Steele Defends Style: 'Buckle Up,' He Warns

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2009 9:39 PM CST

(Newser) – Michael Steele has taken much flak in his short tenure as GOP chairman, and he offers no apologies. “I’m trying to move an elephant that’s become mired in its own muck,” he tells the New York Times. Steele has long been an impulse kind of guy, the Times notes, and his off-the-cuff criticism of Rush Limbaugh and promise of a "hip-hop makeover" for the party are just the latest examples. "I'm very spontaneous," he says.

Steele acknowledges that some of his problems are "self-inflicted," but adds, "I do things to get a reaction." Critics say he's all talk and no strategy, but one of the men Steele defeated for the RNC chairmanship applauds the zeal. “That almost cavalier approach may turn some people off,” said Saul Anuzis, but “I think a lot of the country was nodding their head saying, ‘Exactly.'" Regardless, don't expect Steele to change his ways. “Be prepared," he says. “Just buckle up and get ready to go.”