(Mike Chamberlain/The Cranky Hermit) – GOP Chairman Michael Steele arrived in Las Vegas Sunday in the “Fire Pelosi” bus to offer a serving of red meat to Nevada Republicans. Accompanied by newly-elected Clark County Republican Party Chairman Frank Ricotta and former Nevada Governor Bob List, Steele shook hands and took photos with GOP activists and local candidates before addressing supporters and the media.
Regarding the closely-watched race U.S. Senate race, Steele commented, “I’m here to tell the people of Nevada a Senate seat is an awful thing to waste and do not waste it by re-electing Harry Reid.”
He later added, “You’ve got a lot of folks running around town talking trash about what they’re going to do. Look, after twenty-four years, if you haven’t gotten it done, what makes you think the next six are gonna get it done.”
On the rift between the Tea Party and the Republican Party, Steele said, “Please, can we stop the silly noise about the Tea Party and the GOP fighting each other? We are locked hand-in-hand to unseat Harry Reid and elect Sharron Angle.”
He thanked the Tea Party and grassroots activists for re-energizing the Republican party and the conservative movement. He noted that a year ago, “we couldn’t find anyone to say they were a Republican, let alone run as one.”
Later, while answering questions from reporters, Steele dismissed the idea that the Tea Party could pull the GOP too far to the right, harming its electoral chances in November. “I just don’t see that,” Steele said. “I hear a lot of folks trying to demonize and demagogue against citizen-activists. I don’t get that impression from the folks that I talk to– the grandmothers and business owners and young folks out there that are part of that movement.”
Steele also expressed his view that the movement was changing the GOP “I think for the better.” But he also noted there is an implied word of warning for potential officeholders that “if you get to Washington and do same-old, same-old you’re done.”
When asked about Republicans who are supporting Harry Reid, Steele replied, “I’m disappointed with that. I think that any Republican who’s standing there supporting Harry Reid needs to really think about whether you’re really a Republican. Don’t use the word, don’t make the claim and then go out there and support policies and individuals that go counter to the pro-growth, pro-business, pro-free market policies that we’ve advocated in this party for generations.”