepared to lead.
A senior Senate aide brought up Steele’s comments, arguing that he was ruining what should be several days of glowing press for the GOP in the wake of retirement announcements from Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Chris Dodd (D-CT).
“Steele is setting us far back with his comments and it needs to stop,” the aide said, according to 2 sources who were on the call.
RNC research director Jeff Berkowitz called the Senate aide out of line, but the Senate aide called Steele a “fool,” sources said.
In an effort to soothe feelings, a senior House aide interrupted and said he sympathized with RNC aides. But, he added: “You’re putting our bosses in tremendously difficult situations.”
A senior RNC press aide admitted the shop had no control over Steele’s interviews as he embarks on a book tour to sell his blueprint for a GOP comeback. Steele has hired a public relations firm, the RNC aide said, and the press shop has no control over when interviews are scheduled.
After an awkward silence, another aide spoke up: “You really need to have him be quiet.” The call ended shortly thereafter.
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