From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning, said of Specter that Democrats may have "bitten off more on that bargain than they can chew on right now." He added later, "The conservatives he's railing against helped his behind in '04."
Video: MSNBC's Joe Scarborough ask Michael Steele what he intends to as party chair about the shrinking Republican Party.
Steele acknowledged the difficulties for his party, and laid blame on an unpopular war, an unpopular president and "mismanagement." But he declined to pin the troubles by name on Bush and Cheney when asked. He said there's a "chance to clearly define" the party and cast this time as a "battle of ideas. ... We need to clearly define what we believe in."
He said Republicans have sounded "disingenuous" in criticizing Wall St. bailouts, since "we jumpstarted this thing," he said. "We're the ones who put the $700 billion on the table and started nationalizing the banks." Republicans, he said, need to "own up, do the, 'My bad,' and move forward."
He argued that the even though the party has been decimated outside the South, its problems can be traced to those that "got comfortable" and got away from those "core principles."