Steele: “Fire Pelosi,” “Retire Reid”

That was not just the message that Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party, delivered in a speech here on Friday. They were also the words that he wore on his head, a slogan emblazoned on red baseball hats that he handed out during the summer meeting of the Republican National Committee.

“This is not complicated,” Mr. Steele said. “Fire Nancy Pelosi, retire Harry Reid, give us our country back.”

In his speech to Republicans leaders, Mr. Steele made repeated references to Ms. Pelosi, the House Speaker from California, as he worked to motivate party activists for the midterm elections. He invoked her name far more than that of President Obama, even announcing that Republicans would sponsor a 17-city “Fire Pelosi” tour after Labor Day, complete with a red bus painted with this motto: “Need a Job? Fire Pelosi.”

As Republicans work to win control of the House and Senate, along with picking up governor’s seats across the country, Mr. Steele said considerable strides had been made since the party suffered punishing election defeats in the last two election cycles. But he said the success would not be completed until November.

“In less than two years, we have gone from a demoralized super-minority party to a legion of effective citizens who are on the offense and making Democrats sweat. How’s that make you feel?” Mr. Steele said. “But we can’t rest on a successful race here or a winning message there. Everything we’ve been doing – all of it – needs to be ramped up and maxed out in the next three months.”

Read more from Jeff Zeleny at The New York Times

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