Despite sweeping victories for the GOP in last November's midterm elections, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele is fending off harsh criticism from all angles.
On Jan. 3, the five candidates for the RNC leadership post gathered for a debate at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Steele, the first African American to serve as the RNC chair, is vying for his second term, but he's facing staunch opposition. His four challengers, including Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus — who is considered to be the frontrunner — slammed Steele for his mismanagement of party funds during the latest election cycle.
According to The Daily Caller, which was a co-sponsor of the debate, the GOP is $20 million in debt. The next leader will be responsible for raising enough money to fuel the 2012 presidential campaign.
"The next chairman needs to be sitting in that office for five or six hours every day, making major donor calls, making major donor visits, literally working like an absolute dog for the next two years," Priebus said during the event, quoted by the news provider.
Steele defended his record, saying that the party had a victorious election year under his leadership. Other candidates for the RNC chairmanship include Maria Cino, who served as the National Political Director for George W. Bush's presidential campaign in 2000, Saul Anuzis, the Michigan GOP chair, and Ann Wagner, former co-chair of the RNC.
The election is scheduled to take place on Jan. 14.