ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports:
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said on Wednesday that insurgent Delaware candidate Christine O’Donnell had the full backing of the RNC despite the GOP’s best attempts to prevent her victory.
“I look forward to electing Christine the next senator from the state of Delaware,” Steele said at a press conference at RNC headquarters. “The Republican National Committee supports all of our nominees across the board, without hesitation, doubt. This is an important time for us. We’re looking forward to helping.”
But Steele declined to elaborate on exactly what form that help would take.
For its part, the National Republican Senatorial Committee wrote a check to the O’Donnell campaign on Wednesday for $42,000 — the maximum donation — along with a statement from NRSC chairman Sen. John Cornyn saying that he and the Committee “strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O’Donnell.” O’Donnell, the Tea Party and Sarah Palin-backed Delaware Senate contender scored an unexpected win over the Republican Party’s chosen candidate, Rep. Mike Castle on Tuesday night.
With all but one state primary (Hawaii votes this weekend) now settled, Steele also issued a warning to the party to avoid complacency during the all-important, six-week stretch between now and Election Day.
“Let’s not get so heady in this moment to think that what happened in 2006 and 2008 was just some distant memory, somebody else’s nightmare,” Steele said. “That was our nightmare, created by us and we cannot in this moment waste the opportunity by tearing each other down.”
The RNC chief was speaking at an event to kick of the GOP’s “Fire Pelosi Bus” tour, a 48-state campaign swing designed to help get out the vote for Republican candidates across the country. The bright red tour bus, which started its 100-city journey shortly after Tuesday’s press conference, is emblazoned with the RNC logo and the message: “Need a Job?: Fire Pelosi!”
Steele, who was joined by National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., and a host of other GOP leaders, said the movement that would drive the party’s success in November was “organic.”
“This isn’t thought up in some board room and then spilled out onto the streets of America. This is coming from the streets of America, this is coming from small towns, this is coming from neighborhoods wide and large,” Steele said. “And the establishment in this town is so clueless and so out of touch with what real people are going through every day.”
- Michael Falcone