Exclusive: Michael Steele, Tim Kaine Fire Back At Members of Own Party

By Kate McCarthy

Nov 1, 2010 8:20am

We had a burst of candor on "GMA" from the two party chairs in their final debate before the midterm elections – their first joint appearance since May 24.

Michael Steele agreed with what Jeb Bush told the NY Times – that the GOP’s expected gains tomorrow are, “not a validation of the Republican Party at all.”

“I think there is a degree of truth to that,” the RNC chairman told me. “I think the American people right now are much more skeptical of the direction the president and Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Reid are taking the country. But they also have some concerns about the direction that Republicans will then lead when we take control of the Congress in 2011.”

Steele is looking for a “fresh start” with the voters and admitted if the GOP doesn’t live up to expectation they will have a problem in 2012.

Acknowledging his own problems DNC Chairman Tim Kaine said President Obama knows about “the need going forward to make some adjustments and corrections. And you will see those play out over the course of the next few weeks.”

And both chairmen fired back at their own party – Kaine pointed fingers at Democrats who have run against their party and “who’ve kind of been holding their own accomplishments at arm’s length.”

Steele responded forcefully to the anonymous sources cited in a Politico story that said “stopping Sarah Palin” is next for the GOP.

“If you are not willing to put your name with your comments, then there is not validity to it…Put your name next to your quote and then have a conversation with Sarah Palin. Until then, leave it alone,” he said. “You know all this kind of dissension and, you know, frustration within the party is not doing anything to get Republicans elected tomorrow. So until we get that job done let’s not worry about 2012.”

Watch my interview with the two chairmen here:

George Stephanopoulos

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