Newt Gingrich

Gingrich tells GOP: Back off Steele


WASHINGTON (AP) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on Tuesday called on fellow Republicans to stop criticizing party Chairman Michael S. Steele and focus instead on defeating Democrats this fall.

Mr. Gingrich, who figures prominently in speculation about the 2012 presidential race, told NBC’s “Today” show that Mr. Steele “is capable of taking us through the midterm elections.” But he also suggested the embattled party chairman appoint an outsider to bring the party’s finances under control.

Mr. Gingrich said he thinks “it’s foolish for Republicans to focus on Michael Steele as a person and it’s better to focus on Democrats.”

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