Michael Steele announces run for reelection as RNC chair

Michael Steele  and announced yesterday in a conference call that he was running for reelection as RNC chair in spite of earlier reports that suggested he would bow out.

Later last night, Steele spoke with Greta Van Susteren on the Fox News Channel about his decision.

From the transcript:

VAN SUSTEREN: How much did you have when you took the reins?

STEELE: About $20-some million.

VAN SUSTEREN: And now you're down to $3 million. So there's — I mean, so — and I realized…

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE: We spent a lot of money. I mean, but Greta, you can't look at it in terms of where you begin and what you end. I mean, you're talking two different periods. You're talking one election in which you had you know, some $13 million, $14 million spent on governor races of Virginia and New Jersey, Massachusetts and Hawaii. You're talking about helping the other party committees, the NRSC, the NRCC pay off their debt in 2009. So you can't look at it in those absolute terms. You look at the dollars that come in, what you do with those dollars, and then how you get geared up for the next cycle, which is what we're doing now.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why are some gunning for you?

STEELE: Well, I think there's a lot of reasons for that. My style is a little bit different than most conventional Republican Party chairmen. My style is more grass roots-oriented. I'm much more of a street guy. I love hanging out in boardrooms, but I prefer to be in neighborhoods and communities. My first trip as chairman was to go to Harlem. And a number of members asked me, Why are you going to Harlem? Because that's where the votes are. The party needs to get outside its comfort zone.

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