POLITICS

RNC Members, GOP Strategist Describe Party In Turmoil

04/06/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The concerns with the tenure of RNC Chair Michael Steele continue to mount, both on a broad and managerial level. A day after one RNC member called on the newly elected chair to step down from his perch, another publicly rapped the Maryland Republican for the histrionics he has brought to the post.

Glenn McCall, an RNC member from South Carolina, told the Huffington Post that he didn't think -- as one other committee member recently suggested -- that Steele should resign from his current position. But he did openly question whether the chair was pushing the party in the wrong direction.

"I don't think he needs to resign," said McCall. "I personally believe we need to be an inclusive party. But we don't need to go out changing who we are, trying to seem like we are in the hip-hop generation.... I don't think it will win us any votes."

"I wouldn't go to the extent of saying he needs to resign," McCall repeated, when asked about fellow RNC member Ada Fisher's call for Steele to step down. "I do think we need to be more focused on our message and sticking to our principles."

In offering his take on the current state of the RNC, McCall joins a small but growing number of voices to have publicly critiqued Steele, just weeks into chairman's tenure. And while the majority of critical assessments have focused on the bigger picture -- from Steele's embarrassing rhetorical flourishes to his bizarre fight with Rush Limbaugh -- others are more concerned with the small-bore aspects of his tenure.

A Republican strategist familiar with how the RNC has restructured itself under Steele described a staff distraught and upset with personnel decisions and under-staffed in key areas.

"There was a firing of tons of staff," said the strategist. "The way the firing was done, more specifically, was problematic. There were a lot of people pissed about them being let go. ... The RNC is currently functioning without research staff. The RNC fired all the communications staff then went and told about five or six who were deemed "indispensable," that they weren't really fired and that they should stay on for another month but not tell their soon-to-be-former colleagues."

"Steele kowtowing to [Limbaugh] totally sucks," the strategist added. "But I also think there's some really bad decision-making that has gone on in terms of organization."

The RNC did not immediately return a request for comment.

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