Battle Begins for Republican Party Chairman, Could Decide Obama’s Fate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 12, 2010   |   1:09PM   |   Washington, DC

With the 2010 elections having concluded and with current pro-life Republican Party chairman Michael Steele facing questions of his handling of the party, the battle is beginning for who will run the show.

The chairmanship of the GOP is important because the party apparatus will lay the groundwork for the massive get out the vote campaign necessary to defeat pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Steele is pro-life, but he has disappointed many grassroots conservatives by a lackluster fundraising effort and a poor get out the vote effort that is cited by some election experts as hurting pro-life Senate candidates in Washington, Colorado, West Virginia and elsewhere.

He has been beset by a string of gaffes and will likely face stiff competition to keep his post — which he has said he wants to do.

Steele received his first challenger in Michigan RNC committeeman and former state party chairman Saul Anuzis, who ran against Steele in the last election for party chairman.

In an email received from Anuzis, he said his focus as chairman would be reinvigorating the party’s election programs in an effort to help support the likely pro-life presidential nominee who will take on Obama.

“[T]o be a force, the RNC must change and that requires new leadership at the top. I am offering you an alternative, a choice, a different approach to the leadership and stewardship of our party,” he said.

“We will not win in 2012 if the RNC is not able to provide the financial resources we need to support the organizational efforts and ground games of our state parties. Without a fully funded Victory program we will be overwhelmed by the efforts of the unions, the Obama campaign and all their allies,” the Michigander added. “We will only win in 2012 if the RNC has the maximum level of resources it is allowed to spend on the GOP presidential ticket.”

Anuzis promises that he “will not strive to be the voice or the face of our party” — something that will go over well after Steele raised eyebrows with curious comments while speaking for the party.

Steele was even under fire for his abortion comments when, in an interview with GQ, Steele said he thought women have, according to the interviewer, a “right to choose abortion.”

“Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice,” he said. “Yeah. Absolutely.”

Anuzis is a pro-life advocate and, in 2008, in an interview with CNS News, Anuzis was asked whether he supported the current Republican Party platform that calls for a human life amendment to the Constitution offering legal protection for unborn children.

The platform also calls for no taxpayer funding of abortions and judges who will not rule from the bench that there is an unlimited right to abortion.

Anuzis said, “yes,” that he agreed with that and “I’ve supported that since I was a candidate for state representative in the 1980s.”

Anuzis indicated he supported overturning Roe v. Wade as “a step toward” installing a human life amendment in the Constitution.

CNS News asked him about pro-life voters who backed pro-abortion candidate Barack Obama and what he thought about that.

“First of all, you are never going to legislate the issue of abortion and morality. Basically, what you have to do is establish a social norm and educate the people as to why it’s right or wrong,” Anuzis said.

“I think the people that voted for Obama that happen to be pro-life, that wasn’t a determinative issue for them,” he added.

“This is not something that is going to happen tomorrow. This is not something that’s going to happen quickly. This is a long-term process. This has been a long-term battle, and I think it will continue to be a battle years down the line,” Anuzis explained at the time. “I think you have to educate people year by year, election by election.”

Former Tennessee GOP chair and Mike Huckabee campaign manager Chip Saltsman and South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson were also in the mix in the 2008 contest.