Steele: Limbaugh Spat A "Sideshow Distraction"

04/04/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON — Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele now says the sparring between himself and conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh was a "sideshow distraction."

Steele told NBC's "Today" that there are disagreements among conservative leaders, but said: "My job is to try to balance that. I wasn't that effective at it this week."

In an interview on CNN on Saturday, Steele called Limbaugh's talk show "incendiary" and "ugly." Steele apologized on Monday, calling Limbaugh a "national conservative leader."

Steele says, "There's a lot of popcorn going around for folks who are watching this and enjoying it." But the party chairman says he's going to concentrate on moving the GOP forward.