Key Pro-Life Senator: Republican Party Needs New Chairman

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 15, 2010   |   2:07PM   |   Washington, DC

Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican who is one of the leading pro-life conservatives in the Senate, says the national Republican Party needs a new chairman.

He says electing someone to replace Michael Steele, the pro-life advocate who currently runs the GOP, is crucial to the 2012 election campaign to defeat pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

DeMint told “Fox News Sunday” that the lack of a cohesive get out the vote campaign may have cost the GOP “a few Senate seats” in the midterm elections and could be a factor if Republicans move ahead with the same chairman.

“I’m looking for some alternatives right now,” he said. “I haven’t decided who would support but we need a strong national Republican organization to help organize the energy of the tea parties and the other citizen activism that we are seeing out there right now. We need to make sure that we have a lot of boots on the ground.”

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.

“I appreciate Michael Steele’s service,” DeMint added in the Fox News interview, but said “where we lost a few Senate seats, our ground game was not as strong as it could have been. We were actually out manned on the ground.”

“Going into 2012, we need a really strong Republican party to match the get out the vote that we saw from the Obama machine last time,” DeMint continued.

As to whether or not he would run for the Republican nomination in 2012, he said he had “no plans to run for president.”

DeMint’s comments come just days after Steele received his first challenger in pro-life 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.”

Ajay Bruno, a conservative Internet activist, is also a candidate for the RNC chairmanship and he told he will be pressing pro-life issues.