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Michael Steele Defends RNC Expenditures on U.S. Territories

RNC chairman heralds "groundbreaker" victory in Guam.

5:57 PM, Jan 3, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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TWS:  But, how much should you factor in—

 

STEELE: You’re not listening to me here. Your follow-up questions will get the same answer. There is no choice. If you can help, you help. If it is in Guam or Florida, you do what is necessary for a Republican to win in those places.

 

TWS: Isn’t a zero-sum game? I mean, if you’re giving to Florida—money is a finite resource, if you’re giving to Guam--

 

STEELE: Why do you think it’s a zero-sum game? Tell me what election we lost because I gave $15,000 to Guam.

 

TWS: I’m not saying that, I’m saying—

 

STEELE: Then you do the research and come back and ask me—

 

TWS: Could it have been better used in Colorado? Could it have helped--$15,000—in Colorado?

 

STEELE: It could help $15,000 in Colorado. It could help $15,000 in Guam. It could help $15,000 in Puerto Rico. In the Virgin Islands. Okay, so when you’re chairman you make that decision, and then you deal with the chairman and the national committeeman and the national committeewoman sittin on the phone with you, screaming at you for not helping them with $15,000 dollars. We won the governorship. The most wins here and now you’re going to sit back here and parse?Oh, well, gee if you had taken $15,000 from there and put it over here--tell me the seat you could have won with that, when you know you could have helped them out and won a groundbreaker for them in Guam—which we did. So why are we looking that gift in the mouth? And why are we saying in the face of every other seat that we picked up, every other race that we won, that we shouldn’t have played there? You don’t get to make that decision all the time that easily. You have to find out a way to make it work. We did. It worked. They won. The party won. And now we’ve got a republican governor in Guam, Republican lieutenant governor in Guam. They won local races in Guam  and elsewhere in the Islands. And I think that’s a good thing for the party. Don’t you?

 

TWS: My personal opinion?

 

STEELE: Yeah.

 

TWS: I think there’s an argument to be made…that maybe the $15,000 would have been better spent in a House race—

 

STEELE: Then you tell me how $15,000 is going to help that House candidate—

 

TWS: A House race that came down to 200 votes or 300 votes, yeah, maybe it would have made a—

 

STEELE: But we won those close ones--

 

TWS: There were some close ones that [INAUDIBLE]

 

STEELE: Yeah, but we won. The bottom line is we won 64 seats. So you wanted 65?

 

TWS: I think some Republicans would have wanted 65.

 

STEELE: "Yeah, but we couldn’t count to 39 a year ago. You couldn’t identity the 39 seats you were going to win a year ago. Okay? So put yourself a year ago. Don’t look at right now and ask that question. Go back a year and tell me the 39 seats you absolutely know you would have won. There’s not a person in this town who’s worth there political salt who can give you that answer."

 

TWS: Thank you very much, sir.

 

STEELE: Okay. That’s all, you have to make choices.

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