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GOP's Michael Steele to critics: Fire me or shut up

January 8, 2010 |  6:45 am

Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele seems to have a talent for stoking controversy.

On the hustings for his new book -- "Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda" -- Steele said in a Fox interview Monday that he did not think Republicans could reclaim the House in 2010.

That ran counter to every instinct in political life -- you build momentum by talking up, not down.

The remarks so angered senior aides to Republican leaders on Capitol Hill that Wednesday they confronted Steele's staff during a conference call. "You really just have to get him to stop. It's too much," a top congressional aide said, according to the Washington Post.

Thursday, responding to criticism from some GOP donors that his book and lecture promotions benefited his own pockets instead of the party's, Steele struck back. “I’m telling them and I’m looking them in the eye and say I’ve had enough of it," he said on ABC News radio. "If you don’t want me in the job, fire me. But until then, shut up. Get with the program or get out of the way.”

RNC Chairman Michael Steele Lashes Out at Critics on ABC News Radio from ABC News Radio on Vimeo.

-- Johanna Neuman

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