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GOP watch: Steele isn't stepping aside just yet

"In the face of overwhelming criticism about his stewardship of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, the party chairman, declared Monday evening that he had no intentions of quietly stepping aside and vowed to seek re-election to lead the party into the 2012 presidential campaign," the New York Times' Zeleny writes. "Mr. Steele made the announcement in a conference call with members of the Republican committee, some of whom have already pledged their support to one of the half-dozen candidates vying to replace him. He did not take questions in the 40-minute call or address many of the challenges facing his candidacy, including the financial management of the committee that is ending the year $15 million in debt."

Politico’s Martin: “[I]n a defense of his tenure that stretched for 30 minutes before he announced his plans, Steele touted the party’s gains over the past two years in making a robust case for why he deserved to be elected to a second term when the party meets next month. According to sources on the call, the embattled chairman talked at length about why the party had gone into a debt of at least $15 million and even why they had spent money on races in the territories.” More: “More broadly, Steele’s decision to run represents a direct rebuke to the party’s establishment wing, many members of which have gone public since Election Day with their concerns about the state of the RNC under the former Maryland lieutenant governor. Figures such as Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have indicated that they preferred a different chairman. Bush administration figures such as Vice President Dick Cheney and former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie have already lined up behind Maria Cino, a longtime GOP operative.”

The New York Daily News: “Republicans aren't quite done with their gaffe-prone party chairman Michael Steele yet.”

Wrestling mogul and failed U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon will meet with NRSC Chair John Cornyn, per Roll Call. The time and date is unclear at this point. “I don’t know what her message is going to be, but I sort of suspect she isn’t finished,” Cornyn said.