'This Week' Transcript: NEC Director Larry Summers

PERKINS: What appears to be excessive spending at a time of economic hardship for most of the country, at a time when the Republicans are complaining about the spending in Washington by Democrats, look, if you can't run a party, you certainly can't run a country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER: George, is this the right job for Michael Steele?

WILL: No. He has fundamentally misconstrued his job, which is to be the face and the ideological spokesman for the Republican Party. There are a lot of people who do that. The best party chairmen are like major league umpires. If at the end of the game they go back into the dressing room and no one has noticed them, they've done their job brilliantly. They strive for anonymous perfection, and that should be the role of the party chairmen.

The best Republican Party chairman, Ray Bliss of Ohio, who rebuilt the party after the Goldwater meltdown, Bill Brock, former senator from Tennessee, who built the party up on the eve of the Reagan triumph, they were perfectly anonymous. And I'm not sure that this man has understood that.

DOWD: You know, obviously, I'm not a rocket scientist, but when you have lesbian bondage strip club associated with your name, it's never a good thing for anybody...

TAPPER: In politics.

DOWD: ... unless you're employed at the strip club. You know, the only difference between Democratic officials at a strip club and Republican officials at a strip club is Democratic officials say hi to each other.

I think the problem is hypocrisy, is purely hypocrisy. It's not the strip club and all that. It's Republicans go out there and talk about fiscal responsibility and they talk about family values, and they have a party leader and party officials who go to a strip club, who are involved in this process, that say that their private actions or their actions of donors' money does not match what their message is, and that's the problem.

TAPPER: But, Karen, in addition this problem, tell our viewers what American Crossroads is.

FINNEY: So, American Crossroads is an organization that is being formed by, you know, Republican Party stalwarts like Karl Rove, Jo Ann Davidson, a former co-chair of the RNC, Ed Gillespie, among others, essentially with the goal of raising money to support candidates going into the next election.

TAPPER: It's a shadow RNC.

FINNEY: Exactly. And so when you have this -- and I -- you know, this is really not about the strip club expenditures. This is about a chairman who doesn't understand his job. And when you are the party out of power, your job is to raise money, to win elections, and build the party infrastructure.

On the one hand, when you talk to folks at some of the other Republican committees, sure, will the money help from the shadow RNC? Yes. But you need a strong RNC during a midterm election to do the ground game and to do GOTV activities. And it is an embarrassment for the Republican Party to have to talk about an expenditure. It's not just about going to strip clubs. It's about, when Michael Steele walks into a room with a donor and asks for a big check, and that donor is looking at an FEC report that shows travel on jets and travel in limousines, what am I giving you the money for?

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