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Michael Steele defends RNC meeting in Hawaii, noting state is Obama's 'birthplace ... his backyard'

January 28, 2010 |  2:35 pm

Michael Steele Speaking to reporters this morning at a Honolulu news conference, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele expressed frustration “at the response of some inside and outside the media … who have opined on the matter.”

The “matter” was the fact that the RNC is meeting in sunny Hawaii this week.

Steele started his defense by pointing out the obvious: Hawaii is one of the 50 states of the union (and has been since Aug. 21, 1959), so it’s a perfectly legitimate place to hold a meeting.

Moreover, Steele said, “The problems here in Hawaii that the people face are no different than the problems that are faced on the mainland.” He tossed a big bouquet to Gov. Linda Lingle, a fellow Republican, and said that by meeting in President Obama’s stamping ground -- his “birthplace … his backyard” -- Republicans were sending a signal the party was “going to compete on every inch of soil in this nation.”

-- Mark Z. Barabak

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Photo: Steele addresses reporters today at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu. Credit: Associated Press