From NBC's Abby Livingston
Despite news organizations coming out with surveys showing his chances are slim, Chip Saltsman said in an interview today with MSNBC's Contessa Brewer that he thinks he is on the road to becoming the next chairman of the Republican National Committee. And if he doesn't, he blames the media.
The interview began with Saltsman being asked if he had a chance on Friday, he answered, "I do. I think we'll be competitive on Friday. We have not been running the same campaign as some of the other folks, rolling out endorsements. That's not been our strategy from the very beginning. We've got enough support to get on the ballot on Friday. I think we're going to surprise a few people Friday at the election."
(Although, there is a section of Saltsman's Web site labeled "endorsements.")
Saltsman, who has previously worked for Mike Huckabee and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, hit troubled waters in his campaign for chair in December, when he distributed a CD that included a song previously played on Rush Limbaugh called, "Barack the Magic Negro." At least one RNC voter has cited that CD as a reason for not supporting Saltsman.
He told Brewer, "It was -- it was a parody Christmas gift, and I sent it out without even thinking about what was on it… Obviously, when you do something like that, you don't want to offend a lot of people when you do. That's something you don't want to do. And, you know, hopefully that we'll move on, talk about the future of the party."
He then blamed the press for the issue: "I think it highlighted a couple of things -- one, that we're definitely not playing on a level playing ground with the media on that issue."
He then cited a Los Angeles Times column as the source of the phrase, and wondered why the blowback had not also hit the author of the piece.
"I mean, there was no outrage when the L.A. Times article coined that phrase," Saltsman said. He followed up, asking, "Contessa, I'm asking you, were you outraged when you read the article in the L.A. Times a year and a half ago?"
An interesting point, but that author isn't running for RNC chair.