POLITICS

Steele Reverses Course: GOP Will 'Absolutely' Win Back Congress

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Less than a week after proclaiming that the Republican Party not only wasn't ready to take back power in Congress but wasn't really in a position to govern, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has fully reversed course.

"Absolutely, absolutely," we will take back power, Steele proclaimed on NBC's "Meet the Press." "The rate we are going now, the ground game we are putting in place, we absolutely can take the Congress back this year. There will not be a 60-seat majority for the Democrats come January next year. There is parity that is going to be created, and Republicans are going to create that parity."

The optimism, of course, is the line Steele should have struck from the beginning, even if the RNC Chair (in his earlier remarks to Fox News' Sean Hannity) was simply offering an honest reading of the tea leaves. Steele's initial statement that the GOP wasn't ready to lead put other party officials and committees in a defensive, if not awkward position -- forced to convey to perspective donors and candidates that they actually didn't share the sentiments of the chairman of the RNC.

In the following days, Steele declined to back away from the remark, telling talk show host Dennis Miller: "I'm sorry if Washington hates my pragmatism." Now, it seems, he's simply moving to a new script.

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