05/31/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gingrich Backs Steele In Developing RNC Civil War

Only a few months into his tenure, Michael Steele has already been forced to do battle with some senior party insiders, with the latest show of no-confidence coming in the form of an RNC resolution that would limit Steele's hold on the party's purse strings.

On Thursday morning, however, the Chairman received a bit of a boost. Newt Gingrich, who will occasionally call out the old guard of his party, stuck up for Steele and called the RNC members orchestrating the resolution a group of stale, self-involved individuals.

"The Republican National Committee is this tiny group of people, some of whom have been there 20 years or more," the former Speaker told CSPAN. "And they all think they're precious. And they all think they should be taken care of. And they all think that the job of the chairman first of all is to make the RNC members happy."

Gingrich's endorsement comes at a somewhat critical moment for Steele. His role in spending money early in his term has created gripes among fellow Republicans in private and increasingly in public. His tumultuous media appearances, likewise, have caused heartburn within the party.

The most recent effort to rein him in came this past week, as the 168 RNC members began floating a resolution that would require any expense exceeding $100,000 to be pre-approved by executive officers independent from Steele.

Steele has privately pushed back against the effort, sending a harsh email to those members pushing the resolution, accusing them of orchestrating a power grab.

"It is of course not lost on me that each of you worked tirelessly down to the last minute in an effort to stop me from becoming chairman," Steele wrote, as reported by the Washington Times.

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