Under fire for the Republican National Committee’s free-wheeling spending on posh hotels, private jets and a party at a Los Angeles nightclub, committee Chairman Michael Steele said Monday he will not resign despite the controversy.
“No,” he said flatly on ABC’s “Good Morning America” when asked whether he would step down. It was his first television interview since the controversial spending came to light. “When I first heard about this behavior going on, I was very angry and we dealt with it.”
Steele has been excoriated over the last week, including by some members of his own party, for spending that included $2,000 at a sex-themed nightclub as well as tens of thousands of dollars spent on luxury hotels, private planes and limousines in the month of February.
“I’m not staying in fancy hotels, in the Four Seasons, and flying around in corporate jets,” Steele said. One RNC staffer has already lost her job because of the nightclub incident. “We have managed the money in a way that has allowed us to compete in some races that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to compete in.”
Last year, Republicans wrested victories in two key governors’ races — Virginia and New Jersey — and also won an upset victory in January to fill Democratic U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts after he died from cancer.