Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele appears to have taken a shot at his successor, Reince Priebus, telling Republicans concerned about candidate recruitment to ask him about it.
Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly on Saturday became the latest conservative on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to question the establishment’s stewardship of the party’s candidates. Steele tweeted the following in response to Schlafly’s speech:
Ask Reince. RT @byronyork Schlafly at CPAC: ‘Why is it that the establishment has given us this bunch of losers?’
— Michael Steele (@Steele_Michael) March 16, 2013
Priebus ousted Steele in January 2011 after Steele’s single term at the RNC included both huge electoral success in the midterm elections and widespread concern about how the RNC was spending its money.
Priebus was unopposed for reelection in 2013.
Notably, even as the GOP made enormous gains under Steele in 2010, he, like Priebus, oversaw plenty of infighting in the Republican Party, with two incumbent senators losing their primaries and tea party candidates upsetting establishment candidates in House primaries.
Eventually, though, the GOP won 63 House seats and six Senate seats, thanks — in part at least — to a favorable environment. In 2012, the first election under Priebus, the party lost seats in both the House and Senate, as well as the presidency.
Steele has not responded to a request for comment.