From NBC's Ali Weinberg
RNC Chairman Michael Steele said that his four challengers have not yet made the case for why he should not be re-elected.
In an interview with NBC News shortly after the debate, Steele said that his opponents - all of whom arguably have the experience needed for the job - would not win by touting their own record, but by making a compelling argument for why Steele does not deserve a second term as chairman, despite widespread Republican victories during his tenure.
"For me, folks had to make the case of why they need to replace me. I don't think that case has been made. I think my record stands very firmly," Steele said. "I think that to the extent that others presented their case, they did so and now the 168 members will have a chance to look at that and evaluate whether or not they replace me, or we move forward in a more aggressive style to take on Obama. Which I'm more than happy and ready to do."
Steele also pushed back vehemently against accusations that he mismanaged the party's funds, saying that all spending decisions he made were approved by RNC members – most of his challengers among them.
"The argument's been made that oh, we have all these money woes and our money woes are totally blown out of proportion," Steele contended. "I was asked by the members to make the investment in our infrastructure and in our party to win. We did that. I went to the members and laid out for them what it would take to do that. They approved that, unanimously. So even for my colleagues who were on the stage with me, they voted for the direction that we took. And so we went out and we executed on that direction from the members and we won."
He said that singling out the RNC as the only fundraising organization with a debt is unfair. "Everyone's acting like the RNC's the only committee without a debt," he said. "Hello? Flashpoint! We're not! And some people have a debt greater than ours."