More on Steele and the Pro-Life Enough Question

Amanda Carpenter
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Posted: Nov 19, 2008 9:22 AM
Last week I wrote about the insider debate among those vying for the next Republican National Committee Chairmanship whether Michael Steele was pro-life enough for the position. That conversation is still happening among conservative circles, some of which appears to be initiated by those who might like to run for the chairmanship themselves and view Steele as their biggest threat.

The latest, on the record, inkling of that story come in a piece yesterday by Life News, which raised doubts about Steele's working relationship with  Christine Todd Whitman on the Republican Leadership Council.

The article says:

The RLC was formed for the express purpose of electing pro-abortion Republicans and GOP candidates who may be pro-life but don't emphasize abortion as much as the rest of the party. Its web site lists Steele as a co-founder along with Whitman. Parro says the RLC sent a letter to its donors weeks before the 2008 presidential election requesting funds to put fiscally conservative, "socially tolerant" Republicans in office. Parro says the phrase is "code" for pro-abortion Republicans.

I am told that Steele resigned from the RLC in July 2008 because he was "dispirited" with the group. If that's true the RLC "socially tolerant" letter can't be tied to Steele. It was sent months after he left.

His name, however, is still listed on the RLC website, but I am told the RLC has not complied with his requests to have it removed.

At least one woman is angry at the accusations Steele isn't sufficiently pro-life. Maryland Republican National Committee Chairman Joyce Lyons Tehres wrote a letter to fellow RNC members defending Steele yesterday.

"Some of Michael's opponents in the race for RNC Chairman have started an anonymous mudslinging campaign," she wrote. "You've probably seen the emails.  They claim Michael is not as pro-life as he needs to be.  Well as someone who has known Michael for almost 20 years I can tell you these charges are absolutely false."

Tehres attached the National Right to Life's endorsement of Steele for his 2006 senatorial race with the letter to her colleagues.